Surface Duo Unboxing, Setup, Comparison and Review

by birtanpublished on October 5, 2020

Hi everyone aaron here for zollotech and this is microsoft's surface duo i've been looking forward to this for almost a year it's something just a little bit different than what we normally see unfortunately it's very expensive 13.99 will get you 128 gigabytes of storage where 14.99 will get you 256 gigabytes of storage so this is the 128 gigabyte variant it's not expandable and it's ufs 3.0 storage so it should be pretty fast now i haven't used a microsoft device or windows phone

Since the original window phone windows phone seven days and that kind of went away i really liked that so i have great hopes for this but it is early on so let's go ahead and open it up and take a closer look so this is the surface duo it comes in one color glacier white now let's go ahead and open it up i've got a little pull tab to take the wrapper off so that didn't work with the pull tab let's go ahead and open this up and see what we've got so we'll pull

Back the wrapper and let's open it up there we go and so here's the phone itself and it's much heavier than i thought it would be let's see what's in the box here so nothing there it says surface duo bumper so it comes with a bumper and it shows you how to attach it so it's two pieces i think that are adhered with i guess tape that are held onto the device so you just have this bumper

Gives it a little bit of an extra protection i'll set that aside for now so inside we've got a little bit of documentation it looks like so we've got a sim card removal tool then we have a little quick start guide i think just has a little overview of the device and your warranty manual now under that this looks like it's probably usb so inside we've got a usbc to usbc cable and then we should have i believe this is an 18 watt fast charger so not the fastest out

There looks like we open it from this side not the fastest out there but it should be fine to charge it so let's slide this out and you can see here's the charger it says 18 watt opens like that and it has a usbc on the bottom for charging so it's a usb 3.1 port on the bottom of the phone too so it should help as far as data transfer now let's go ahead and open this up so this is just a slab of solid glass is what it feels like

And there we have the device so this is both bigger and smaller in ways it's a little wider than i expected it feels built very very well and let's take a look around the outside of it now on the right hand panel in the right side we've got a fingerprint reader we've got a power sleep wake button along with a volume rocker looks like we have our sim card tray down here let's go ahead and pop that sim card out take a look at it now this should have an esim built in unless you get the at t

Variant if you get the unlocked variant it should have an e sim plus a physical sim and that is probably the thinnest sim card tray i've ever seen but it's a single sim card so we'll slide that into place put a sim card in there a little bit later now if we go to the bottom of the device you can see there's one usbc port and that's where you charge the device or connect to it for different uses for data transfer of course on the hinge we just have a

Looks like stainless steel it's very heavy like i said on the top there's nothing here and looks like that's it so let's open it up here and you can see we have a camera and a flash we'll talk more about that in a little bit and then we should have a single speaker it looks kind of like it's down here although that could be a microphone in there as well and then you have a spot for your earphone so if you're on a phone call so that's really all you have it's very

Simple that way now let's go over the specs and then we'll turn it on so you've got two displays you've got dual 5.6 inch color matched amoled displays they're 1800 by 1 350 pixels with 401 pixels per inch together they're 8.1 inches and they're covered in gorilla glass 5 both front and on the back of the device inside is a snapdragon 855 with six gigabytes of ram and then we have wi-fi 802.11 a b g n ac but there is no wi-fi six

Also it has bluetooth 5.0 we also have 4g or lte there is no 5g and then the camera is where it's a little bit interesting it's an 11 megapixel camera f 2.0 with an 84 degree field of view but there's no optical image stabilization but rather gyro based image stabilization however it can record up to 4k 60. internally it has a 3577 milliamp hour battery there is no wireless charging and there is 18 watt fast charging according to microsoft this runs android

10 it has three years of regular updates and it has microsoft office included as well as solitaire so let's go ahead and turn it on so we'll press and hold here hopefully it has a charge there we go so it's turning on and the screen is fairly reflective as you can see there's the camera above me i'll just wait for it to boot up it says powered by android on the right screen we'll zoom in a little bit and here it says hello let's get started setting up your surface duo you can pick your language here we'll

Pick english you also have vision settings then we'll add a wi-fi network now that we have our wi-fi network it's checking for updates i do like how they've done this dual screen here you'll see there's an update here 259 megabytes so i'll go ahead and hit next it says your system is up to date android 10 from the may 5th 2020 version so it definitely needs an update it's kind of interesting how it split this and it's saying installing system update so i'm not sure if i'm supposed to hit

Next here i guess we'll wait for it to install and then we'll be right back now the dual has finished updating and we're back at the start so let's go ahead and hit continue it says put in a sim card if you have one i'm going to skip that for now we'll hit next and it's looking for another update let's see what we have it says bring your data from a backup android phone i think for now i'm just going to not copy i want to get to the main screen here

And here's where we sign in with gmail so i'll sign in and we'll continue from here and i have to say this hardware so far is amazing we'll talk more about that in a minute so now i'm signed in i'll go ahead and hit next it says access your assistant with voice match i'll go ahead and hit next or i agree of course you can skip any of that it recognizes my voice already you have to accept the software license terms and then it wants you to sign in with

