Unfolding the first trifold phone

(instrumental music) – Folding phones are boring. Look we've had the first
wave of foldable devices and they're neat, but you've
seen all that already. This is about what comes next after the current generation of foldables. Sling like the tri-fold from TCL, a wild new concept, folding
tablet, phone thing. (techno-music) Unlike most foldables the
tri-fold has two hinges, which lets it fold up into thirds . You can use it as a phone, you can unfold it once
to use as a bigger screen or fold the unfolded
into a full size tablet. It's not a half way compromise
like some of the other foldables that we've seen which basically turn into just slightly
wider phone displays.

This is a full blown tablet. It's nearly as big as an iPad, but you can still fit it in your pocket. The screen folds from a 10 inch tablet down to 6.65 inch phone. You could also open it two-thirds the way and ya know prop that up it'll auto rotate so you can use in whatever
orientation you want. There's a lot of weird use cases that you could probably use this for. The screen on this one is a 3k panel, but again that's just this prototype.

We have no idea if the finished
version will have that, but the tri-fold shows just
how hard it's gonna be to turn these ideas into reality. I've gotten to play around
with the prototype for a bit and it's really rough to use right now. It is incredibly heavy for a phone. It's got those big metal hinges
and there are three separate batteries to power all those displays, it's basically three phones.

And even though it's really
thin as a tablet the phone mode is super thick and that's
before your worrying about things like the software, which is basically non-existent. Durability which is a huge question or price which who even knows. (techno music) But looking even further into the future. TCL also had a very early
mock up of a rollable phone. This is really cool idea
that's a phone that has a fully flexible display that
slides around the side and behind the phone. And it could roll back out
and become a larger display when you need more space. The way it will, in theory, work is that there's gonna be motors
on the inside of the phone and you'll press a button
and it'll expand out from a 6.75 inch display
to a 7.8 inch screen.

Now that doesn't sound like a
lot, but your actually getting almost double the screen space
it's almost twice as wide. The whole system is actually
pretty similar to the rollable Oled TV that LG's been
showing off for years. Now again this is a really early concept, it's not even a functional
device, just plastic and a screen that's literally
just a sheet of paper.

Is this a good idea? Who knows. It does avoid some of the
issues of current foldables, like those easily breakable hinges and the creased display which is cool. But it's almost guaranteed
to have issues of its own. Moving parts they're tricky. Now the tri-fold is
just a proof of concept and the plastic sliding one even more so. You won't actually be able to
buy either of these devices and it's not clear if TCL's
actually gonna make products based on these concepts in the future.

So why should you care. Well, first of all, because it's cool. I mean look at this thing
it's a phone that unfolds into a giant full size tablet. And it actually turns on and runs android, it's like a science fiction prop. But it's also important,
because TCL is planning on eventually making
foldable and rollable phones that might actually look like these. Possibly as early as next year. The company says that it's
experimenting with dozens of different form factors right now.

So it's possible that phones like these, could be real one day. Look phones have basically been the same for the last decade. Black boxes with touch screens. Devices like the tri-fold
or that sliding concept, even if they're not here yet, show off what the future phones might one day look like. And that's really exciting idea. Thanks so much for watching. If you want to see more videos
about cool phones check out our Galaxy S20 ultra review. You can actually buy that one.

Check out the review. See if you want to. And like and subscribe for
more great videos like this..

As found on YouTube

Can a Folding Phone Bend Both Ways?! – Bend Test!

Have you ever thought to yourself 'I totally
wish my phone could fold in half'? If so, join the club. And if not, now all the wildest dreams you've
never had are coming true with the world's first foldable phone you can actually buy. It's called the FlexPai from a company called
Royole. It's literally the first phone with a foldable
screen that's commercially available. Yeah, Samsung did have one once upon a time,
but they still haven't gotten around to actually releasing the Galaxy Fold yet. So I'll believe it when I see it and can actually
buy one. Inside the box is whatever this is. And here is the FlexPai with some instructions
on how to fold and unfold the phone written on the outer covering. Honestly, I think it looks pretty cool. It feels solid and heavy. I held one of these for the first time at
CES this year. But obviously, since that was a demo unit
and not my own personal device, I wasn't going to try to see what happens when it's bent
both directions.

