Microsoft Surface Duo in hand book mode

David Imel / Android Authority

Microsoft hasn’t launched a brand new Android machine since 2021’s Surface Duo 2, however a brand new report could have shed some mild on the corporate’s future plans.

Windows Central reported that Microsoft ditched the dual-screen design of earlier Floor Duo units in favor of growing a Surface Duo 3 with a folding display (akin to the Galaxy Z Fold line). Moreover, the outlet’s sources assert that the corporate plans to launch a extra standard slab-type smartphone akin to different handsets.

Sadly, I don’t suppose a brand new Microsoft foldable or standard smartphone makes a lot sense in 2023.

Do you need to see new Android-powered Floor units?

31 votes

Samsung already provides unofficial Microsoft telephones

samsung galaxy a13 microsoft bloatware

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Maybe the most important motive for shoppers to skip new Android-powered Microsoft smartphones is Samsung. The corporate’s telephones, together with the Galaxy S collection and Galaxy foldables, are successfully Microsoft telephones in all however title.

Samsung’s telephones supply quite a lot of pre-installed Microsoft apps for starters, together with Outlook, LinkedIn, Workplace, and OneDrive. The 2 firms even labored collectively to supply foldable-focused enhancements in apps like Groups and Outlook. The Microsoft extras don’t finish right here for Samsung house owners.

Samsung telephones already supply pre-installed Microsoft apps and unique options for Home windows connectivity.

Microsoft additionally provides a Link To Windows service on quite a lot of Android telephones, permitting customers to obtain cellular notifications, ship/obtain texts, entry cellphone photographs, and extra through their PC. However Samsung telephones (together with the Floor Duo and Honor Magic 4 Pro) acquire further semi-exclusive options, similar to cross-device drag-and-drop, cross-device copy/paste, utilizing your cellphone apps on PC, and extra.

In different phrases, Samsung telephones are as near a Microsoft expertise as you may get in some ways. Even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates opts for a Galaxy Z Fold 4. However there are additionally a couple of areas the place Samsung telephones and foldables will possible be higher than any Microsoft Android machine.

Microsoft’s {hardware} and software program go away us wanting

Microsoft Surface Duo using opened and typing

David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung telephones are virtually assured to supply a greater digital camera expertise than a brand new Microsoft slab or foldable cellphone. Microsoft’s days of getting the most effective (and even nice) smartphone cameras are lengthy gone, and the Floor Duo and Floor Duo 2 certainly demonstrated that. Samsung, alternatively, remains to be one of many prime manufacturers for images.

Microsoft’s Floor Duo collection additionally doesn’t encourage a lot confidence by way of general {hardware}. The primary Duo specifically introduced a previous-generation flagship chipset, 60Hz screens, a single rear digital camera, no NFC, no wi-fi charging, and no 5G for an eye-watering $1,400 in 2020. The Duo 2 addressed virtually all of those points, however for $100 extra. Evidently, whereas the Floor Duo 2 suggests Microsoft is studying from its {hardware} missteps, it’s far too early to inform whether or not a future Floor Duo 3 and Floor cellphone might be compelling {hardware} propositions.

Extra studying: The best foldable phones worth buying today

The corporate’s obvious change to a foldable display for the Floor Duo 3 additionally presents further {hardware} challenges. Samsung has spent over 4 years refining its present foldables, delivering ultra-thin glass, more durable folding screens, S Pen help, and water resistance. We’re positive Microsoft can undertake a few these developments, however the Redmond agency remains to be on the again foot on this regard.

There’s extra to a cellular machine than {hardware}, although. All of the shiny components imply nothing if the software program isn’t adequate, and Microsoft discovered this out with each the first-gen Floor Duo and Floor Duo 2.

We thought the first-gen mannequin had horribly buggy software program in our Surface Duo review, starting from UI points and unlocking glitches to lacking backgrounds and extra. Issues appeared just a little higher with the Floor Duo 2, but it surely nonetheless reportedly shipped with a ton of bugs. Microsoft launched a gentle stream of updates to repair these issues after launch, however you shouldn’t anticipate such a extreme lack of polish once you’re paying properly over $1,000.

Future Android-powered Microsoft units will possible lag behind rivals with regards to software program polish and {hardware}.

The corporate’s monitor file on this space mixed with a change to a folding display means unpolished software program is sort of inevitable with the Floor Duo 3, even with Android 13’s enhancements. However Samsung additionally edges out Microsoft’s earlier Floor Duo units with regards to software updates, providing 4 OS updates and 5 years of safety patches. In contrast, the Floor Duo 2 should deliver three OS updates and three years of safety patches.

However right here’s why it is perhaps definitely worth the gamble

Microsoft Surface Duo hinge

David Imel / Android Authority

Regardless of all these arguments towards a correct Floor foldable and Floor cellphone line, there are nonetheless a few the explanation why we’d need to see these merchandise. For one, we’d welcome these new units in the event that they represented a part of a targeted, long-term cellular technique for Microsoft. In spite of everything, what’s the purpose of shopping for right into a model’s merchandise if it decides to go away the phase in a couple of years? A protracted-term dedication would hopefully lead to extra strong merchandise in a couple of generations — simply take a look at Google’s Pixel line.

Microsoft can be uniquely positioned as a Home windows platform-holder. It will probably carry deeper, native PC integration with any future Android-powered units. So that you won’t should go for Apple’s ecosystem or get a Chromebook if you’d like a very seamless cross-device expertise.

We’d additionally stay up for these new merchandise just because Microsoft’s earlier Floor Duo units have delivered some fascinating and modern options. The primary-generation Duo launched app spanning throughout two screens and the power to launch two apps on the identical time. We additionally noticed another fascinating options such because the notification peek performance (supplying you with a glimpse of alerts once you partially open the machine) and drag-and-drop between apps.

In different phrases, a Floor Duo 3 foldable or Floor cellphone would probably make for a extra thrilling, modern smartphone panorama. However even when these units are commercially unsuccessful, they might finally seed the trade with contemporary concepts and ideas.

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