Microsoft Surface Duo vs. its foldable rivals: Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Razr specs compared

Microsoft Surface Duo vs. its foldable rivals: Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Razr specs compared

Sarah Tew/CNET

It’s been a long time coming, but as of today Microsoft is officially back in the smartphone business with the launch of its foldable Surface Duo. Announced in October, the company’s new phone takes the form of a two-screened Android device (yes, Android) joined together with a hinge that allows it to open up like a book. Microsoft says the two screens are designed for productivity.

With its launch, the Surface Duo joins a small but growing group of foldable offerings, including Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Motorola’s Razr, all of which offer a window into the future of phones. But even though all three are squarely in the foldable category, they still differ in shape and build.  

Read more: Microsoft Surface Duo’s design is winning me over, even without turning it on

The Surface Duo has dual screens, for example, while the Fold 2 and Razr both feature a bendable display with a hinged seam. But one of the most conspicuous differences between the three foldables is how they do exactly that: Fold. The Motorola Razr rocks a clamshell design that opens vertically, lengthening the device. The Surface Duo and Fold 2, meanwhile, broaden when unfurled. In fact, the Surface Duo’s two 5.6-inch displays open up to form an expansive 8.1-inch screen that is closer in size to a tablet than a phone. For its part, Microsoft has emphasised that it doesn’t want its latest device to be called a phone, insisting that it’s a device in a new category. 

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Other key differentiators include 5G connectivity and the camera setup. The Surface Duo features only a single 11-megapixel shooter on the inside, which can become an external camera if the Duo displays are flipped around. It’s increasingly rare for a premium phone, especially in 2020 to come with just one camera. Motorola’s Razr gets multiple lenses as part of its camera set-up — something that will likely appear in the next-gen Fold. It’s also worth mentioning that the Surface Duo doesn’t have support for 5G wireless technology unlike the Fold 2. Microsoft said it chose to skip out on the feature to help preserve battery life and allow the phone to maintain a slim design. Motorola’s Razr doesn’t have support for the next generation wireless tech either, but it’s reportedly launching a 5G Razr in September.

The Surface Duo is now available for preorder starting at $1,399 (around £1,070 or AU$1,960) for the 128GB version. It will ship on Sept. 10. For more information, take a look at our specs chart below. We’ll be updating it as we get more details on the Surface Duo, so make sure to check back here for more.

Read more: Microsoft’s two-screen Surface Duo isn’t an iPhone or a Galaxy Fold. That’s the point

Surface Duo vs. Galaxy Z Fold 2 vs. Razr

Microsoft Surface Duo Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Motorola Razr
Display size Dual 5.6-inch AMOLED; Combined: 8.1-inch AMOLED; 2,700×1,800 pixels Internal: 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED; External 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED Internal: 6.2-inch, foldable OLED;  External: 2.7-inch glass OLED
Resolution 1,800×1,350 pixels; 2,700×1,800 pixels TBD 2,142x876p pixels; 800×600 pixels
Dimensions (Inches) Folded: 5.72×3.67×0.399 inches / Unfolded: 5.72×7.36×0.19 inches TBD Unfolded: 6.8×2.8×0.28 inches / Folded: 3.7×2.8×0.55 inches
Dimensions (Millimeters) Folded: 145.2×93.3×9.9mm / Unfolded: 145.2×186.9×4.8mm TBD Unfolded: 172x72x6.9mm / Folded: 94x72x14mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 8.8 oz; 250g TBD 7.2 oz; 205g
Mobile software TBD TBD Android 9
Camera 11-megapixel TBD 16-megapixel external, 5-megapixel internal
Front-facing camera TBD TBD 16-megapixel external
Video capture 4K TBD 4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 TBD Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
Storage 128GB, 256GB TBD 128GB
Expandable storage TBD TBD No
Battery 3,577 mAh 4,500 mAh 2,510 mAh
Fingerprint sensor TBD TBD Below screen
Connector TBD TBD USB-C
Headphone jack TBD TBD None
Special features Dual-screen display; dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM) 5G, Foldable display, 120Hz refresh rate Foldable display, eSIM, Motorola gestures, splashproof
Price at launch (USD) $1,399 (128GB) TBD $1,499
Price (GBP) Converts to about £1,070 TBD Converts to about £1,160
Price (AUD) Converts to about AU$1,960 TBD Converts to about $2,090
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