Microsoft is holding a Surface event on Wednesday, September 22 that’s expected to see the launch of a wide range of new devices. Alongside the Surface Pro 8, Surface Book 4, and other traditional Surface-branded products, the company is reportedly preparing a sequel to its first Android phone, the Surface Duo. A new set of FCC documents spotted by Windows Central confirm the addition of two missing features from the original Duo, 5G, and NFC. The documents also hint at the addition of wireless charging support and ultra-wideband for tracking accessories and enabling scenarios like Nearby Share.
Like with other FCC documents for pre-release products, the details are scarce. It’s not clear if the Duo 2 will support Qi charging, for example. However, Windows Central speculates that the Duo could support some form of reverse wireless charging for the Surface Pen, noting that the Qi wireless charging coil could be too big to fit into a device like the Duo without running into hearing issues or increasing the thickness unreasonably.
This isn’t the first Surface Duo 2 leak to make its way online. An earlier prototype of the device showcased a possible design direction for the Duo 2, with Microsoft adding in multiple camera lenses and a new black colorway. Microsoft is also reportedly adding in a Snapdragon 888, alleviating the original Duo’s flaw of shipping with an outdated chip — provided it ships on time, that is. Microsoft believed the Duo didn’t have to compete on specs when its unique form factor was selling point enough, but that ended up being proved wrong and now there are even more competitive offerings from Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi for those who want a foldable device.
Microsoft also did not launch the Surface Duo with 5G when it debuted in 2019, a strange misstep from the company — especially as 5G was beginning to proliferate worldwide. The lack of NFC also reduced the appeal of Surface Duo for use in cities like London, England where contactless payments are the norm for public transport and leisure spending. Rectification of these two shows that Microsoft is both ready to listen and learn from criticism and is quite serious about making the Duo a winner like it has done with its Surface Pro and Surface Book lines. The real question remains if it can compete with Samsung’s sheer dominance of the foldable market.
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