Windows Central Portal Editor Zach Bowden informsthat the next foldable smartphone in the Surface lineup won’t be a dual-screen device. Microsoft spent about a year prototyping and experimenting with the hardware of the new Surface Duo, but eventually decided to move to a design with a 180-degree hinge, an internal folding display, and an external display on one side. In appearance, the smartphone may resemble Vivo X Fold and Honor Magic Vs.
The new foldable smartphone variant came after the Surface Duo 3 dual-screen design was completed. With the new generation of Surface Duo, engineers wanted to reduce the bezels around the displays, add support for wireless charging, and improve several other components. The device was planned to be released to the market at the end of 2023.
Interestingly, Microsoft began exploring folding screen smartphones in late 2021 when it received mixed reviews for the Surface Duo 2.
It is still premature to talk about the technical characteristics of the future device. It is also unknown if Microsoft plans to create a software feature or mode to simulate two screens. The release date of the device is also not indicated, so it is unlikely that it will be ready by the fall of 2023.
By the way, not so long ago, Microsoft filed several patents for foldable devices with a single screen and a 360-degree hinge, which is why there have been speculations on the network that this is exactly what the next Surface Duo will be. But, apparently, this is not so. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans say the device will feature a 180-degree hinge like most other foldable smartphones on the market.
Such a serious change in the form factor may well lead to a change in the name of the product. This would be quite logical, because in this form the device will no longer be a traditional Surface Duo. The company could take advantage of this to rebrand the line, as it did with the Surface Book. However, the decision has not been made, so internally the device is still considered Surface Duo 3.
Zach Bowden also reports that Microsoft is actively working on software to make the device more different from other competitors with the Android operating system. The project is called “Perfect Together” and aims to create an ecosystem between Android and Windows PCs, similar to the one that exists between iPhone and Mac.
Moreover, Microsoft wants to expand its line of Android smartphones and is considering other form factors. Within the company, there are several prototype smartphones in the traditional form factor, but the decision on the release of such products on the market has not yet been made. And if it does happen, then the foldable smartphone will become a device for enthusiasts, and the rest will be able to purchase something like the Surface Phone.