Today though, this one here is all mine, and
there's no one here to stop us. Let's get started. [Intro] Right out of the box there are some confidence
diminishing instructions that flash across the screen, like 'only charge the phone with
the device unfolded.' And then look here at this massive list of
instructions: don't drop it, keep the surface dry and clean, please avoid sharp or pointed
objects….uh huh, got it, sure thing. And right below that, it keeps going on to
say no screen protectors are allowed, and the phone can't be opened if the temperature
is below freezing. It also looks like the side of the phone is
super magnetic. This is going to be fun. Opening and closing the phone automatically
changes how the apps are displayed on the screen. Magnets are the thing that holds the phone
shut in the closed position with a very satisfyingly hard click. The magnets will definitely keep the phone
from flopping open on its own.

The hinge of the phone here in the center
is covered with a very dark blue rubberish material and held in place by a series of
hex screws. It takes up a good portion of the back panel
real estate. It looks like one of those wrinkly dogs, or
even a slinky that can be bent back and forth. Good luck slapping a dbrand skin on this one. When it does snap closed, it leaves just enough
room inside for a pencil to clip into the gap between the back halves. Might be a perfect spot for a future stylus…just
saying. The two back panels have a subtle shimmer
that we see on most smartphones these days – low key, and it doesn't really draw attention
to itself…well, besides the fact that it folds in half.

That's a minor detail of course. You can see how reflective and shiny the screen
is as well. The scratch test is going to be super interesting. The weird thing to me though is that the screen
is always going to be exposed on the outside of the phone – always. The whole thing is just there…vulnerable. The whole system functions like an Android
tablet, but then has the ability to fold closed to be the size of a phone. It also has memory enough to remember which
app was open on which side of the phone each time you flip it around. It also has a little center options bar in
the fold of the phone.

Honestly, it looks pretty slick. Yeah, the thing is a bit thick, but if it's
durable, I could totally see myself using one of these. Trying to think of logical reasons of why
I would actually ever need a foldable phone though. It would probably mostly be just watching
movies and YouTube since, you know, I spend a lot of time on YouTube. This Flexi-boy can watch videos in full screen
mode while the phone is folded. And it can also watch full screen videos in
the unfolded mode. Honestly, pretty darn cool. A company called Asurion did a study one time
and found that people check their phones on average about 80 times a day. And judging by the amount of people I see
texting and driving, I believe that number. Royole says on their website that this phone
is good for over 200,000 folds. So if we're unfolding this FlexPai 80 times
a day, under perfect conditions of course, this phone would last almost 7 whole years. That's pretty fantastic considering that the
Galaxy fold lasted about 7 whole days.

Remember this thing is available to buy right
now for a cool $1,300 dollars. Let's see what we get for that. Inside the box we get a SIM card removal tool
and a microfiber cloth, some USB-C braided headphones, and a USB-C power cable, and a
branded power brick. There's no case or screen protectors inside
the box. That's interesting. Now that we know everything is working properly,
let's start with the scratch test. Knowing what we know about the laws of physics,
it's pretty safe to say that the screen is not going to be made from glass, since glass
is glass and glass does not bend.

The surface of the FlexPai has to be made
from a flexible optically clear plastic. The hardness level of that plastic though
is up for debate. In this particular case we see that the level
2 pick leaves no marks on the screen. But the level 3 pick, as it's applied to the
surface of the flattened phone, starts leaving indented grooves all along the whole surface
of the display. This is why there were warnings when I first
turned on the phone.

The FlexPai gets permanently damaged at a
very soft Mohs level 3. This is the main reason having a screen on
the outside of the fold is a bad idea. When it's in your pocket, both sides of the
screen are rubbing up against the sides of your pocket. And again, when it's folded on a table, one
screen side will always be touching something hard. There is no safe zone. Watch as my fingernail can also damage the
screen permanently.

This thing is going to get pretty wrecked
with every day use – especially since screen protectors are not allowed. Samsung's implementation of having the screen
fold up inside the phone is hypothetically the better of the two methods since the closed
fold protects the plastic screen. But, you know, their phone also only lasted
a week. So you win some, and you lose some. Checking out the top of the FlexPai, moving
from the plastic layer up to the top panel, there's a definite ridge.

