It’s official: the troubled Floor Duo is now last-gen. Microsoft introduced its successor, the Floor Duo 2, throughout its latest fall Floor occasion, capping off months of rumors and introducing the gadget alongside the Floor Professional 8, Floor Laptop computer Studio, and a bevy of recent gadgets designed to reap the benefits of Home windows 11.
The brand new Android-based smartphone begins at $1,499.99 — $100 lower than the unique — and launches on October twentieth in a number of configurations. It retains the hinged design of its predecessor — solely this time, it comes outfitted with a extra thought-out digital camera system, 5G assist, and a contemporary processor that brings it extra according to flagships from Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus. And whereas it’s not a foldable within the conventional sense — it’s outfitted with two screens, not one — it’s not in a category of its personal, both. Blame the Galaxy Z Fold 3.
The Fold 3 not too long ago set the bar for what foldable telephones may obtain, bringing with it higher multitasking, a waterproof construct, and a refined show that’s a notable step up from the unique mannequin launched in 2019. However is Samsung’s premium foldable a match for the forthcoming Duo 2? In spite of everything, Samsung’s foldable is markedly completely different from Microsoft’s in the case of design.
The Fold 3 contains a smaller, 6.2-inch show that covers your complete entrance of the gadget. It additionally comprises a versatile, 7.6-inch OLED on the within, which unfurls as you open the cellphone with the help of an aluminum hinge. There’s nonetheless a small hole between the 2 sides when closed, nevertheless, which is seen on the Galaxy Z Flip 3 as properly. The latter cellphone — a completely completely different gadget from the Fold 3 we’re evaluating right here — additionally contains a foldable show, solely the gadget is smaller, folds vertically, and retails for $700 much less.
The Duo 2 doesn’t depend on a versatile show. Like its predecessor, it makes use of two separate, 5.8-inch OLED panels that quantity to eight.3 inches when considered collectively, with a big bezel operating between them. The hinge connecting the 2 shows means that you can fold the cellphone in half with the shows on the skin so you need to use the gadget one-handed, although the cellphone’s giant digital camera bump means they’ll by no means shut utterly.
The screens — whereas the promoting level — aren’t every little thing, nevertheless. Under, we’ve in contrast the Fold 3 and Duo 2 in additional element forward of our full Duo 2 overview.
Microsoft Floor Duo 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
|Specification||Microsoft Floor Duo 2||Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3|
|Specification||Microsoft Floor Duo 2||Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3|
|Primary display measurement||Twin 5.8-inch OLEDs (8.3-inch when considered collectively)||Single 7.6-inch OLED|
|Primary display decision||2688 x 1892, 401 ppi||2208 x 1768, 374 ppi|
|Cowl display measurement||N/A||6.2-inch OLED|
|Cowl display decision||N/A||2268 x 832, 387 ppi|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||256GB, 512GB|
|OS||Android 11||Android 11|
|Rear digital camera||12MP, f/1.7, 1.4µm (major),16MP, f/2.2, 1.0µm (ultra-wide), 12MP, f/2.4, 1.0µm (telephoto)||12MP, f/1.8, 1.8μm (major), 12MP, f/2.2, 1.2μm (ultra-wide), 12MP, f/2.4, 1.0μm (telephoto)|
|Entrance digital camera||12MP||10MP, f/2.2, 1.22μm (cowl), 4MP, f1/8, 2.0μm (major)|
|Video||HDR,1080p and 4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps, sluggish movement video at 120 or 240fps||HDR, 1080p and 4K video recording at 30 fps and 60 fps, sluggish movement 1080p video assist at 240 fps, tremendous slow-mo 720p video assist at 960 fps, hyperlapse 4K video assist at 30fps|
|Wi-fi connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1||Wi-fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Dimensions (open)||145.2 x 184.5 mm||158.2 x 128.1 mm|
|Dimensions (closed)||145.2 x 92.1 mm||158.2 x 67.1 mm|
|Thickness (open)||5.5 mm||6.4 mm|
|Thickness (closed)||11 mm||16 mm|
|Ports||USB-C charging port||USB-C charging port|
|5G assist||mmWave and sub-6GHz||mmWave and sub-6GHz|
|Stylus assist||Floor Pen, Floor Slim Pen, Floor Slim Pen 2||S Pen Fold Version|
|Biometrics||Fingerprint scanner||Fingerprint scanner|
Spec-for-spec, in some methods
To place it mildly: the unique Floor 2 had its shortcomings. The digital camera was atrocious, the software program buggy, and Microsoft was nonetheless charging a beginning value of $1,399 for simply the gadget, a staggering quantity when you think about the faults. And whereas it was seemingly launched untimely, it was progressive, a lot so The Verge’s Dieter Bohn hoped — like me — that we’d see a second iteration of the smartphone down the road.
Nicely, right here it’s.
