Microsoft’s foldable just doesn’t make much sense anymore, or does it?

Microsoft Surface Duo in handbook mode

David Amell/Android Authority

Microsoft hasn’t released a new Android device since 2021 Surface Duo 2However, a new report may have shed some light on the company’s future plans.

Windows Central It reported that Microsoft abandoned the dual-screen design of its previous Surface Duo devices in favor of development Surface Duo 3 with foldable display (closer to Galaxy Z Fold Line). Further, the outlet’s sources confirm that the company is planning to launch a more traditional slate-type smartphone similar to other phones.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Microsoft’s traditional foldable smartphone will make much sense in 2023.

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Samsung already offers unofficial Microsoft phones

Samsung galaxy a13 microsoft bloatware

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Perhaps the biggest reason for consumers to skip Microsoft’s new Android smartphones is samsung. The company’s phones, including the Galaxy S and Galaxy foldable series, are effectively Microsoft phones except in name.

Samsung phones offer a variety of pre-installed Microsoft apps for starters, including Outlook, LinkedIn, Office, and OneDrive. The two companies worked together to pitch Folding improvements In apps like Teams and Outlook. Additional Microsoft features don’t end here for Samsung owners.

Samsung phones already offer pre-installed Microsoft apps and features exclusive to Windows Connect.

Microsoft also offers a Link to Windows A service on a variety of Android phones, allowing users to receive mobile notifications, send/receive texts, access phone photos, and more via their PC. But Samsung phones (along with Surface Duo and Honor Magic 4 Pro) Get semi-exclusive additional features such as drag and drop across devices, copy/paste across devices, use your phone apps on PC, and more.

In other words, Samsung phones are as close to the Microsoft experience as you can get in a number of ways. Even co-founder Microsoft Bill Gates selects the Galaxy Z Fold 4. But there are also a few areas where Samsung phones and foldable devices are likely to be better than any Microsoft Android device.

Microsoft hardware and software leave us wanting

Microsoft Surface Duo using open and write

David Amell/Android Authority

Samsung phones will almost certainly offer a better camera experience than Microsoft’s new pad or foldable phone. Microsoft’s days when you had the best (or even the coolest) Smartphone cameras We are Long Gone, and the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 really prove it. On the other hand, Samsung is still one of the best photography brands out there.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo series also doesn’t inspire much confidence in terms of hardware in general. The first Duo in particular brought a previous-generation flagship chipset, 60Hz displays, a single rear camera, no NFC, no wireless charging, and no 5G for $1,400 in 2020. The Duo 2 addressed nearly all of those issues, but for $100 more. Needless to say, while the Surface Duo 2 suggests that Microsoft is learning from its hardware mistakes, it’s too early to tell if the future Surface Duo 3 and Surface Phone will be compelling hardware.

Further reading: The best foldable phones worth buying today

The company’s apparent shift to a foldable display for the Surface Duo 3 presents additional hardware challenges. Samsung has spent more than four years improving its existing foldable devices, introducing ultra-thin glass and tougher foldable screens, S Pen Support and water resistance. We’re sure Microsoft could adopt a couple of these developments, but the Redmond company is still in a weak spot in this regard.

There is more to a mobile device than hardware, though. All the shiny parts mean nothing if the software isn’t good enough, and Microsoft caught that with both the first-generation Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2.

We thought the first generation model had horribly buggy software in our area Surface Duo review, from UI issues and unlock glitches to missing wallpapers and more. Things looked a little better with the Surface Duo 2, but it reportedly still shipped with a lot of bugs. Microsoft released a steady stream of updates to fix these issues after launch, but you shouldn’t expect such a severe lack of polish when you’re paying over $1,000.

Microsoft’s future Android devices will likely lag behind its competitors when it comes to software and hardware polish.

The company’s track record in this area combined with the switch to a foldable display means uncut software is almost inevitable with the Surface Duo 3, even with Android 13’s improvements. But Samsung is also beating Microsoft’s previous Surface Duo devices when it comes to Program updates, offering four operating system updates and five years of security patches. By contrast, the Surface Duo 2 must deliver Three OS updates and three years of security patches.

But that’s why it’s worth the gamble

Microsoft Surface Duo hinge

David Amell/Android Authority

Despite all of these arguments against a foldable Surface Phone line and a proper Surface Phone line, there are still a couple of reasons why we want to see these products. First, we welcome these new devices if they are part of Microsoft’s long-term focused mobile strategy. After all, what’s the point of buying into a brand’s products if you decide to leave the part in a few years? Hopefully, the long-term commitment will lead to more solid products in a few generations — just look at Google’s Pixel line.

Microsoft is also uniquely positioned as the owner of the Windows platform. It can achieve deeper and native PC integration with any Android devices in the future. So you may not have to choose the Apple ecosystem or get a file Chromebook If you want a truly seamless experience across devices.

We’re also looking forward to these new products simply because Microsoft’s previous Surface Duo devices introduced some exciting and innovative features. The first generation Duo offered an app that spanned two screens and the ability to run two apps at the same time. We also saw some other interesting features such as the notification peek function (it gives you a glimpse of alerts when the device is partially unlocked) and drag and drop between apps.

In other words, the Surface Duo 3 foldable phone or Surface Phone is likely to bring a more exciting and innovative landscape to smartphones. But even if these devices are not commercially successful, they could eventually infuse the industry with new ideas and concepts.

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