It was additionally littered with bugs, as WIRED’s Julian Chokkattu discovered. (He additionally learn Dune on the unique Duo, which I hadn’t realized after I started studying the science fiction fan favourite on the Duo 2). These weren’t only a few flaws, some carry-on baggage you would possibly discover tolerable initially of a new-phone relationship. This was deal-breaking stuff. Microsoft was decided, although, to make it higher. To attempt, not less than.
So the Duo 2 was constructed with a a lot snappier processor (Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888) and a barely thicker however extra strong physique than the final mannequin. The new design sports activities a triple-lens digital camera module on the again—a 12-megapixel huge digital camera, a 16-megapixel ultrawide digital camera, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens—a stable improve from the unique Duo’s 11-megapixel digital camera, which doubled as each the selfie digital camera and the rear digital camera (when you flipped the system round). Like the earlier Duo, the Duo 2 is eye-catching. Its entrance cowl has a shiny Microsoft brand on it, coated in glass, which I’ve already scratched. The two 5.8-inch, high-resolution show panels have respectable 90-Hz refresh charges. Also, it really works with Surface stylus pens, which begin at round $65.
It displays flashes of brilliance, like a literal flash of a notification that seems on the backbone of the system when it’s closed. Users of the primary Duo, these courageous beta testers, didn’t like that there wasn’t any strategy to see incoming notifications when the Duo was folded shut. So Microsoft constructed a “glance bar” on the backbone, the place you’ll be able to see the cellphone’s charging standing or an incoming name or textual content. This was oddly pleasant. I requested WIRED’s new international editorial director to ship me a textual content as he stood close by so we might watch the Duo 2’s look bar mild up. I believe I dug it greater than he did.
The digital camera is first rate, however for a $1,500 cellphone, it underperformed. I carried Apple’s iPhone 13 ($799) and Google’s Pixel 6 ($599) with me as I examined the Duo 2 and was usually underwhelmed by the Duo’s comparative lack of digital camera prowess. Photos of individuals in customary lighting settings regarded boring. In a sequence of sundown photographs taken on the seaside, colours bled collectively and the perimeters of sand dunes have been much less crisp than in the identical photographs captured on a brand new iPhone. When I snapped pictures of colleagues in our workplace with the Duo 2, workplace mild rays dispersed behind them.
Maybe extra notable, simply taking photographs is a painstaking course of, because it includes opening up the booklet first. Capturing a screenshot requires urgent the facility button and quantity down button concurrently—additionally awkward. On the upside, once you take a selfie, you’ll be able to simply prop the cellphone up and time a photograph, no cellphone stand required.