Microsoft Surface Duo release – Android fans just got a radical new smartphone

Microsoft is returning to the smartphone world with the launch of its new Surface Duo. The surprise announcement was made during Microsoft’s annual hardware event in New York City.

During the packed event, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, and a new 4G-enabled, ultra-thin two-in-one called Microsoft Surface Pro X. There was a pair of new Apple AirPods challengers, dubbed Surface Earbuds. And finally, it unmasked a larger dual-screen gadget, dubbed Surface Neo, which runs an entirely new version of Windows 10. It also ships with a Surface Pen stylus and a keyboard cover, which attach magnetically to the rear of the device to charge wirelessly.

And of course, the Surface Duo, which is a smaller twist on the dual-screen device. Like the larger Surface Neo, the Surface Duo features two screens which work in sync to offer users a larger area for their content.

The clamshell design also means you can close the device to make it smaller and better protected when placing it in your bag. Unlike previous Microsoft phones, the Duo will be powered by Android allowing Microsoft fans to gain access to millions of apps – as well as the Android versions of many of Microsoft’s most popular apps, including Office, OneNote, and more.

The Surface Duo arrives with two 5.6-inch displays which, as we mentioned earlier can be fully unfolded to reveal an  8.3-inch tablet – although unlike the new Galaxy Fold you will have to put up with a hinge through the middle of the screen.

Microsoft has confirmed that each screen can run two separate apps at the same time or you can run one application and use the other screen as a keyboard or game controller.

Full specs are still to be announced but it’s thought the Surface Duo will be powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor – there’s no word on RAM, storage or rear camera specs.

Microsoft says this is foremost a Surface device meaning users should be able to use for productivity along with calling home and it will bring the best of Microsoft and Google into one device.

It will arrive summer next year but there’s no word on price or full specs just yet.