Is Surface Duo the mobile device Windows Phone fans have been looking for?

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In just two months, Microsoft will finally cease to be compatible with Windows 10 Mobile, leaving the remaining users on the side of the road. Windows Phone really died some time ago when Microsoft stopped offering new features to the operating system, while phone manufacturers stopped releasing new models following the HP Elite x3.

We know there are still fans who plan to continue using their Windows phones until the phones finally stop working, looking for used phones and spare batteries on the Internet. Impressive community work has also been done to make Windows 10 in ARM run on the Lumia 950 and the 950XL, although that is not a solution to give new life to these old devices.

After seeing the Highlander movie recently, I couldn't help, but think of the last Windows Phone user on Earth sometime in 2025 or later. "There can only be one," say the immortal warriors in that movie forced to kill each other until there is only one left. This inspired me to do a survey on Twitter yesterday to ask our readers about their mood regarding the death of Windows Phone.

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The last Windows Phone user on Earth, sometime in the next decade after all other phones have died. [19659005] In the survey, 20% of respondents said they planned to continue using Windows Phone until the end. 68% have already switched to iOS or Android, and the rest (13%) are waiting for the recently announced Microsoft Surface Duo.

After many rumors suggested that Microsoft stopped working on its "Andromeda" pocket device to focus on a larger dual-screen tablet It was really amazing to see Microsoft announce Surface Duo earlier this month. Unlike Surface Neo with Windows 10X, Surface Duo will run Android, which apparently surprised some Windows Phone users: as you may know, there has been a request calling Microsoft to launch a Windows 10X version of Duo, but this is Unlikely to happen.

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After Blackberry successfully abandoned its BB10 platform in favor of Android a couple of years ago, it shouldn't be so surprising to see Microsoft doing the same and taking advantage of the world's most popular mobile platform. Somehow, Android really is the mobile version of Windows these days: it is certainly not a walled garden like iOS, and there are many synergies with Windows 10 thanks to Your Phone and Microsoft Launcher.

Even so, some users may not find it convenient to have to use a Google account to get the best out of Android, and as seen in our survey, apparently more people want to stay on Windows Phone than switch to a Surface Duo with Android next year. If Android can make Surface Duo not an initiator for some Windows Phone fans, we assume that the dual-screen form factor can also be problematic for some. Over the years, Microsoft has dedicated the Surface brand to new form factors (except for the Surface Laptop), but perhaps a traditional smartphone with a premium Surface design and a great camera would make the Android pill easier to swallow for Windows Phone fans. [19659002] Panos Panay and his team did not really disappoint with the Surface Duo hardware, and using a 360 ° hinge to connect the two screens is probably a much safer bet compared to the fragile folding screen we've seen in the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Microsoft's demo applications that span the two screens also looked promising, although it remains to be seen if developers will update their Android applications to take advantage of these capabilities.

If the Surface Duo definitely looks promising, it seems that your camera may be one of the weaknesses of the device. The Surface Duo prototypes that Microsoft showed to the press did not have a rear-facing camera, and if that is not as convenient and consistent as the old Lumia cameras or the first-line sensors found on the latest iPhones or Galaxy smartphones, this It can be really problematic. I doubt that many consumers carry both a Surface Duo and a "normal" smartphone because the Duo's camera is unavailable or difficult to use.

Although Panos Panay claims that the hardware of the Surface Duo is locked, a black version of the dual-screen device has been seen with what looks like a location for a rear camera module. Microsoft still has plenty of time to modify the design of the Surface Duo before the devices are released on the 2020 vacation, and we really hope the company takes care of the camera. After all these years, we still have enthusiasts comparing the Lumia 950 / 950XL camera with the sensors of the latest flagship phones (Steve Litchfield at AAWP does a great job with that), and it would be great to see Microsoft make good use of its Technologies Nokia Lumia sensors in what will be your first pocket device in years.

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A prototype Surface Duo with a location for a rear camera module.

In a way, it's a shame that Microsoft couldn't send the Surface Duo this year in preparation for the larger version of Windows 10 X, Surface Neo, next year. Samsung recently started sending its Galaxy Fold device that received a polarized reception. Microsoft obviously has some work to do to adjust Android for Surface Duo, while also asking developers to update their applications for this new device. Samsung had to do the same and wasted no time, showing a prototype for the Galaxy Fold to developers in November 2018. It is still early for the dual screen and folding devices, and we expect Microsoft to share more details about its Android and Windows 10X Plans in Build 2019 next year.

I hope the Surface Duo meets our expectations and those of technology enthusiasts, but I'm still not completely convinced that the Duo is a mobile device that Microsoft fans have been waiting for all these years. I am afraid that an average camera that is not intuitive to use could make this device a prohibited option for many consumers, and I also fear that having two similar devices running different operating systems and applications will confuse consumers. We'll see what happens, but Microsoft really deserves credit for exceeding the limits, even at the risk of alienating some of its fans.

Do you think Surface Duo is the device that Microsoft and Windows Phone fans have been waiting for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Additional readings: Android, Microsoft, Surface Duo, Windows 10 Mobile, Windows Phone

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