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This is the secret Surface Duo that Microsoft never released

An archived eBay listing has revealed pictures of an unreleased Microsoft Surface Duo. The device was supposed to debut as a midrange version of the Surface Duo 2. However, it never made the cut and was canceled later in 2021.

Windows Central, reports that the unit was listed as a Surface Duo 2 “dev unit.” While the listing is no longer available, the details were sourced in time to give us a closer look at what could have been the “Lite” version of the second-gen Surface Duo. In the images, the device appears to a rocking a matte plastic finish. It has slightly more rounded corners and — more importantly — has a lesser elevated camera bump as compared to the Duo 2.

Microsoft Surafce Duo on wodden table
Windows Central

The listing fails to provide any more details about the mysterious Surface Duo. However, the report states that the device in question is codenamed “Cronos.” It was supposed to feature mid-range Qualcomm SoC (possibly the Snapdragon 788G), a dual camera system, and non-curved displays without a glance bar. The device could have served folks who wanted to purchase a cheaper Surface Duo 2. Unfortunately, this cheaper Surface Duo never came to be.

Suraface Duo on a table
Windows Central

According to the report, Cronos was canceled after Microsoft shifted its focus to the next-gen Surface Duo, slated to arrive in 2023. The exact reason is yet to be known, but it’s possible that Microsoft wanted the lineup to evolve completely before introducing a new device. This becomes more likely considering that the Duo series has had its fair share of issues.

The Surface Duo 2 that we reviewed last year brought major improvements to the table. However, it’s what the first-generation Duo should have been. And despite those improvements, it still struggled with inadequate camera performance and numerous software bugs. Assuming Microsoft can eventually iron out these remaining quirks on its flagship Duo handsets, the idea of a cheaper model does sound exciting.

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