Skip to main content

The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is the best foldable you're not going to buy

An impressive upgrade with none of the appeal of its competition.

Microsoft took the wraps off its 2021 lineup, and of course, that includes an Android phone — the Surface Duo 2. The introduction of the device was a slick affair and spent plenty of time telling potential customers why they might want to spend "foldable" money with Microsoft. The company did a good job conveying why the Surface Duo 2 is a great device but not enough when it comes to claiming the best foldable phone spot.

Technology for technology's sake serves no one.

What I think the company did exceptionally well was explain why the Duo 2 is great without telling us its predecessor wasn't. We didn't hear how much better version 2 is compared to version 1, just that it was fast and capable. We also heard no comparisons to the Duo's true competition, which of course is Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. This, in my opinion, is where the mistakes started.

From what I've seen — I've never used a Fold or Flip 3 or even seen the Duo 2 — Microsoft has made a compelling product with zero sex appeal. Everything that needed to be addressed from the original Duo — from the newer, faster digitizer, the stronger aluminum frame, and cameras good enough to be in a high-end phone — is there. Microsoft also made some thoughtful additions like the glance bar built into the device hinge, giving an interesting way to see what might be going on inside the phone. This is exactly what Microsoft needed to do.

Where is the cool factor?

What the company also needed to do but couldn't pull off was make the device cool. I don't mean cool as in uber-functional and powerful; Microsoft gave us that. I mean cool as in fun with your friends doing things better than any other phone can do them. Foldables aren't your average phone, and average tactics aren't going to get anyone excited about buying one. Don't just tell me about the Xbox tie-in, Microsoft; Show me a small group of people enjoying it.

One day, phones that fold or twist or grow somehow into large-screen devices may be the norm but right now they are a niche market filled with educated consumers. Normally these would be Microsoft's favorite type of buyer, people who know technology and understand why something like an actual glass display may be better than a glass and polymer composite display or can recognize the difficulty in pairing two completely digitizers spanning two separate displays. Tech nerds both love and hate Microsoft's products, but in the end, most will buy them. Phones are different, though, and Microsoft still isn't getting it.

Marketing is a powerful tool. More powerful than a spec sheet.

Most people buy a phone to be more than a tool. A phone is entertaining. A phone is fun. A phone is a way to bring people together. The Surface Duo 2 is almost certainly some or all of those things, yet Microsoft didn't show us how. We've all heard how marketing is a big part of a company's success and that's true. Apple and Samsung make great products. LG and Google also make (made) great products. Now compare which companies can sell tens of millions of smartphones year after year and you'll see that marketing matters. You know you're going to have fun with a Z Fold 3 because Samsung told you, then showed you the cool side of the product.

None of this diminishes what the Duo 2 is capable of doing or how great of a foldable it may be. Like last year, if forced to buy a folding phone I would pick the Duo 2 because I think I'd get more use from two well-defined displays instead of a more fragile one-piece. Many tech-savvy consumers who pore through spec sheets may also find the Duo 2 a better buy.

Most people looking to buy a foldable already have a Samsung phone picked out.

But most people who want a foldable phone already have seen the one for them. The capable and cool Galaxy Z Fold 3 or the fun Z Flip 3. Likewise, customers looking for a reason to buy a folding phone are going to be enticed by Samsung's colors and brand awareness before they ever touch one.

The Duo 2 will be more successful than the original when it comes to sales and the improvements will lead to more satisfied buyers. But Microsoft needs to do more in the presentation if it ever wants to move out of its niche in the market.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

The hidden cost of food delivery

Noah Lichtenstein Contributor Share on Twitter Noah Lichtenstein is the founder and managing partner of Crossover , a diversified private technology fund backed by institutional investors, technology execs and professional athletes and entertainers. More posts by this contributor What Studying Students Teaches Us About Great Apps I’ll admit it: When it comes to food, I’m lazy. There are dozens of great dining options within a few blocks of my home, yet I still end up ordering food through delivery apps four or five times per week. With the growing coronavirus pandemic closing restaurants and consumers self-isolating, it is likely we will see a spike in food delivery much like the 20% jump China reported during the peak of its crisis. With the food delivery sector rocketing toward a projected $365 billion by the end of the decade, I’m clearly not the only one turning to delivery apps even before the pandemic hit. Thanks to technology (and VC funding) we can get a ri

Cyber Monday Canada: Last-minute deals for everyone on your list

Best Cyber Monday Canada deals: Smart Home Audio Phones, Tablets & Accessories Wearables Laptops & PC Components Amazon products Gaming Televisions Cameras Lifestyle & Kitchen Toys & Kids Cyber Monday Canada is here, and retailers are rolling out the red carpet for customers who want to shop for everything from tech to kitchenware to games and everything in between. Unlike years past, Cyber Monday Canada deals look a bit different than normal. Instead of retailers trying to pack their stores with as many shoppers as possible, we're seeing tons of online deals that you can take advantage of from the comfort of your home. We've rounded up our favorites below, so feel free to browse through the best of what Canada Cyber Monday has to offer! This list is being updated with new Cyber Monday deals all the time, so check back often. Spotlight deals It's a Switch Nintendo Switch Fortnite Edition bundle $399.95 at Amazon It's a Switch.

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Buyer's Guide: 50+ Differences Compared

The iPhone 15 Pro brings over 50 new features and improvements to Apple's high-end smartphones compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, which was released two years prior. This buyer's guide breaks down every major difference you should be aware of between the two generations and helps you to decide whether it's worth upgrading. The ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro debuted in 2021, introducing a brighter display with ProMotion technology for refresh rates up to 120Hz, the A15 Bionic chip, a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, Macro photography and photographic styles, Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field, ProRes video recording, a 1TB storage option, and five hours of additional battery life. The ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro was discontinued upon the announcement of the iPhone 14 Pro in 2022, but it is still possible to get hold of it second-hand. Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhone models is best for you and serves as a way to c

Slack’s new integration deal with AWS could also be about tweaking Microsoft

Slack and Amazon announced a big integration late yesterday afternoon. As part of the deal, Slack will use Amazon Chime for its call feature, while reiterating its commitment to use AWS as its preferred cloud provider to run its infrastructure. At the same time, AWS has agreed to use Slack for internal communications. Make no mistake, this is a big deal as the SaaS communications tool increases its ties with AWS, but this agreement could also be about slighting Microsoft and its rival Teams product by making a deal with a cloud rival. In the past Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has had choice words for Microsoft saying the Redmond technology giant sees his company as an “existential threat.” Whether that’s true or not — Teams is but one piece of a huge technology company — it’s impossible not to look at the deal in this context. Aligning more deeply with AWS sends a message to Microsoft, whose Azure infrastructure services compete with AWS. Butterfield didn’t say that of course