Microsoft Surface Duo One Week Later! Is it Really THAT Bad?!

by birtanpublished on October 2, 2020

Microsoft released the very ambitious duo one week ago and in that time i've used it as my only phone slash tablet which yes it was really hard for me to give up my ipad for a whole week so how well did it hold up is this just a bunch of cool hardware and terrible software like the internet says because the internet's always right right let's find out it stayed up and while we're finding out i'd like to thank today's sponsor audible

What's up everyone i'm the everyday dad and if i can figure it out you can figure it out okay so honestly i did cheat on the using this is my only device a little bit because i'm currently using my iphone as my teleprompter device right now that's a duty that it normally does so small asterisks the duo got used for 99 of all the things this week first off let's talk about the physical construction of this device quick note this isn't exactly like a foldable phone that you've probably heard so much about

It's really two phones kind of stapled together with a little bit of software trickery making android think this is really just one big screen yes it ends up being about as janky as that sounds but we'll talk more about the software later the build quality though the physical construction of this device is amazing if there's one thing if you look across the internet if there's one thing the internet can agree when it comes to this is how good this thing looks and how well it

Feels in the hand the thing about it is that having two phones combined into one doesn't exactly sound like it would be as impressive as something like the galaxy fold or some other device with continuous screens i'm not much into the foldable market space but i actually really like the design aesthetic here under the hood this is rocking a snapdragon 855 8 core 2.8 gigahertz processor it has six gigabytes of ram and the model that i purchased has 128 gigabytes of built-in storage

With no way to expand that there's not like an expandable sd card slot here for displays these individual screens are 5.6 inch 1800 by 1350 amoled displays it comes equipped with android 10 and yes it does have dual sim functionality depending on your wireless carrier the biggest shock when it comes to the specs though is the 3577 milliamp hour battery it doesn't sound like it can give you all-day use but it actually it works really well

All of these are they're pretty okay but not shocking specs and this device will run you fourteen hundred dollars wait what well okay gary come on there has to be a typo in there somewhere there let's check how much is this it costs fourteen hundred dollars oh my full disclosure my wallet is still angry with me over this not least of all you mentioned my wife this thing oh 1400 okay back to the physical construction i can't say enough good things

About how this is it's legitimately awesome the hardware on display here the duo is super thin i mean look at that when it's opened up into like dual screen mode this might be one of the thinnest electronic devices that i've ever owned you'd be forgiven for thinking that a device this thin couldn't really work but darn it those engineers figured out a way the entire outside of the device is made almost primarily out of glass and when i first heard about this i wasn't exactly thrilled i'm not the

Biggest fan of the new trend of glass-based mobile devices yes i include my beloved iphone in that mix a big reason for that is i don't trust wireless charging due to having a few real bad experiences where on several occasions i've set my phone on a wireless charger only to wake up that it just didn't work wireless charging overnight just straight up didn't work and that has really messed me over on professional not youtube work assignments so those kind of trust issues make it

Really hard for me to move to a technology where it has failed me and cost me reputation and money so long story long i don't like the trade-off where we gain the fragility of glass for a technology that i don't use and what makes it doubly frustrating for the duo is it doesn't even have wireless charging so why is it all glass if we don't even get it this thing has a weakness without any benefit wow that was

That was a much longer tangent than i thought it would be the rest the physical construction is great the buttons the physical buttons are great the hinge is insanely good i want to reiterate this the duo might have the best set of hardware that i've ever seen on a mobile device i could go on i could go on for several paragraphs at how good the hinges are how just how satisfying it is to hold and how great it is to open and close something i missed back from the early

Days of cell phones was being able to end a phone call with like a satisfying shut of my flip phone it's just so empowering no i'm done talking to you flip you get much of that here hey you're done talking flip and something else i don't know exactly how they did this but when you close the duo it feels like it's being closed onto felt can you hear that there is no felt around this device i have i have no idea how they did this i have no idea how they did this