Microsoft so we'll go ahead and hit sign in once you're signed in with your microsoft account you can send optional data if you'd like so i find it's easier to type this way let's open it back up so you can see here and we'll go ahead and hit accept then it says use location for local weather i think i will we'll hit accept and then keep your memories safe using that or using one drive so i'll hit accept of course you can use google photos as well and

Then keep your calendars except in sync protect your duo so it wants to set up a pin so i'll set up a pin now it wants me to add my fingerprint so this is a little interesting on the side here similar to what the z fold 2 i has i suppose then it says add another or hit next and then adding finishing touches it says go to your home screen swipe up from the bottom when your surface do is in landscape swipe left showing you how to go back and there we

Go so this is the default home screen i guess there's no wallpaper so let's go ahead and well i guess there is it just faded in quite admittedly i actually had to learn how to use it for a while i recorded some of this video i didn't like it so i thought i'd spend some time figuring out how to use it and then talk about it so i've set it up it's ready to go and let's take a look at the wallpapers because this one's kind of dark so we'll go to change wallpaper we'll change the wallpaper and we have a

Few different options here so i guess i'll just pick i suppose this one we'll hit apply and then it changes so now you can see it's a little bit better the screens are quite good the viewing angles are really nice they're pretty decent amoled displays no issues there and i haven't had any eye strain issues so far with this being pwm control that's what controls the brightness on the display so it must be high enough that it's not a problem microsoft's pretty good about this on

Their surface devices and this seems to follow right along now after the update everything seems to be fairly smooth however if you have a bunch of apps open it's definitely not smooth so you have these apps they've already sort of configured some dual apps for you that use both screens you scroll up you've got your app drawer like you would expect so you can just scroll around and then also you just swipe back and forth of course you have your notification shade you can pull it down on either side

It doesn't matter where and it's a little bit tricky to learn how to use so for example maybe i want the play store open and then on this side maybe we want to open edge and so that works fine it's working okay there and then let's cancel this and maybe i want to span edge across both displays so you kind of have to make an intentional move you'll see it just kind of slipped out of my fingers and it did that again

So you have to sort of make an intentional mute move then it will span across both displays so it's kind of interesting the way it's doing it will go to the search here was looking for maybe trying a different keyboard with it but it seems to work okay but it does take a little bit of getting used to so we'll swipe up again and then what you do is you swipe up and hold and then you've got your app switcher so we'll go to this version of edge and it pops in here we can switch between different windows

Again swipe up and hold and then we can go to our app switcher if we want to remove an app we swipe it to the right if we're on this side of the screen we can go over here move our settings bring up the switcher then we swipe it to the left it's kind of weird you do have to get a little bit used to it it's intuitive once you figure it out now if we go into settings you'll see that this is not android 11. they haven't updated it yet so if we go into systems system update you'll see that we're on

Well over here the september 5th update so we have the latest security patch but we only have android 10. so this should be supported for three years so i look forward to that but you'll see some of the behaviors are a little slow sometimes they just close they don't swipe off nicely so it's sort of hit or miss it doesn't feel complete 100 and some of the ways this works is pretty interesting so now you can make app groups they have some pre-made groups so we'll tap on learn

And you'll see it opens one note and microsoft edge and again sometimes it's super smooth sometimes it's not you'll see it didn't respond there for a moment and i keep running into this so i thought it was me but then maybe it was all of the apps that were open so if we swipe all the way to the bottom close all then it sort of speeds up a little bit more maybe it needs a little bit more ram but most of the time it's okay and so if you swipe to the right you've got your news or whatever

It sets up here good afternoon erin it says and then it's got some customized news and then at a glance and i do like it but it feels like it's a little bit incomplete it definitely will benefit from a future software update now when you go into things like the camera for example so you'll see the camera opens up it's fine on one display that works great we also have the option for 4k 60 videos so you'll see here's our different video formats 4k 30. you can record in h.264 or h.265

Whichever you'd like you've got video stabilization which uses the gyros you've got hdr if you want to use that and then of course grid i actually like to use the grid you've got shutter sound location tags so you've got some nice camera settings so let's take a listen to what this camera is like since this is the front and rear facing camera so if we go to video here we'll go ahead and hit record and now i'm recording from the surface duo camera so

I'm not sure what this sounds like but let me know what you think it sounds like in the comments below is it decent how is it compared to this microphone here let me know what you think in the comments below along with what you think of the video as well and so that's the camera you'll see it's it kind of stuttered there just a moment but if you want to use this on the other side maybe you want to take a photo what we do is we flip to this posture as they call it

And then we want to go to the back screen we're supposed to be able to double tap but it doesn't always work so it doesn't there we go now it says double tap to switch screens and now it's doing something there we go let's switch screens so it's not super intuitive it's not exactly how you think it should work and i think they have some work to do as far as that goes so let's go ahead and take a photo we'll put down this old windows phone 7 device or windows phone and there's the photo so let's go into