And that panel is made from glass. My razor is doing no damage to the surface
of that at least. The internal magnet is also pulling my razor
all over the place. Even holding up my pry tool with its own magical
magnetic strength. It's super strong. Probably because that hinge won't let the
phone stay closed without it. A little trick I learned from Marquez with
this magnet paper. We can see the large rectangular magnet right
dead center inside the glass panel. We can also see the two bottom loud speakers
in the center of each half. And over there in the bottom corner is the
vibration motor, also made from magnets.

There's another large rectangular magnet on
the other side of the phone that will keep things shut. Pretty darn cool. We'll take a look at the insides of the FlexPai
during the teardown…you know, if it survives the rest of this durability test. There is a dual tone LED flash alongside the
dual camera lenses. A 16 megapixel normal camera is paired up
with a 20 megapixel telephoto camera. No complaints here. Having multiple cameras that offer different
perspectives is really the way to go. That's one of the things I'm looking forward
to when I finally upgrade my personal Galaxy S8 Plus. With so many sides to analyze, this might
take a minute. The bottom right quadrant has a loudspeaker
grill. The bottom has the power button, volume up
button, fingerprint scanner, and the volume down button, in that exact order. The fingerprint scanner chilling here in the
middle is in a weird spot, but I'm not judging.

Even after scratching up the surface of the
scanner, it was still able to read and recognize my fingerprint nearly every single time. The bottom left quadrant has a whole lot of
nothing…except more metal. The hinge portion is where things start to
get interesting, and we'll talk more about this in a second. But Royole has literally trademarked the name
Cicada Wing as the name for this thing. True story: a cicada is a super gross bug,
and I have no idea why in the world they would choose that to brand their phone with. I give Apple a hard time about a lot of things,
but at least they don't name their phone parts after bugs. The rubber portion has little air pockets
in it to allow the flexing between the hinge segments.

The rubber wrinkles sit over the little voids
in the hinge…kind of like when Grandma pulls your cheek. It's all kinds of squishy. The top left quadrant has more metal, along
with a USB-C charging port and a SIM card tray. It's really nice of Royole to include an SD
card slot. Adding movies and media to the large screen
will be super easy. The top of the phone has more metal and a
few plastic antenna lines. Honestly, the more I see, the more I like. It's a really super fun phone. Checking the back panels where we would normally
see glass, this Flexi-boy has large plastic rectangles. The phone is heavy enough that initially I
thought the panels were made of glass, but it is not.

My razor blade's making short work of the
surface which is actually really good news for us because now I get to tell you more
about this vial little cicada bug that Royole is so proudly naming their phone after. No, I don't care about most bugs…they don't
bother me, I don't bother them. But cicadas are in a realm all of their own.

These cousins of crickets swarm out of ground
every 13 years. Then they shed their crunchy potato chip skin
like a snake, grow wings on either side of their body, and then cicadas make an incredibly
loud incessant noise by vibrating membranes on their abdomen. [Cicada sounds] That's more annoying than
any sound I've ever made. Then the cicadas go lay their eggs in tree
branches, which kills the branch, making it fall to the ground where the baby bugs can
crawl out into the ground and wait for another 13 years before they can pop out and start
the whole process all over again. This is a true story. The cicada wings are slightly separated from
one another like the folds of this phone, so I can kind of see why they're named after
each other. But still…gross. The bug should be burned. Nailed that transition. The 7.8 inch 1920 x 1440 flexible display
lasted about 5 seconds under the heat from my flame. The screen is so thin there's no insulating
layer over the pixels to absorb the heat like we see on glass phones.

The flame directly burns the pixels, literally
destroying them to the point of no return in 5 seconds. Makes me wonder if impacts or pressure points
might do the same to individual pixels, especially since if the folded phone accidentally drops,
no matter how it falls, it's going to hit the screen area. It'll be interesting to see how this phone
progresses into the wild as more people own it. Now it's time for the bend test. When bending from the front, we get a nice
uniform fold along the center of the device, with a satisfying click at the end as the
magnets latch together. The screen still rotates to face whatever
side is active at the moment. Opening the phone up, we see no permanent
kinks or cracks in the frame, thankfully, or this would be pretty awkward since that's
the way the phone's supposed to bend. Alright, here's a few more times now, and
you know, just from the front because I'm kind of legit nervous and I feel pretty bad
about what might happen next.

