Surface Duo review—Orphaned Windows hardware makes a poor Android device


The Good

  • It's pretty. The flat glass and ultra-thin profile makes for a compelling ultra-premium looking design.

The Bad

  • The lack of a split keyboard means you're stuck with one-finger typing in the standard "book" configuration. You have to swap to single-screen mode to get two fingers on the keyboard.

  • The phone is extraordinarily wide for no reason. Android apps don't do well on wide screens, so you either get a huge UI or giant margins. The width means the phone doesn't fit well in a pocket and is hard to hold.

  • The whole notification experience is terrible, with a skinny notification panel and no way to see notifications when the phone is closed.

  • There's no NFC.

  • There's no wireless charging.

  • There's no water resistance.

  • There's no high refresh rate display.

  • Microsoft is shipping last year's SoC.

  • You will probably break the USB port.

  • The software is very buggy, and you should expect to regularly fight with wonky gestures, a wonky touchscreen, and lots of problems that will need a reboot or at least closing and opening the phone again.

  • The $1400 price tag.

The Ugly

  • Microsoft's "We would really like to ship this existing hardware" mentality ruined all the hype around its entrance into the Android ecosystem.

This reads like something put out by my employer, not a company with the resources of Microsoft … 😑