The Original Microsoft Surface Duo Is Already Entering Retirement

Three years after its launch, the original Microsoft Surface Duo has officially reached its end-of-servicing date. The dual-screened phone will no longer receive security updates, and any remaining Surface Duos are stuck running Android 12L. While three years of software updates may seem unusual for a $1,399 smartphone, this should come as no surprise—Microsoft committed to three years at launch and held by its promise.

The Surface Duo will be remembered as a failure. Or, at the very least, a missed opportunity. Microsoft thought that enterprise customers would be interested in a dual-screened, productivity-oriented smartphone. It ignored the fact that similar concepts, such as the LG Wing, were largely seen as overpriced novelty items. It also attempted to challenge early foldable phones from Samsung and Motorola, which proved to be a bad idea, presumably because the Surface Duo’s $1,399 price tag dipped too far into foldable phone territory (the price slipped to about $800 not too long after Surface Duo’s launch).

In our review of the Surface Duo, we praised Microsoft for its interesting dual-screen software customizations, which gave the phone an edge in some situations (like copy-pasting from one app to another, or emulating a Nintendo DS). But the phone itself was lackluster, with an uninspired design and crappy cameras. The dual-screen also design proved to be pretty clunky when taking calls, watching videos, or performing most other everyday tasks. And Surface Duo was a bit fragile. Our unit began cracking and falling apart at the charging port just a week after we published our initial review.

We were more impressed by the Surface Duo 2, which addressed some of the problems we saw in the original unit. But, as you can probably guess, Surface Duo 2 also failed to make any waves. Surface Duo 2 will lose software support in October of 2024, and Microsoft hasn’t announced a followup.

If you’re still using an original Surface Duo, it’s time to consider an upgrade. But foldable phones are still a bit fragile, and there isn’t a real one-to-one replacement for Surface Duo, so you may end up with an old-fashioned smartphone. The good news is that there’s a big community of modders working on the Surface Duo, and at the very least, you can continue using yours as a game emulator.

Source: Microsoft via Windows Central

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