I've been curious if a tight pants pocket
might be able to collapse or crush the folded phone since it has the large gap in the frame. It's kind of just asking for trouble. With a full palm grip and 100% effort trying
to crush the phone single handedly – nothing happens. The hinge is intact and the phone is still
totally operational. The hardware is going to be uncrushable by
the pocket of your skinny jeans. My fingers do not hurt the pixels either,
so I'm glad for that. But what happens if the phone is laid flat
and grandma sits on it? Well, to be honest, it actually flexes quite
a bit in the wrong direction with no damage. Going from the flat 180 degrees all the way
to a 270 degree three-quarter circle before the hinge finally snapped in half, breaking
at two points. But the phone itself is still turned on and
functional, even after bending in the complete opposite and wrong direction. The FlexPai swings both ways. Even with that crack in the hinge, it still
folds shut normally. And then when bending back out the wrong direction
again, we can see how paper thin the display really is.

Royole is currently putting the same display
technology on t-shirts and hats for about $900 each. I do think we gotta be honest here for a second. This thing is lasting a lot longer than we
all thought it would. Look how tight this fold gets. Flexible screen technology is pretty amazing. I can literally bend this FlexPai any way
I want and it's still functioning. My mind is blown. I don't even really know what to do with myself
right now. This thing survived longer than the iPad Pro. Thumbs up for that.

Royole might have just single-handedly made
my bend test irrelevant with this invincible foldable display…well, until this happened
anyway. One wrong fold at an angle pinched the screen
in a way that finally cracked it right down the center. Apparently the display can only be folded
along one plane, which makes sense. The structure of the phone hinge got demolished
in the first bend, so there wasn't anything there to support the screen from behind. The large gentle curve of that hinge made
each folding movement easier on the screen. Even though we've seen the display can handle
much tighter creases, having that gentle fold I'm sure preserves longevity.

That one long crack along the center finally
did kill the touch sensitivity of the phone as well. But either way, the Royole FlexPai put up
a really good fight and I'm downright impressed. I'm a huge fan of this new flexible innovation. Even now in the beginning stages, where it's
not totally useful, I think that with normal use, the FlexPai will probably last for quite
a while. It almost even won this round. And even though the phone ended up dead, I
think we should have a moment of silence for the world's first foldable phone. [Cicada sounds] Do you see yourself using a foldable phone
in the future? Also, should we perform an autopsy on the
FlexPai to see the insides? Let me know down in the comments. Hit that subscribe button if you haven't already. Come hang out with me on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks a ton for watching. I'll see you around..

As found on YouTube

Royole FlexPai 2: Unboxing + Hands-On With Newest Foldable

Hey, everybody. So when most of you guys think
of the foldable phone, you think of the Samsung Galaxy
Fold; the is the Fold 2, or maybe the Huawei Mate X or
maybe Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. But, actually the first phone brand
to put out a foldable phone, meaning a foldable
OLED screen, was not Samsung,
or Huawei. It was a Chinese brand
named Royole, I tested the very first phone,
the Royole FlexPai, and to be honest, the phone
was not that great. But Royole's back with
a second version; This is the
FlexPai 2. So this was officially launched virtually
in China about a week ago. I don't think it's even
on sale yet. I might be one of the very first reviewers
to get my hands on this, you know, not because I'm like better or anything, but
just because I'm closer to the company.

But yeah, I always get my hands
on these tech really early. So if you're interested
in following the latest, you might want to consider
subscribing to my channel. So we have the
phone right here. This hinge already feels much
better than the last one, but let's put this
to the side first. Let's see what else
is in this box. So we have a charging brick, a sim ejector tool
and some papers and a USB-C cable. That appears
to be it. So no case…
no nothing. Last year's version came with a slight little
leather cover, but not this year's. Anyway, let's get
to the main event. So you have a quad
camera system here, and you have, I believe this is
like a 7.8 inch screen.

Okay, let's do
the first fold. Oh, so it folds a lot more
flush than last year. Last year's version,
when you fold it, there was actually still a little bit
like a half an inch of a gap: this year, you see it folds pretty flush,
compared to the Galaxy Fold 2. So this screen is
clearly plastic, it does not have that ultra thin glass technology
that's used in the Galaxy Z Fold2.

