The dual-screen Android phone should have been Microsoft’s 2020 crowning achievement but it is slowly starting to unravel and become a liability instead. Right from day one, reviewers have pointed out issues with the Surface Duo’s dual-screen experience, at least form the software side of things. Fortunately, those might be easier to fix and the device’s first update is now rolling out exactly for that purpose. Unfortunately, it might also be too late to salvage the first-gen device’s sinking reputation.
While the Surface Duo’s dual-screen features behaved properly in most cases, reviewers ran into rather consistent problems in some areas. The biggest and most common seemed to be recognition of certain touch gestures, a problem that could have either been software or hardware. Fortunately, it’s not the latter.
As promised, Microsoft is rolling out the Surface Duo’s first monthly update, just the first in what could be a long three-year journey. The update brings Android’s security patches for October and fixes the stability of touch recognition that reviewers were complaining about. It also improves call stability and general device stability, or at least that’s Microsoft’s promise.
It remains to be seen if these do really address those concerns, which we’ll probably hear about in the next few days. There is curiously no mention of any camera-related features or fixes that were previously leaked. Those could have helped increase confidence in the device’s measly 11 megapixel sensor, though that is probably moot now as well.
The past days have seen a growing number of complaints about the $1,400 device’s durability, ranging from cracks in the thin plastic frame or, more worryingly, the hinge that makes this form factor work. Unless Microsoft is able to quickly address these, no amount of software updates might be able to keep consumers from writing off the Surface Duo as an expensive and possibly short-lived prototype.