The photo and it looks okay it's hard to say because i haven't blown it up on a big screen but i wanted to compare a few from maybe the pixel 4 xl and the note 20 ultra so those are phones that are actually less expensive than this device and so i wanted to see what that was like so let's go ahead and take a look at some of those now so

So those were some photos and video from the surface duo i think it's okay it's not a horrible camera like some people are saying but it's definitely not great either i think it's okay but for the price it's a little disappointing now as far as speakers well there's only one speaker so let's take a listen to it let's go into my video here the surface pro x we'll expand it see if we can watch it this way see it's a little bit strange i guess we'll watch it this way for now

So i'll move the microphone so you can hear it alcantara back so let me move all of this aside and then we'll boot the surface pro up let's go ahead and click this into place and just for a quick size comparison let me bring over the surface pro 7. now without the keyboard covers they're the same weight 1.7 pounds at full volume it's not very loud and it's not very clear if you bring it down just a bit it clears up

Some but it's just not great it's not a great audio experience you'll have to use headphones for that and that's a little bit disappointing that's one of the compromises when you make something this thin now as far as gaming yes you can do it on this device so let's go into asphalt 9. we'll take a look at it and you can actually span this across multiple displays so if i bring this up we'll bring it across and see it doesn't work that time there we go and of course you don't

Necessarily want to play it spanned across both displays like this so i just started this so you could take a look at it we'll let it run and of course you don't have to play it across both displays so we'll let it load here just so you can take a look now this is 60 hertz it's not going to run at 120 hertz like say the galaxy z fold 2 or a note 20 ultra or anything like that but it runs at 60 which is fine for most things except for maybe

Gaming so or the smoothness so this gives you an idea of what it looks like so it's loaded and of course we can go through the tutorial now i can swipe up and maybe bring it over here let's bring this down we'll bring it over here and i accidentally closed it so that gives you an idea of where it's a little bit of a pain let's go into call of duty mobile and now i don't really want to span this across both displays i want to flip it

This way and it went to the other screen so that's where i said it's a little weird the way it acts it doesn't do exactly what i would hope it would do so i'll wait for this to log in and we'll see what it looks like as far as frame rates so the game is loaded i'm in a game it's ready to go you'll see it hiccup there just a little bit but it's it's working okay frame rates are not incredible but it seems to look okay it's smooth enough if you want to use this for a

Little bit of a break time you could do that so no issues here looks nice and smooth for the most part but it's not at the highest graphics level so just keep that in mind now if you want to get out of the game that's where it's a little bit tricky so see i'm swiping there's a line there well let's open it up and now we're kind of out of it and if i swipe then i finally can get out of it so some of this is a little bit difficult hopefully they refine this over time

Now i know this device according to panos pine of microsoft is what they call a third generation device they've been working on it for a while but the software feels more first generation to me and so for example just some of the odd behaviors you see as i'm going around so that's something i would love to see refined in the future but also with the postures as they call it with this phone it's kind of interesting so you can turn it off turn it back on you've got the time peeking out on the side as a posture

You also have it open then of course you have sort of a tent posture if you want to watch video this way you can do that and of course you have the typical phone posture as well so these are kind of interesting i do like that it's different it's offering something unique but it's a little awkward to use from time to time and it's definitely a two-handed device unless you're on the phone now i definitely can see this as a productivity device when you're using mail or something else like that maybe you're using youtube and then

You're using maybe your news off to the side those are already pre-made so you have those options again swiping up we'll swipe up there we go sometimes it acts a little funny and if you get your hands on one of these you'll understand what i mean it's not as fluid as say a note 20 ultra or a pixel experience now while playing the game it did get a little bit warm on the back nothing too severe but it did warm up a little bit it was warm when when i set it up as well and in general

I think it'll be just fine as far as playing games with it now microsoft did a phenomenal job with the hardware of this device in fact the way it feels is better than almost any other phone out there and i haven't gotten my hands on the z fold 2 yet but in general this just feels like an incredibly high quality piece of hardware the hinge stays put wherever you put it it holds its own weight and when you close it it has a nice thunk and it just feels very high quality either direction

It just sounds really good little attentions to detail like that just make it feel very premium and it should at fourteen hundred dollars but at this price i would expect better software and better overall specs maybe eight or twelve gigs of ram as well as maybe a bigger battery and those bezels are just huge so i would love to see those shrunk but other than that i think it's a great first attempt but it's very niche for certain people i don't think this is for everyone

And i think this is for people that want to be very productive care a little bit about the camera but not a ton and just want something they can use for notes for email for daily tasks at work i think it's phenomenal for that but outside of that if you're into cameras if you're into high-end displays if you want a gaming phone this isn't for you for this price i would wait and maybe go with a note 20 ultra an iphone whatever works for you but i

Love the concept i can't wait to see what they have in the future but let me know what you think about it in the comments below also if you'd like to get your hands on the wallpaper that's on this display i'll link it in the description like i normally do and if you haven't subscribed already please subscribe and if you enjoyed the video please give it a like as always thanks for watching i'll see you next time you

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