So this is called water OS
version 2. Alright, that was
a quick setup! Seems pretty intuitive
so far. So this is one use case from the
first FlexPai that's carried over; when you flip over the phone, you
can have a screen on the other side. So you can have two apps
running separately. So for example, you can have your Instagram
on this app and WhatsApp on this app. So that means you can
chat with your friend, and check your IG, you know, back and forth
without needing to actually close the app. So anyway, let me set up my information,
see if I can load Google on there. I'm not sure if we can
and then I'll be back. Alright guys,
I'm back. So, I took the Royole FlexPai 2
out with me for an afternoon, played around with
it nonstop.

And I have pretty good impressions
of this device already. So first things first; let's just
get this out of the way: This is not better than
the Galaxy Fold 2, and I think it would have been
almost damn near miracle, if Royole had made this better
than the Galaxy Fold 2. You know, Royole, they are a Chinese company
that they're relatively new to smartphones. The FlexPai; the first one was actually
their very first smartphone. This is just a second
attempt. Instead, they are a company that
specializes in making display panels, for many other different
businesses like, you know, if you go to mall in China, you see a curved display
that wraps around a wall; that might be from Royole, or on a bus, stuff
like that.

So this is only the second
attempt at a phone, and you can't really expect a relatively small
company, at least compared to Samsung, to be able to make a thing that
beats the Galaxy Fold 2 which, let's be honest here; this is
the phone of the year. Let's over specs
anyway. So this thing sells
for 1500 US dollars. That's just the conversion because it's
not gonna go on sale in the US for sure; It's about 9998 Chinese Yuan, so
that comes out about $1,500. So this thing runs on
a Snapdragon 865, this display on the front, it's a 5.5 inch
display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Now, around the back, it's a 5.4 inch
display with a 16:10 aspect ratio.

But of course, this
is one panel. When you unfold the device, it becomes
a 7.8 inch display, a resolution of 1440p. Now, this hinge is really nice;
it's really well built, and as I already mentioned during the
unboxing, it actually folds more flush, really similar to the Huawei Mate XS's
hinge; the design is very similar. So this is a huge improvement
over the first FlexPai's hinge, which left a pretty wide
gap like that much, and the back of the hinge was
covered in cloth, in fabric.

It looked pretty kind of
homemade to be honest. Now, this hinge
looks a lot better. Now you have four
cameras right here; at the top you have a 16MP
ultra wide angle camera, the second camera is an 8MP telephoto
lens that can do 3X lossless zoom, and right here, the main camera; this is
a 64MP main camera with an F1.9 aperture, and down here is a 32MP portrait
lens for taking selfies.

Now I can't say I've tested the cameras
heavily, but I've tested it quite a bit, I've been outside for like 40 minutes
taking a lot of pictures, and the main camera; it's okay,
the 3X camera is also okay, the ultra wide angle camera;
not that great. There's like a major colour shift
in terms of color temperature, when you switch from the main camera and the
wide angle camera and the portrait lens. I don't even know what the hell
it does, to be honest. But let's get to the most
exciting part the phone; the fact that this is a pocketable device
that doubles as a smartphone, but if you want you can have it,
work as a tablet too.

And while we're already here, we
might as well do a speaker test. So, you get stereo speakers
on this phone, you have a speaker grill
down here and up top. So we have 60%…
max volume, 50%… So, speaker sounds pretty
good; stereo speaker, and this display panel
looks pretty good. Now, for those of you who've used
a Galaxy Z Flip or a Fold 2, you may know that this
inside foldable screen, has seen a major improvement from the
first Fold in that, it feels more like glass, it doesn't feel as soft and mushy,
like the first Galaxy Fold's panel. Unfortunately, Royole's screen
technology isn't there, meaning if you touch the foldable
screen of the Royole FlexPai 2, it feels softer, a little bit mushier than
the ultra thin glass that's used here. Now to be fair, this is
still kind of plastic, it is just mixed with a little bit of glass
to make it feel a little bit harder, But it definitely feels a little bit
more durable than the screen, and this is one of my major concerns
about using this phone.

Just like the Huawei Mate X,
the screen is always exposed. So that means if you drop this phone,
it's probably a goner, if you accidentally clang
this phone on a table, when you're taking it in
and out of your pocket, it's probably
a goner. So, durability is probably
a concern. Now, as I demonstrated
during the hands on, this UI allows you to open two apps,
basically separately, one on the front screen run
and one on the back screen. So, let's say on the front
screen on, Instagram. Now when I flip the phone around,
the screen automatically lights up, it can tell which side
is the right side up. I can open, say, the photo album right here.