On paper, the Floor Duo 2 appears to deal with most of the aforementioned issues. It’s outfitted with the identical high-end Snapdragon 888 processor discovered within the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which is Qualcomm’s newest chipset and the brains behind virtually each Android flagship launched this 12 months, from the Samsung Galaxy S21 to the OnePlus 9. Just like the Z Fold 3, the second-gen Duo shall be obtainable in each 128GB and 512GB storage configurations when it launches subsequent month, in addition to a further 128GB variant. The Duo 2 solely options 8GB of RAM, nevertheless, in comparison with the Fold 3’s 12GB. Software program optimization will definitely play a job in how environment friendly the cellphone is at multitasking, however the Fold 3 has the higher hand spec-wise. Each telephones additionally assist 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, and NFC for contactless funds — one thing the unique Duo didn’t provide — together with both Bluetooth 5.0 or 5.1.
Battery capability tells an analogous story. The Fold 3 packs in a 4,400mAh battery, which, in our testing, lasted a full day with roughly 4 hours of display time. The Duo 2 options twin batteries that add as much as a capability of 4,449mAh, and Samsung claims they need to present 15.5 hours of native video playback and 28 hours of speak time. Each fashions additionally assist quick charging and USB-C; nevertheless, the Fold 3 moreover helps wi-fi charging, whereas the Duo 2 doesn’t.
We’ll have a greater sense of how far that battery capability will get you as soon as we’ve examined the gadget, however the elevated capability on this 12 months’s Duo ought to assist it compensate for the 90Hz show and added 5G assist. The 2 batteries inside the unique Duo solely added as much as a mere 3,577mAh, but we routinely made it via a full day on a single cost. We’re hoping the identical may be stated of the Duo 2.
Shows on show
Like all foldables, the defining attribute of the Duo 2 and Fold 3 are the shows, which afford every smartphone extra display actual property and permit them to operate a bit extra akin to a pill when opened. On the within, the Fold 3 contains a brilliant, 7.6-inch OLED display with 2208 x 1768 decision and a 120Hz refresh fee for smoother scrolling. It additionally sports activities a 6.2-inch show on the duvet with 2268 x 832 decision and, once more, a 120Hz refresh fee. In our testing, we discovered each shows to be an enormous enchancment over earlier iterations, with the interior show showcasing an added stage of sturdiness because of Samsung’s customized aluminum alloy. The outside show on the Fold 3 additionally means you don’t must open the gadget with a view to use it, which renders it slightly nearer to a conventional cellphone.
The Duo 2, nevertheless, takes a distinct method. Inside, you’ll discover two 5.8-inch OLED panels, every with 1344 x 1892 decision and a 90Hz refresh fee. When opened, the twin panels create an 8.3-inch show with 2688 x 1892 decision, with a bezel operating between the 2. The Duo 2 doesn’t provide an exterior cowl just like the Fold 3; nevertheless, the curved glass on the sides of the show does showcase the time and a few notifications when the cellphone is closed, supplying you with some fundamental data at a look. The 360-degree hinge additionally means that you can open the Duo 2 like a e-book or prop it up like a tent, offering an added stage of flexibility.
The outward design of each fashions is as assorted as their method to the show. The Fold 3 is comparatively tall and slim when closed, weighing in at 271 grams. The hinge-reliant Duo 2 is barely shorter and heavier at 284 grams, although; it’s additionally thinner — so skinny, the truth is, that Microsoft claims the Duo 2 is the thinnest 5G gadget available on the market (it’s solely 11 millimeters thick when closed). It’s not as skinny as the unique Duo, which measures 9.9 millimeters on the hinge, nevertheless it’s shut.
Moreover, each smartphones use Gorilla Glass Victus, which Corning claims can resist a six-foot drop whereas persevering with to push back scratches. The Fold 3, nevertheless, takes issues additional with IPX8 water resistance, which means it may be totally submerged in as much as half a meter of water for as much as half-hour. We don’t anticipate most individuals will rush out to dunk their telephones, nevertheless it’s good to know it will probably deal with an unexpected spill or slightly rain. The Duo 2 solely gives an IPX1 score, which, actually, is successfully nothing.
Android 11 throughout
Unsurprisingly, the Duo 2 and Z Fold 3 are additionally comparable on the software program entrance. Whereas the first-gen Duo launched with Android 10 has but to obtain Android 11 — Microsoft says it’s going to arrive earlier than the tip of the 12 months — the Duo 2 ships with a custom-made model of the latter designed for higher multitasking. The Fold 3 additionally runs on Android 11, albeit with some small visible and interface tweaks courtesy of Samsung’s customized One UI 3 pores and skin.
