Double the Fun, or Double the Trouble? My Time with Microsoft’s Surface Duo

I can’t say that it’s worth $1,400… but is it worth $400?

Joshua Beck
14 min readAug 13, 2021


Surface Duo’s duo screens, artistically shot. Image by Author.

Reader, something remarkable has happened: the Surface Duo has dramatically dropped in price.

Ok… let me backtrack a bit.

When Microsoft first announced the Surface Duo and Surface Neo, I knew one thing: I wanted them both. Despite my preference for Apple devices- or at least my preference to use Google’s own hardware whenever I ventured into Android territory- I wanted them. I thought the Neo would replace my iPad. And the Duo… well, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted it to do.

And while my dreams of owning the Surface Neo are still just that since it was never released, my interest in the Surface Duo was quickly dashed once it actually hit the shelves. Reviewers seemed to make two things abundantly clear from the get-go: very few people should use it as their phone, and no one should buy it at its launch price. It was plagued by software bugs, it was running on a Snapdragon from yesteryear, and even the reviewers that liked the device got hung up on the $1,400 price tag. Reluctantly, I let the Duo go and moved on to other things. You can read the many reviews of those other things here on Medium.

For the most part, I never looked back at the Duo, except to think about it as yet another swing and miss for Windows Phone. And admittedly, that was a sad prospect, because back in the day I’d been a huge Windows Phone fan. And even though I’m mostly into the Apple ecosystem now, I really wanted Windows on a phone to make a comeback. I’d hoped that a Surface phone would do the trick, and, well, history told a different story.

But now, the turns have tabled. Or something. Microsoft and Best Buy are now selling the Surface Duo for $649 to $699, depending on storage size and whether you get it with a cellular plan. Amazon is selling it anywhere from $414 to $779. And I’ve even seen it below $400 on other websites around the net. That, to me, took it from being an overpriced concept device to something attainable.

And attain it I did. Honestly, I still wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do with it. All I knew was that I wanted to hold it in my hands and see…



Joshua Beck

I am just clever enough to get into trouble…