October 2, 2023
Microsoft Surface Duo in hand book mode

David Imel / Android Authority

Microsoft hasn’t launched a brand new Android machine since 2021’s Floor Duo 2, however a brand new report might have shed some mild on the corporate’s future plans.

Windows Central reported that Microsoft ditched the dual-screen design of earlier Floor Duo units in favor of growing a Floor Duo 3 with a folding show (akin to the Galaxy Z Fold line). Moreover, the outlet’s sources assert that the corporate plans to launch a extra standard slab-type smartphone akin to different handsets.

Sadly, I don’t assume a brand new Microsoft foldable or standard smartphone makes a lot sense in 2023.

Do you wish to see new Android-powered Floor units?

31 votes

Samsung already affords unofficial Microsoft telephones

samsung galaxy a13 microsoft bloatware

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Maybe the largest cause for customers to skip new Android-powered Microsoft smartphones is Samsung. The corporate’s telephones, together with the Galaxy S sequence and Galaxy foldables, are successfully Microsoft telephones in all however title.

Samsung’s telephones supply quite a lot of pre-installed Microsoft apps for starters, together with Outlook, LinkedIn, Workplace, and OneDrive. The 2 corporations even labored collectively to supply foldable-focused enhancements in apps like Groups and Outlook. The Microsoft extras don’t finish right here for Samsung house owners.

Samsung telephones already supply pre-installed Microsoft apps and unique options for Home windows connectivity.

Microsoft additionally affords a Hyperlink To Home windows service on quite a lot of Android telephones, permitting customers to obtain cell notifications, ship/obtain texts, entry cellphone images, and extra through their PC. However Samsung telephones (together with the Floor Duo and Honor Magic 4 Professional) acquire further semi-exclusive options, resembling cross-device drag-and-drop, cross-device copy/paste, utilizing your cellphone apps on PC, and extra.

In different phrases, Samsung telephones are as near a Microsoft expertise as you may get in some ways. Even Microsoft co-founder Invoice Gates opts for a Galaxy Z Fold 4. However there are additionally a number of areas the place Samsung telephones and foldables will seemingly be higher than any Microsoft Android machine.

Microsoft’s {hardware} and software program go away us wanting

Microsoft Surface Duo using opened and typing

David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung telephones are virtually assured to supply a greater digicam expertise than a brand new Microsoft slab or foldable cellphone. Microsoft’s days of getting the most effective (and even nice) smartphone cameras are lengthy gone, and the Floor Duo and Floor Duo 2 certainly demonstrated that. Samsung, then again, continues to be one of many high manufacturers for images.

Microsoft’s Floor Duo sequence additionally doesn’t encourage a lot confidence when it comes to total {hardware}. The primary Duo specifically introduced a previous-generation flagship chipset, 60Hz screens, a single rear digicam, no NFC, no wi-fi charging, and no 5G for an eye-watering $1,400 in 2020. The Duo 2 addressed virtually all of those points, however for $100 extra. For sure, whereas the Floor Duo 2 suggests Microsoft is studying from its {hardware} missteps, it’s far too early to inform whether or not a future Floor Duo 3 and Floor cellphone shall be compelling {hardware} propositions.

Extra studying: The very best foldable telephones price shopping for at this time

The corporate’s obvious change to a foldable display screen for the Floor Duo 3 additionally presents further {hardware} challenges. Samsung has spent over 4 years refining its present foldables, delivering ultra-thin glass, more durable folding screens, S Pen assist, and water resistance. We’re positive Microsoft can undertake a few these developments, however the Redmond agency continues to be on the again foot on this regard.

There’s extra to a cell machine than {hardware}, although. All of the shiny components imply nothing if the software program isn’t adequate, and Microsoft discovered this out with each the first-gen Floor Duo and Floor Duo 2.

We thought the first-gen mannequin had horribly buggy software program in our Floor Duo overview, starting from UI points and unlocking glitches to lacking backgrounds and extra. Issues appeared slightly higher with the Floor Duo 2, nevertheless it nonetheless reportedly shipped with a ton of bugs. Microsoft launched a gentle stream of updates to repair these issues after launch, however you shouldn’t count on such a extreme lack of polish once you’re paying properly over $1,000.

Future Android-powered Microsoft units will seemingly lag behind rivals on the subject of software program polish and {hardware}.

The corporate’s monitor document on this space mixed with a change to a folding display screen means unpolished software program is nearly inevitable with the Floor Duo 3, even with Android 13’s enhancements. However Samsung additionally edges out Microsoft’s earlier Floor Duo units on the subject of software program updates, providing 4 OS updates and 5 years of safety patches. In contrast, the Floor Duo 2 ought to ship three OS updates and three years of safety patches.

However right here’s why it is perhaps well worth the gamble

Microsoft Surface Duo hinge

David Imel / Android Authority

Regardless of all these arguments in opposition to a correct Floor foldable and Floor cellphone line, there are nonetheless a few the reason why we’d wish to see these merchandise. For one, we’d welcome these new units in the event that they represented a part of a centered, long-term cell technique for Microsoft. In any case, what’s the purpose of shopping for right into a model’s merchandise if it decides to depart the section in a number of years? A protracted-term dedication would hopefully lead to extra strong merchandise in a number of generations — simply have a look at Google’s Pixel line.

Microsoft can be uniquely positioned as a Home windows platform-holder. It may well deliver deeper, native PC integration with any future Android-powered units. So that you may not should go for Apple’s ecosystem or get a Chromebook if you would like a very seamless cross-device expertise.

We’d additionally sit up for these new merchandise just because Microsoft’s earlier Floor Duo units have delivered some attention-grabbing and revolutionary options. The primary-generation Duo launched app spanning throughout two screens and the power to launch two apps on the identical time. We additionally noticed another attention-grabbing options such because the notification peek performance (providing you with a glimpse of alerts once you partially open the machine) and drag-and-drop between apps.

In different phrases, a Floor Duo 3 foldable or Floor cellphone would probably make for a extra thrilling, revolutionary smartphone panorama. However even when these units are commercially unsuccessful, they might in the end seed the trade with recent concepts and ideas.