But this is hands down my favorite device i've ever had to close like i just i love it i love opening and closing this thing it's not all perfect though there are three dings that i would give them from a hardware standpoint first off i don't really like the bezels yes go ahead and say it the hat that i'm currently wearing is my hypocrisy hat i've given the iphone se and the new imacs a pretty big pass on bezels but the duo it's just the way that this is set up it's almost

Screaming it's like it's screaming to have bigger screen and more real estate around it i i don't know the bezels here bother me more than they bother me on the iphone and sure call me a hypocrite for that the second hardware thing is the camera and no we haven't mentioned it yet what you might have seen from all the product b-roll there isn't a rear-facing camera here well i which i will admit is a pretty sleek way for the microsoft engineers to get around the hole people hate camera bumps on the back of their

Device problems but the execution is good and kind of wonky at the same time the camera itself has an 11 megapixel sensor running at an f 2.0 aperture that's pretty low when compared against the iphone sc and it's very low when compared against the google pixel 4a plus if you want to take a picture of something and yes we're talking about software quickly but this is not the software section you have to do this like fold thing where you set the camera to go and then you have to tap on the screen

And you get the camera display back here while the camera's in front of you and it's it's just not a good look i do not like how that is to work and then if you want to take like a selfie it's even harder to take a selfie like this it's just it's frustrating but i did say this camera has a good thing i do really like how the front-facing camera works for things like virtual meetings which honestly is what it's there for you do get a lot of options from either being in portrait mode maybe in a stand or some kind of bookish mode like this

Or you could have it in landscape and use the second screen the bottom screen as a base and it's this second screen is a base mode that i actually really like so without anything else without a single other accessory you can pop this device down and have a legit conference you don't need to buy a stand and you don't need to like hand hold it you don't need to prop it up against something it just it just works you can set it in so many different ways while still having functionality of both

Screens now it's not the widest field of view compared to something like the wide-angle selfie camera on the iphone 11 but for a business type meeting i think it's basically a perfect camera angle and the third hardware ding is less of a ding and more like a deal breaking crack like a deal breaking gong is what we'll call it i can't believe this is so bad and it's the speakers i'm sorry the speaker on the duo is

Awful awful the absolute worst speaker i've ever heard on a main brand electronic device now i'm not an audiophile so it doesn't really take that much to impress me when it comes to audio but this is a bridge too far it's it's real bad super tinny no bass no clarity just awful stuff awful stuff and if you use the speaker on your phone for any sort of like content consumption like if you need that quality to be good do not buy this device now let's quickly mention today's sponsor

Audible audible is the number one provider of spoken word entertainment and audiobooks why i am telling you this one yes they are the sponsor of today's video but more importantly as we're all learning to adapt to our new roles working from home i find that it's getting harder and harder to actually have time to sit down and read being able to listen to an audiobook frees you up to jointly do tasks i'm a big fan of multitasking for example i've started listening to my favorite sci-fi stories while i'm out

Jogging recently i finished armor by john stakely and because of that convenience i'm able to get back into my weekly quasi-reading rhythm again go ahead and click on the link in the description below to go to audible.com everydaydad or you can text everyday that to 500 500 get started with your own adventure today thus far i mean besides the speakers this has actually been a pretty positive video for the surface duo but it's time to get into some of the harder concerns so

Let's now talk about software because there are some pretty big problems from that perspective like we said earlier the duo is running android 10. and while i'm not the biggest fan of android i don't really think the problems are android's fault i don't know that i've said that very often in my life but you can quote me it's not android's fault for starters you can have two separate apps up in the two separate screens at the same time kind of like how apple

Does it with the ipad except actually two physically separate screens you can switch an app from screen to screen by pressing holding it up just a little bit and moving it and this works most of the time or you can press and hold and set the app in the middle to have it take up both displays when talking about the biggest problems of the duo that like full display thing that's where there be monsters

