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Why Reviews Are Mixed for Microsoft’s Dual-Screen Phone


There’s a lot of talk over foldable phones and whether they’re the future of smartphones. Microsoft decided to go a slightly different route to get a giant screen phone in the Surface Duo 2. The phone is out now, and so are the mixed reviews for Microsoft’s dual-screen phone.

Surface Duo 2 Reviews

New phone reviews are always interesting to examine, as it’s fun to see how the internet as a whole is responding to a new device. In the case of the Surface Duo 2, it’s even more entertaining because the phone has such an unconventional design.

RELATED: Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2 Blows the Original Away

As it turns out, it’s hard to draw an accurate conclusion from the reviews for the $1,500 dual-screen phone from Microsoft. Some critics seem to like the improvements Microsoft made over the original Surface Duo, and some seem less impressed.

Josh Hendrickson with Review Geek offered hands-on impressions with the device, and he was mostly positive with his experience. “It’s too soon to say if the Surface Duo 2 is just ‘better on paper’ or if that translates to real life. I do know this; I missed having its multi-tasking capabilities. I’m looking forward to having a ‘desktop in my pocket’ again. We’ll have to see if it stays in my pocket … or if I’ll return it again,” Hendrickson said.

Over on Engadget, reviewer Cherlynn Low gave the Surface Duo 2 a 63/100, which is decent but not exactly enough to make you want to run out and drop $1,500 of your hard-earned money. The review cited some improvements over the preview model but mentioned that the phone still has problems. “But despite having addressed many of the previous generation’s issues and adding some useful features, the Duo 2 remains a frustrating device,” Low said in the review.

Cnet was a little happier with the Surface Duo 2, giving it a 7.8/10. While it’s still not a scare that’ll blow you away, it’s perfectly respectable. One of the biggest issues cited by Lisa Eadicicco is the lack of optimized apps for the dual-screen layout. Eadicicco said, “For a device like the Surface Duo 2 to be worth it, the two-screened app experience needs to be materially better than the single-screen app experience. That’s just not true today since there are still so many popular apps that aren’t optimized.”

The Verge seems to have fallen more in line with Engadget from a scoring perspective, giving the phone a 6/10. Reviewer Dan Seifert cited some negatives, including:

  • Frustrating bugs
  • Lousy camera
  • Expensive
  • Awkward form factor to actually use

Windows Central definitely knows Microsoft, so it’s interesting to see the perspective of reviewer Daniel Rubino. The review seems to follow a similar trend to others, citing improved hardware with software that isn’t up to par. “Microsoft’s latest dual-screen Android phone gets major hardware revisions, which positively alters the experience, but the software still holds it back from greatness,” said Rubino.

Outside of the traditional tech websites, CNN also published a review of the Microsoft Surface Duo 2. Overall, it sounds like reviewer Jacob Krol is quite happy with the phone. The review kicks off with the following: “Polish and refinement — the two words to sum up Microsoft’s Surface Duo 2. After several days with this dual-screen phone, it’s clear that Microsoft corrected mistakes and listened to feedback with the Duo 2.” Krol summed up the phone by saying, “Duo 2 is ultimately best for someone who wants to focus on two apps at once and seeks a device that puts productivity at the very center.”

Software Is the Problem

While it seems like Microsoft really listened to the complaints thrown it after the release of the original Surface Duo from a hardware perspective, it doesn’t appear that the company managed to get the software right. While the phone seems to be a lot better than the first-generation, it looks like it still has some work to do to justify that $1,500 price tag.

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