Microsoft Surface Duo 3 rumors: Is it canceled?

Microsoft Surface Duo Upright 2

David Immel/Android Authority

Foldable phones in 2021 are very different, but even so, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 still stands out from the crowd. It’s one of the few devices to use two rotating screens instead of one flexible panel, bucking the current trend. Now, three years later, the bookish dual-screen phone has become a bit dated and it’s time for a sequel. Here are all the features and upgrades I’d like to see on the Microsoft Surface Duo 3.

Newer flagship processor

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

While the Surface Duo 2 debuted with the Snapdragon 888 (the top-of-the-line chipset at the time), the company could consider opting for an older SoC, as it did on the original model. I would have reservations if Microsoft launched a device with outdated hardware at the same price point as its peers, especially considering the tried-and-true devices in this category.

Alternatively, if Microsoft plans to significantly undercut the current competition, I’d be happy to go with a processor that’s a generation or two behind. There’s a serious lack of affordable foldable phones, and Microsoft could be an interesting player in this space.

single folding display

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 multitasking

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Surface Duo’s design is unique and attractive, but I’m skeptical of its practicality. I found that the bezel and hinge take up enough space that could be used for display area. Using a traditional single-fold internal display solves this problem. Of course, this solution may increase the cost, but it’s a more feasible solution for Microsoft’s current device design. I’m also aware that this would reduce the Surface Duo’s ability to fold on itself, but that could also be solved with an external display. This will make the Surface Duo 3 a more practical one-handed smartphone that can complete simple tasks.

Interestingly, one from Windows Center It shows that Microsoft is developing a true foldable phone. However, it’s unclear whether the device will belong to or completely replace the Duo series. The report has been out for a while, and we haven’t seen much progress from either side.

competitive price

Open and type using Microsoft Surface Duo

David Immel/Android Authority

Pricing for foldable phones has stabilized in recent years. Demand for the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Pixel Fold remains above the $1,500 mark, after significant declines in previous generations of phones. That’s what Microsoft is asking for with its Duo 2, by the way. I think this is an attractive price point that could lure users away from Samsung, Google, OnePlus, and other foldables. I know this may not be possible with the other upgrades I request, but it never hurts to dream.

Clear software roadmap

Microsoft Surface Duo flipped in hand

David Immel/Android Authority

Like all Android manufacturers, I’d like to see Microsoft lay out a clear update trajectory and strategy for the Duo 3. Considering this can be a hefty investment, the guarantee that updates will be released regularly over an extended period of time will make it a smarter purchase that doesn’t just appeal to niche buyers. Microsoft does promise three years of updates for both Surface Duo products, but we’d like to see more from the big company.

Lumia and traditional colors

Nokia X Nokia XL Company Logo

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

I have a soft spot for Microsoft’s Lumia era, and what better way to market the Surface Pro to a nostalgic audience than to bring back those classic candy colors? Bright yellow, magenta, green, and orange hues set the Surface Duo series apart from other drab foldable colorways on the market.

While many don’t think smartphone color is a feature, I certainly think a traditional colorway would be a great way for Microsoft to pay homage to its original fans and attract new followers.

What would you most like to see on Microsoft Surface Duo 3?

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Will there be a Microsoft Surface Duo 3?

Microsoft Surface Duo Universal UI 1

David Immel/Android Authority

The answer to this question is more complicated than you think. While the Surface Duo line has a small following of fans, it hasn’t yet been a commercial success. In January 2023, the above report was issued by Windows Center Claiming it may have been chopped off with an axe. Well, sort of. Reports suggest the Duo 3 is finalized and ready for production, but Microsoft is abandoning it entirely. Microsoft is reportedly not ready to give up on Android phones completely. It’s just regrouping and trying different approaches.

You probably don’t want to bet any money on the Surface Duo 3 coming out in the next year or so.

It is worth noting that Panos Panay, Microsoft’s long-time head of Windows and Surface hardware, left the company in September 2023. That doesn’t necessarily mean the company’s Surface Duo plans have a bleak future, but a dramatic shift in strategy could cause Microsoft’s Surface Duo plans to run into trouble. Sometimes it comes with great departures like this.

So far, we haven’t heard much more about the 2024 Duo 3. Therefore, we don’t have any expectations for the upcoming device.

Should you wait for Microsoft Surface Duo 3?

Microsoft Surface Duo Upright 3

David Immel/Android Authority

In short, no. Microsoft has yet to officially confirm the device’s existence, let alone a release date. Combined with the lack of information about the product, you could be waiting a long time to get your hands on a device that probably won’t make its debut.

If you’re considering the next-generation Surface Duo, your best bet is to buy the Surface Duo 2. You can try your luck and find it used in places like Swappa. However, finding new stock is much more difficult.

There are enough traditional foldable phones to choose from, especially if you want a more refined Surface Duo-like experience right now. If you want to save some money, I highly recommend picking up the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 ($1,799.99 at Samsung), Fold 3 ($999.99 at Best Buy), OnePlus Open ($1,699.99 at Amazon), or even the Google Pixel Fold ( $1,799 at Amazon) if you want a pure Android alternative. There are more recommendations in our guide to the best foldable phones, but keep in mind that many of them aren’t available in the United States.

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