And it
remains open, so now I have the full album right here. If I flip back around, I have
Instagram right here. And I really like that, when
you're watching Instagram, you can unfold the device and
it goes into this full screen view. I just think Instagram Stories
look so good on a large screen. Now the question a lot you guys
are surely wondering is, "Can this one run
Google Apps?" Unfortunately: No,
at least not so far.

So, I've already installed all
the site loading Google methods, like I downloaded an
APK from APK mirror, and I downloaded this really popular
Chinese app to install Google Apps, and it just cannot get Google
frameworks running. I think what happened was Royole
did not pay the licensing fee, so it does not have the Google
core mobile services in there, which is basically the same problem
that's happening to Huawei, except the difference is: Huawei
does not have access to it, not because they didn't pay, but
because Donald Trump blocked it, whereas Royole probably just did
not pay Google for those rights. So that means you cannot run
main core Google Apps on this, like YouTube, Google pay,
Google Drive… stuff like that. But Google Chrome still works
on this, as you can see, and you can watch YouTube
on Google Chrome, and Google Maps actually
work on this phone too. Now, let's check out
the settings panel. So the first thing you see
up top is edge screen. So I've turned it off already,
but by default it's on. When you turn it on, it basically has this little
pulldown menu from the side, you know, same same logic as the
Galaxy edge phones, meaning you pull from the side and it's
a menu that you trigger, from the side.

You have a shortcut here
to launch the camera, and shortcuts to launch Alipay and
WeChat… other Chinese apps. The good news is you can customize this menu
so you can put other apps on here too. Like you can have Instagram
on here if you want. Now, one cool shortcut trick is… this
space underneath the camera module, there's actually a touch
sensitive panel right here, and you can trigger actions
like, for example, let's say you have Chrome
open right here, if you double tap, it jumps
into a split screen mode. So now you can open something like…
I can open a calculator, you can double tap again, and you
can now open a third app, and you can resize
the windows too. So, multitasking, so far
seems pretty intuitive. I've not encountered
many bugs. Now overall in-hand feel,
it's pretty nice, although this phone is a little bit heavy,
and is also a little bit wide. So it's kind of awkward to hold
for long periods of time, because, you know, narrow
phones are easy to grip.

So this is not like the most
comfortable Fold to grip. The overall construction
does feel premium, although I am worried about the
durability of the screen. So that's about it for this kind of early
first look at the Royole FlexPai 2. I like the
hardware. Unfortunately, the lack of support for Google
Apps is going to be a major issue for me, and probably most
of you watching this, but to be honest, this phone's
not gonna sell outside of China, it's not meant for global audience;
this is meant for people within China, and you know, like it is what it is, I mean, the
Galaxy Fold 2 is the better phone for sure. If you can pay $1500 for this, you might as well
pay a little bit more and get the Fold 2.

But you know, if you want to
support a Chinese brand, if you want to support
a smaller brand, or if you have the money to buy multiple
phones, if you're a collector, this might be worth
looking at. So this is the Royole
FlexPai 2, I'm going to be testing a little bit more
and be back with a more full review, with more photo samples and opinions
on the camera and overall UI: all that. So that's it
for now. Once again, if you're interested
in keeping up to date, with the latest tech and gadgets out
of China or out of Japan and Korea, please subscribe
to my channel, or follow me on Instagram
at bensgadgetreviews. Thanks for
watching..

As found on YouTube

Surface Duo first look: Microsoft’s foldable Android phone

– Remember Windows Phone
from way back when? Well Microsoft is kind
of getting back into making smartphones. This is Surface Duo, and it runs Android. Not Windows or Windows Phone. That's right. Microsoft is making a
Surface phone with Android. If that sounds surprising, it's because it really is. But we'll get back into the Android side in a minute. Duo is part of two new futuristic dual-screen devices that
Microsoft announced today. And they're coming in Holiday 2020. Surface Duo has two 5.6 inch displays that fold out into an
8.3 inch device overall. And it's just 4.8 millimeters thin. It folds like many two-in-one laptops thanks to a 360 degrees hinge. And it's designed to
get more done on the go. It looks tiny for this type of device, and it felt kind of like a Galaxy Note in my pocket. Now, I wasn't allowed to play around with the software on this device, but it looks and feels
like a tiny pocket tablet that's also a phone. The difference between this and any other Android phone, except maybe the Galaxy Fold, is visually obvious.

