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Microsoft’s return to the smartphone market offers 2 screens, Android software

The Microsoft Surface Duo is coming out this month.

Microsoft Surface Duo hits the shelves this month, marking the company̵

7;s long-awaited return to the smartphone market.

The $ 1399 Duo is a “foldable” phone – a category that includes Samsung’s $ 1,999 Galaxy Z Fold2 and Motorola’s Razr 5G for $ 1,399. When these devices feature an ultra-thin foldable screen, the Duo instead has two screens. connected by a hinge mechanism.

“Two screens next to each other is what this product is all about,” Microsoft Chief Product Officer Panos Panay told ABC Audio.

Digital Trends editor-in-chief Jeremy Kaplan said the presence of two screens allows users to split data more easily.

“Microsoft engineers have relied on cognitive science. And they’ve shown that by splitting this thing, which actually has two physical screens, your brain is better able to process information.”

But the presence of a dual-screen device comes with flaws that were noted in the Duo’s early reviews.

“There is a learning curve that comes with it,” Panay said. “You see that in the reviews you can feel it in the conversations.”

He said it could take some time to warm up to the device’s new form factor.

“I don’t think you’re going to be frustrated. It’s just a matter of finding all the things you can do with the device that takes time.”

Other complaints from reviewers have focused on setting up the Duo’s camera. The Duo has an 11-megapixel camera sensor. Samsung’s recently unveiled Galaxy Z Fold 2 boasts five cameras – three of which are 12-megapixel devices.

“They keep asking us: why didn’t you put a better camera on the back of the device? But in the end, it wasn’t meant for that,” Panay said.

The duo also drew attention to its software. Existing Windows phones used Microsoft’s internally designed operating system. The duo uses Google’s Android software. Panay said that the reason why Microsoft chose to borrow software from another technology giant was the predominance of Google applications.

“Android is so powerful for this product. You know, the millions of apps you can choose from – the ones that matter most to you.”

This is the mood of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reflected in an interview with ABC Audio last year, after the partnership with Google was first announced.

“We felt there was a real need for someone to come out and innovate at this next point of inflection around dual-screen devices, and we said, ‘Let’s use Android,'” Nadella said at the time.

Kaplan believes that Microsoft is making a sensible decision by partnering with Google.

“It makes sense to lean on Android here. Microsoft said, “We want to be where our customers are, we want to be where people are.” And where are the people? They are in the Google Play Store. They use Android phones. “

As for the future of foldable smartphones, Panay said he was optimistic.

“I think that’s the main factor in which phones or telephones have to move,” Panay said.

Listen to ABC News Radio’s Dave Packer report on Microsoft’s return to the smartphone market:

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