Most apps that i've used so far are not optimized to have a big gap in the middle of them the main exceptions being book apps which honestly we're waiting for a device like this to be made and the included microsoft suite outlook teams and the rest of the gang they all handle this gap really well and it's this part where the software shines the brightest using the included microsoft software really lets you get an appreciation for how good this device can be but the root cause of most of my issues with the

Duo come from the fact that at the end of the day the background service android doesn't know that it's running a device with two screens it thinks that it's either running a device with one big screen or it's running two separate displays not one device running one display that could handle two things at once and as much as i dislike android and as much as i like windows i wish i could blame all of the problem on android but i can't though the

Microsoft team in choosing android as their operating system they're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole here maybe it will work better as they release more updates but i'm kind of skeptical okay so we've talked hardware and we've talked software so is there actually a use case could somebody unironically buy this and actually use this for productivity yes absolutely and the more i use the duo the more i'm actually enjoying it the thing you have to accept about the duo is that it's

In this weird space where you have to approach it less as a phone hybrid and more is like a mini computer that happens to be running a phone operating system i i know that sounds weird but you have to change your orientation in your brain on what the device actually is so you have to segment this into what i've been considering phone mode and work mode phone mode is when i have it in the screen folded back on itself

And i use the duo as a single screened device it's fast enough that i can get my tweets out i can browse the internet i can send a few emails the base keyboard is terrible and my enjoyment of the device went way through the roof once i installed gboard but this works pretty darn well as like a big squat phone i actually like the wider display as opposed to how thin phone displays have been getting recently video playback is fine and honestly it's

A phone i don't need it to do much besides tweet out my hot takes and let me sit in a conference or two and when it comes to conference calls that works perfectly fine the audio again the speakers aren't great but it works perfectly fine work mode though is where it gets interesting for me that's where i set the device into either a stand or i use the second screen as the base mode and then i will pair a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to the duo and this works phenomenally well i mean

It works so good consider this consider this when you talk about like what kind of tech that i that gary carries around normally i've got my iphone with me and i've got my ipad and my ipad is always covered in the magic keyboard so it's still like that's not a kit that takes up much space but sometimes i regret needing two devices all of the time this covers both with the added benefit of dual of actual physical dual screens

When i'm working like normally i like either having dual screens or in the case of my actual production computer like what i use for these videos i have an ultra wide so i can have everything open in front of me at once for example when i'm responding to emails i like having my calendar open right next to it so i don't double book myself okay i don't like double booking myself as much as i normally do because i double book myself so much i double book myself so much i really gotta get better at

That i also like having my research open when i'm typing these scripts and i hate going back and forth between hidden tabs to make that happen it's just it's very very useful to have two monitors at the same time when i'm trying to work that's why i like sidecar so much with my ipad and macbook and that's where the duo shines getting work done with a couple key accessories basically turns this into a tiny computer so long as you're using the microsoft software but at the end of the day

So what right should you buy the microsoft duo no no you should not buy this device i really and that's not to say that i don't like it i really like this and in this week it's made a very strong argument that this should be my single mobile device like this should be the only thing i carry around with me but the price i cannot get around the price for fourteen hundred dollars you could get a macbook pro for fourteen hundred dollars you could get an iphone

Se an ipad pro and the magic keyboard okay that's together that's 1500 but 100 more you could get all of that instead of this for 1400 you could hire somebody each month to manage your emails and do all this productivity for you it just the cost is too much especially for a device that has the software problems that this one does if microsoft were to drop the price below a thousand i'd probably consider recommending this and if it drops to around 899

I think this is a winner i think this would be a productivity winner if it was under 900 but for 1400 i do not recommend the surface duo no matter how much i actually personally like it and if you like this video but you're looking for something cheaper when it comes to phones you should check out my iphone se playlist and you can find that by clicking right here in the duo click on the duo to go to the iphone se we're deep here click

Click click click click click click thanks for watching

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