But Microsoft thinks this is part of a new category of devices that allow people to do a lot more with tablets and phones
than they do today. As part of this idea, Microsoft also announced a
Surface Neo device today. Which has two larger 9 inch displays. The Duo and the Neo share a very similar design, but they don't share a
common operating system. Neo, the larger dual-screen device, runs Windows 10 X, and has all your familiar
desktop and tablet apps. The reason this isn't
running Windows Phone is because Microsoft gave up on that operating system years ago, when it couldn't convince developers to create apps for it's devices. Now we sat down with Microsoft's Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, on the Vergecast this week, to talk about why Microsoft
chose Android this time for the Surface Duo.

– [Panay] Well because, those are the apps you want. I don't know how to answer it differently for you. Because there's hundreds
of thousands of apps and you want them. Asati and I talked about it, it's about meeting our
customers where they are. And I don't think the, you know, the mobile application platform's going anywhere any time soon, you need the apps. – So you'll get the apps you'd expect from a phone inside
the dual-screen device, but how is this different from any other smartphone? I mean it obviously looks different. And the main idea is making use of these two displays in ways we're only starting to see other Android phone makers explore. You could run a game on one side, and a game pad on the other, or multi-task by dragging
and dropping content between apps. Microsoft hasn't thought
of everything you'd do with the Surface Duo just yet, but that's why it's announcing it now so developers can fill in the gaps.

They're really aiming to introduce a new form factor here, and a way for a device to
adjust itself on the go, no matter the task. We've seen foldable devices from Huawei and Samsung, but the Duo has two separate displays that are made of glass, rather than foldable plastic. Which given the issues
with Samsung's Galaxy Fold, that might be a good choice right now. Microsoft has been
working on this hardware for three years, and Panos Panay tells us that this device won't change much by the time it debuts late next year.

The real key question will be whether Android app developers create the apps and
experiences that really take advantage of this dual-screen device. And whether consumers
want this type of hardware in a phone form factor in the first place. That's why Microsoft also has its largest Surface Neo device running Windows. And it really feels like the company wants to offer a Surface at every shape and size. Microsoft also seems to be implying that the operating system really doesn't matter for
Surface devices anymore.

And it's willing to partner
with Google and others to offer what makes sense. So does that means that
Android is the future for Microsoft? – [Panay] (clears throat)
No no no no no no. You want to give customers what they want in the form factor that they're using. We've learned this, you know, the right operating system
on the wrong product or the other way around, pick your words, but what's the right operating system for the form factor? And in this case, in mobile devices, Android's
the obvious choice. But anything above that, Windows is everything.

Superior for me. – So, will the Surface
Duo and the Surface Neo combine in the future? Will there be a smartphone
that turns into a tablet, that then turns into a laptop, then you dock and turns into a real PC? We're years away from anything even getting close to that. But it opens up the questions about where this dual-screen and foldable hardware is going exactly. And they're really hard
questions to answer right now. Microsoft will now need to convince app developers and consumers that these dual-screen devices are truly the new device category that we've
all been waiting for.

Wherever things end up, it looks like Microsoft want to be ready at every point with Surface. You want a phone that's a little bit more than a phone that
has an extra display? Surface Duo. You want a tablet that
transforms into a laptop? Surface Neo or Surface Pro. Microsoft is covering
every hardware base here, and it's leaving it up to you to decide what device you actually need.

– [Panay] You know, I think like anything, look at the product you think is most interesting to you and where you think you can be more creative, that's what I would push. And I think this products gonna be there next year. Not in a hurry, you know, hang out. Take photos or do whatever it is you do on your phone today
for a little bit longer and then, see if we can convince you that you can be more
creative on this product. – It's been a crazy day of Surface devices and there's a bunch of hands-on videos you should check out
on our YouTube channel.

Be sure to also definitely
check out the Vergecast, 'cause it has the full
interview with Panos Panay, and you don't wanna miss it..

As found on YouTube