Microsoft Shocks Everyone with New Dual-Screen Android ‘Phone’ and More

Surfaceneo 51 Credit: Microsoft
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Microsoft on Wednesday held its annual Surface keynote event. And while many of the announcements were expected, there were definitely a few big surprises, too. Here’s a quick recap.

Surface Neo and Microsoft 10X

It definitely seems like we’ve entered the era of foldable devices, with Microsoft debuting not one but two dual-screen products.

The first is the Microsoft Surface Neo, which is a folding tablet that sports two 9-inch displays, which users can combine into a 13-inch working area.

There’s also a compact keyboard that essentially turns the foldable device into a laptop.

It’ll also ship running Microsoft’s only software announcement at the event: Microsoft 10X. It’s an OS specifically optimized for dual-screen PCs and other devices.

Mostly, that means it’s been tailored to be more touch-friendly and resource-efficient. But it also features new ideas like a rich input area dubbed the WonderBar. Just think Apple’s Touch Bar, but larger and more flexible.

Microsoft says Surface Neo and Windows 10X will arrive in the latter half of next year.

Surface Duo

If you’re familiar with Microsoft’s efforts in the smartphone space, you know that they didn’t end well. But the PC-maker is trying again with the Surface Duo.

It’s essentially a scaled-down and pocketable version of the Surface Neo that runs Android. It packs two 5.6-inch displays that you can rotate and unfold completely to turn the device into an 8.3-inch, tablet-like product.

Interestingly, Microsoft really seemed hesitant to call it a smartphone. Instead, it’s an Android “device.”

Inside, you’ll find a Snapdragon 855 processor and a version of Android optimizing for a dual-screen platform. Each portion of the screen can run two apps simultaneously, but users can also use the secondary display as a built-in keyboard or game controller.

Elements of the device’s design have not been finalized yet (like, for example, whether it’ll even have a rear camera or not). It’ll ship along with the Surface Neo sometime in 2020.

Surface Buds

It was only a matter of time before Microsoft came out with its own version of the wireless Bluetooth headphones. And today, that version has arrived in the form of Surface Buds.

Like other efforts in this space, the Surface Buds aren’t all that surprising themselves. They’ll feature a charging case and touch-based controls. The design, however, is bound to be fairly divisive. They’ll start shipping this holiday season for $249.

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