Final 12 months, Samsung stated latest Galaxy gadgets will obtain assist for 3 generations of Android updates, and as such, the Fold 3 is about to obtain routine Android OS updates alongside month-to-month safety patches for the following 4 years. Microsoft has promised well timed updates for the Duo 2, nevertheless it’s nonetheless unclear as to what that appears like. A 12 months after its debut, the unique Duo stays buggy, regardless of Microsoft having shipped quite a few updates to deal with multitasking and gesture points. Samsung has a greater monitor report in the case of issuing software program updates in a well timed method, a probable boon for the Fold 3.
Each smartphones are designed for multitasking and productiveness, nevertheless, and their software program displays that. The Duo 2 can run two apps aspect by aspect or one app that may increase throughout each shows. The Duo 2 additionally boasts compatibility with Microsoft’s lineup of Floor Pens, together with the Floor Slim Pen 2, which may magnetically dock and cost wirelessly when paired with the optionally available Floor Duo 2 Pen Cowl ($65). The Fold 3 gives an analogous set of performance because of options like Flex mode and App Pair, in addition to the Fold-specific S Pen, which is bought individually and likewise requires a particular case for storage.
Digital camera elements
Digital camera-wise, neither mannequin is geared toward images lovers. Microsoft’s subsequent foldable could also be an enormous step up from its first-gen counterpart and, on paper, a slight reduce above the Fold 3, nevertheless it’s nonetheless extra midrange than flagship. That stated, each the Duo 2 and the Fold 3 characteristic a three-camera array on the rear, with 12-megapixel sensors for large and telephoto. The Duo 2, nevertheless, additionally features a higher-resolution ultrawide digital camera (16MP in comparison with the Fold 3’s 12MP sensor), in addition to optical picture stabilization on the large and ultrawide.
Aperature, however, is almost the identical throughout each gadgets, with the wide-angle on the Duo 2 being barely quicker at f/1.7. We’ll have to attend till we will put the Duo 2 via its paces earlier than we make a last judgment name, but when its three-camera array performs something like that on the Fold 3, it’s nonetheless not going to compete with the likes of Apple’s iPhone 13 or the Galaxy S21 Extremely.
On the entrance, the Duo 2 sports activities a 12MP shooter with an f/2.0 aperture. The Fold 3 sports activities a 10MP selfie digital camera with an f/2.2 on the duvet, together with a 4MP under-display digital camera on the inside, which is equal components horrible and distracting given the distinct moire impact the experimental characteristic creates at sure viewing angles. Each gadgets may also seize 1080p and 4K video footage at 30 and 60fps, in addition to slow-motion video at as much as 240fps. The Fold 3 goes a bit additional with assist for 720p, slow-motion video at 960fps, and 4K hyperlapse movies at 30fps.
Let’s face it: neither foldable is affordable — removed from it. The 128GB base configuration of the Floor Duo 2 will run you $1,499.99, with the 256GB and 512GB fashions retailing for $1,599.99 and $1,799.99, respectively. Like the unique mannequin, Microsoft’s newest foldable shall be obtainable in glacier white, along with a brand new obsidian black colorway. Preorders are already underway, with shipments anticipated to exit earlier than the cellphone’s launch on October twentieth.
The Galaxy Fold 3 is much more costly. The 256GB base mannequin retails for $1,799.99 and is at the moment obtainable in one among three colours: phantom inexperienced, phantom black, and phantom silver. The 512GB configuration runs $1,899.99; nevertheless, the bigger mannequin is just obtainable in phantom black. Just like the Duo 2, there are service offers, trade-in reductions, and cost plans obtainable for the Fold 3; nevertheless, most kickbacks come within the type of credit score.
Whereas not the focus of this comparability, there’s additionally the Galaxy Flip 3 to think about. The gadget’s inside show is perhaps smaller, however the cellphone nonetheless contains a Snapdragon 888 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a waterproof construct. It additionally begins at $1,000, which means it retails for across the identical value as many high-end, non-folding telephones.
The underside line
On paper, Microsoft’s Floor Duo 2 reveals numerous promise, significantly when in comparison with its predecessor. It has a contemporary, high-end processor and upgraded digital camera system, together with an even bigger battery, bigger shows, and 5G assist. These are welcome upgrades, however we received’t have a concrete thought as to how properly they carry out till we will do an in-depth overview. There’s additionally the query of longevity and assist — will Microsoft actually replace the Duo 2 in a well timed style, or will it go the way in which of the Duo and solely obtain the occasional software program patch and safety replace?
The Galaxy Z Fold 3, in the meantime, is the very best foldable you should purchase proper now. The bottom configuration of the Fold 3 is $300 greater than the beginning value of the Duo 2, nevertheless it comes outfitted with comparable specs, together with a 120Hz show, wi-fi charging, and a water-proof, IPX8-rated design. The latter two options at the moment are extra of the norm than the exception, and it’s a disgrace Microsoft didn’t incorporate both with the Duo 2. Nonetheless, in case you see no want for a show with the next refresh fee or any of the aforementioned perks that include the Fold 3, Microsoft’s second-gen foldable is perhaps well worth the wait.