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Home News Unboxing the Surface Duo: Hands-on with Microsoft's ambitious new phone

Unboxing the Surface Duo: Hands-on with Microsoft’s ambitious new phone

Whether you have plans to buy it or merely watch the hype unfold over the internet, the Surface Duo is undoubtedly one of the most interesting phones to be released in 2020. That it’s coming so early in the year — it was originally slated for closer to Christmas — is one of the few gifts this otherwise terrible year has given us.

Most typical smartphone users are just growing used to the idea that foldables are real, that they’re not as fallible as originally thought, and that, inevitably, they will be mainstream. Microsoft’s take on the foldable avoids the foibles of flexible displays and breakable plastic overlays, relying instead on two distinct OLED screens and a sturdy, infinitely adjustable hinge that forms the, well, backbone of the Duo itself.

Microsoft Surface Duo specs, at a glance

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While it’s too early for me to show you the phone’s software, I was lucky enough to be among the first people in the world to unbox the Surface Duo this week, and I’m going to walk you through that process now.

The reviewer’s kit is a deliberate play on the Duo’s extensible nature, unspooling horizontally to reveal a vertical flap inside that, underneath, houses the Surface Duo retail box as well as a pair of Surface Earbuds in a new Graphite color that should be available on September 10, the same day as the Duo itself.

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The box also houses a printed and embossed card from Panos Panay, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, who says, “I hope you love using Surface Duo as much as we loved creating it.” It’s a nice touch.

Inside the Surface Duo’s box, opened with a quick pull-tab, is the phone itself, an 18W USB-C charger, a USB C-to-USB C cable, and a bumper case that adheres to the edges of the ultra-thin Surface Duo. I don’t see myself using the bumper — it makes an already-wide phone even wider — but it’s great to have it included given that the unconventional design of the phone will limit third-party accessory options.

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And then there’s the phone itself. Panay described it more than once as a smaller Surface, not necessarily an Android phone, and looking at it I can totally understand where he’s coming from. This is the first phone I can remember using that doesn’t have a rear camera. Aside from the Microsoft logo on the front there are no other embellishments.

The buttons, all adorned on the phone’s right-screen edge when closed, are clicky and easy to identify. The capacitive fingerprint sensor is in a comfortable position for the thumb when the phone is open on either side. The USB-C port is unfortunately not centered.

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When the Duo is open, it absolutely feels like you’re holding a tablet, albeit an ultrathin one. The hinge holds securely even when you’re holding only one side. It’s easy to place the phone down in a laptop-like orientation, and it’s even easier to tent it to watch video content. Yes, the bezels above and below the two displays are large.

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I can’t say whether they are distracting while in use, but they do provide ample space to grasp the Duo anywhere on the open chassis without covering the display, which I’m sure is the point.

The phone closes with a soft, satisfying metallic thud, and it goes back to being an unassuming book-like thing that resembles nothing else on the market today.

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You’ll have to wait a bit longer for a full review, but I hope this has been at least somewhat useful in understanding what the Duo looks like, how it feels, and what you can look forward to if you choose to buy one. I’ll be hanging around in the comments to answer any questions you have, or hit me up on Twitter if you’d prefer.

Preorder today

Microsoft Surface Duo

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From $1,400 at Microsoft
From $1,400 at Best Buy
From $1,400 at AT&T

Two screens are better than one

Microsoft delves into the future of foldables with an ambitious dual-screen device, featuring two ultra-thin 5.6-inch AMOLED displays bound by a 360-degree hinge. This pocketable inking-enabled Android smartphone marks the latest in the Surface lineup, geared for mobile productivity.

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This 98-hour ethical hacking bundle is just $39.90 right now

For all of the scary notions and ideas that spring to mind when you think of “hacking”, there’s plenty of good that can come from it. Hacking isn’t strictly a nefarious thing. Done right, you can leverage hacking to better your life, automate processes, and have more fun — all without breaking any laws.Learning to hack, ethically, is a necessity in today’s age of ever-growing digital threats. Whether your goal is to build a business or simply stop your secure data from being breached, learning the ropes of hacking can be the perfect leg up in sales or counter-measure against cyber thieves.The AndroidGuys Deals Store has a terrific value-packed collection of training centered around the proper way to hack your life. The Ultimate 2020 White Hat Hacker Certification Bundle is designed to arm you with the tools on both sides of hacking. Featuring some 98 hours of content, there are nearly 1,000 lessons to take you from newbie and novice to knowledgeable and learned!People tend to fear what they don’t understand and with this collection you can put fears to rest and truly empower yourself.CoursesThe Complete Cyber Security Course, Vol.1: Hackers ExposedThe Complete Cyber Security Course, Vol.2: Network SecurityThe Complete Cyber Security Course, Vol.3: Anonymous BrowsingThe Complete Cyber Security Course, Vol.4: End-Point ProtectionCompTIA CySA+ Cybersecurity Analyst (CS0-001) Prep CourseCyber Security: Python & Web ApplicationsComplete Ethical Hacking & Cyber Security Masterclass CoursePython 3 for Offensive PenTest: A Complete Practical CourseThe Complete Nmap Ethical Hacking Course: Network Security AssessmentCompTIA PenTest+ (PT0-001) Ethical HackingWhere to BuyYou can pick up a lifetime access to the Ultimate 2020 White Hat Hacker Certification Bundle for only $39.90 in the AG Deals Store. Valued at nearly $1,400, the whole kit can be yours for 97 percent off.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

OnePlus adds Nord 10 5G and Nord N100 to wallet-friendly roster

OnePlus on Monday kicked off its week with a pair of new phones for its newly established Nord series. The N10 5G and N100 are both set to launch in Europe but, unlike their predecessor (Nord), are ultimately expected in North America.The N10 5G has a starting price of £329 in the UK (~$412 USD) and is powered by a Snapdragon 690 processor, while the N100 comes in at just £179 (~ $235 USD) with its Snapdragon 460 chipset.Nord N10 5GAs you may have guessed by its name, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G is a 5G capable handset (sub-6GHz in Europe), and features a 6.49-inch display. Additionally, it has 6GB RAM, 128GB expandable storage,  a rear fingerprint reader, and dual stereo speakers.Similar to other OnePlus phones, the Nord N10 5G’s 4,300mAh battery can be fast-charged via Warp Charge 30T.Around back is a quad-camera setup consisting of a main 64-megapixel camera, 119-degree ultra-wide, and macro and monochrome cameras. A 16-megapixel camera is located on the front.Nord N100Although it’s a lower-end phone in terms of hardware, the N100 still features a handful of notable details. It offers up big 6.52-inch display, dual stereo speakers, and a bigger 5,000mAh battery. Although larger, it is fast-charged at up to “only” 18W, which is still considered fast by most standards.The 4G capable phone runs Android 10 and has 4GB memory and 64GB storage. There’s a 13-megapixel main camera with portrait and macro cameras, a rear fingerprint reader, and microSD expansion card slot. 1 of 4 Growing Mid-RangeIt will be interesting to see how OnePlus continues shaping its portfolio. Will it keep pushing forward with high-end models or might it start focusing more on the lower end and middle of the pack?We found the OnePlus Nord to be a great phone when reviewing it recently. If OnePlus is content to spread its wings in the junior flagship and entry-level space, we think it could really carve out a nice slice of the pie.

Best Android phones at Good2Go Mobile

There seems to be an endless number of wireless service providers to choose from, at least here in the United States. But when it comes down to it, many of them rely on the networks offered by three biggest carriers.Good2GoMobile, a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), is one such carrier. Indeed, it has its own rate plans and features, but it licenses coverage from AT&T.When it comes to buying a phone for use on Good2Go Mobile there are a few options to consider. For starters, you can bring your current AT&T device to the carrier. Additionally, you can buy an unlocked phone for use on Good2Go.Customers can also purchase a phone directly from Good2Go. While the handset selection is a little on the smaller side, it’s a decent mix of most Samsung and Motorola devices. And as is the case with any service provider some models rise to the top.What follows are some of the best Android phones available at Good2Go today. These aren’t the most powerful, but rather the best for particular needs.Samsung Galaxy S20 UltraBest of the BunchIf you’re looking for the outright best of the Android bunch, this is the one. It’s big (6.9-inches), powerful (2.8GHz octa-core processer with 16GB RAM), and packs an incredible camera experience.It’s powered by Android 10 with Samsung’s custom UI which means it’s slick, user-friendly, and intuitive. Other features we love? Water-resistant coating, 5G connectivity, 8K video recording, and a generous battery with wireless charging.Shop Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra at Good2Go MobileSamsung Galaxy Note 10Multi-Tasking PowerhouseThis phone may be a generation behind the times, but we suspect you’d have a heck of a time seeing that in performance. Still more powerful than you need, it packs a big display, excellent suite of hardware, and comes with an integrated S Pen digital stylus.Offered in three really sharp colors, the device has a triple camera setup that captures wide and super wide shots. The battery life is not only fairly respectable, it’s also capable of super-fast and wireless charging.Shop Samsung Galaxy Note 10 at Good2Go MobileMotorola Moto G StylusMid-Range Task MasterPriced about one-third of Samsung’s counterpart, this phone is no less capable for many users. It’s powered by Android 10, comes with a 6.4-inch screen, and features its own digital stylus.Motorola leaves Android largely untouched, a feature we’ve come to really appreciate. Pair that with a solid mid-range bundle of hardware, and it’s a great value proposition. The 48-megapixel triple-camera captures ultra-wide and macro images.Shop Motorola Moto G Stylus at Good2Go MobileMotorola Moto G7First-Time BuyerA great way to jump into the world of smartphones, this one’s affordable and features the stock Android software experience. Parents might consider the phone for first-time users or when buying for multiple younger users.Features include a 6.2-inch scree, 12-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and face unlock capabilities. Perhaps best of all, its 5000mAh battery lasts nearly twice as long as other entry-level phones.Shop Motorola Moto G7 at Good2Go Mobile

OnePlus just turned into Samsung with the Nord N10 5G and Nord N100

OnePlus is showing that it doesn't care about its fans anymore by launching the Nord N10 5G and N100 with