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

Asus ROG Phone vs ROG Phone 2: Better in every way

Asus ROG Phone vs ROG Phone 2: Better in every way

hey everyone this is Dom from tech
advisor here at in for 2019 in Berlin and I'm here with the new asus ROG or
Rog phone to know we see this was announced a month ago so you already
know a bit about it but here at IFA Asus has just announced the pricing and
release info for Europe so that seemed to me like the perfect excuse to stack
it against the first rog phone and see how the two compare and whether you
should be looking at an upgrade if you're an existing rog phone user or if
you don't own either but you're tempted which wants you to go for let's take a
look at the two phones side by side you'll straightaway see that while at first glance they're pretty similar there's actually a big difference
the rog phone 2 which is on the right is a lot taller and a little bit thinner
not a lot but there's a tiny fractional thinness but it feels thinner because
that extra height that's basically because they've gone to a nineteen point
five by nine display ratio in line with most of our flagship rather than the
kind of stockier boxier thing you'll see on the the first rog phone that's not
the only change to the display it's also showed up from ninety Hertz in the first
rock phone up to 120 Hertz in the second one still AMOLED still one millisecond
response time and still HDR – it's now got hdr 10 bit support so like you're already
looking up this is basically one of the best panels you can get on any phone
right now the original rog phone had a great panel
already but 120hz with one millisecond response and HDR I mean this is the only
phone you can buy right now that has a panel like that and it's hard to show on
video but that extra response where it just means everything is super smooth
and fluid whether the jump from 90 to 120 really makes a massive difference I
don't know that's probably gonna be harder to tell where that jump up to 90
is certainly a big deal and that makes both phones very very tempting
rest of the design kind of similar we've got the the fan ad on on both right now
so that blocks a bit of the back of the phone you can see there there's a very
similar aesthetic to the two similar to your camera setup though the specs are
different fingerprint sensor you'll see is gone so it's there on the original
Rog phone not on the rog phone 2 because it's now in
the display otherwise it's got this same sort of
angular cut out but you'll just see it's a little less pronounced on the new
opponent and like even on it like just unlock that lock that area even on the
fan you can see it's changing but there's more space here
it's a quiet of fan but still just as powerful they've both got the RGB
lighting here built on the fan the fan comes in the box by the way you don't
pay extra for that and if you don't have the fan on the the RGB panel on the back
of the phone itself lights up obviously the RGB is all customizable all that
kind of stuff that's pretty much the same between both inside it's also all
change so the original Rog phone Snapdragon 855
very fast to it when it came out the rog phone 2 hasn't just had the
upgrade to the 855 it's gone to the 855 plus an extra optimized
version the 855 so you're getting more than the year's benefits on top of
the eight five five has got another seven percent CPU performance 15 percent
GPU performance plus optimizations for a few specific games between this kind of
perform even faster in those supported titles like asphalt 9 so you're gonna
see like really phenomenal performance that's not even counting the other specs
so Ram – 8 gig in the original rog obviously they've gone up 12 gig total
overkill storage the original rog phone went up to 512 gigabytes previously Asus
announced that the rog phone 2 was also a 512 gigabyte phone we just found out
there's an Ultimate Edition that goes up to one terabyte of storage so you could
be 855 plus processor like the first phone in the world to have that 12
gigabyte RAM you're not gonna find a phone with more RAM than that terabyte
storage you're not gonna point phone with more
storage than that then battery original rock phone four thousand milliamp hours
rogue front to six thousand milliamp hours again outside of going into the
phones made by brands like energizer that are really focused on that kind of
thing you just will not find more battery than that in one phone so this
is like really phenomenal top spec for what you're getting in terms of those
sort of the gaming specific stuff there's been a few tweaks to as I've
already mentioned the fans been changed a bit you can also see this an extra bit
of RGB here on the updated fan there's also a whole range of other accessories
you've got to buy them separately but there's things like be the twin view
which gives you a second screen a bit like the LG V50 but more you know
optimized for gaming purposes that second screen is also 120hz and
comes with its own 5 thousand milliamp hour battery giving you a grand total 11
thousand milliamp hours between the two my favorite is probably the kunai
gamepad or kunai I think it's kunai which basically looks like a kind of set
of switch joycon controllers so you can use it as a remote controller or you
can sort of strap them to the side of the rog phone to turning it into a
basically a little mini switch and you know it doesn't feel quite as flawless
as a switch then there's a little bit of life delay and using it I found though
that may have just been the demo unit here but man like it's great having that
access to really solid physical controls if you just want to use the actual phone
itself both phones have the air triggers which are the little pressure sensitive
sections on here so that when you're holding the phone landscape they
basically serve as shoulder buttons if you want to use it to press down one
thing you'll find on the new rogue phone is there's some extra sensitivity
settings plus there's a new option to sort of slide along rather than just
squeeze in so you get a little bit more control over them we'll also see if we
go into the game center which has a nice you fancy animation we get a few more
options we have specific game profiles we can set there's only one set on this
device as you can see but we get more options here things like setting CPU
performance or refresh rate per game if we go into the console this is pretty
similar to what you've seen before again there's a few more archery options fan
speed RGB lighting options that's basically the same between the two but
there is one final software thing which is a little bit different which is that
if you buy the original road phone you are tied in to this kind of gamer-y
system interface which I actually quite liked I get a lot of flack on the
channel sometimes they're sort of making fun of like things that have too much
for gamer aesthetic I think it kind of works here and I quite like the look at
it but if you don't if you buy the rog phone 2 you can switch that off and
just switch to the Asus ZenUI which is what they use in their zenfone range
it's pretty close to stock Android I can't show you it right now but yeah
it's so much more sort of it's less flashy
it's more casual it might feel more suitable in a professional environment
and then you can switch back to the sort of rog UI when you really want a game
when you're in your free time and speaking of the zenfone final thing I
did talk about cameras briefly they've had a big upgrade so what we've got in
here now is actually the same camera setup you'll find in the zenfone 6 asus's
non-gaming flagship for the year so there's a forty eight megapixel main
lens and then a wide-angle to support it with Sony's flagship flagship sensor in
there powering it all you've got support for 4k video at 60fps a dedicated night
mode all that kind of stuff plus then the selfie camera is that a big boost to
24 megapixels so that will be a lot better for selfies but also given the
gaming thing if you want to stream as stream pushing yourself while you're
gaming also couldn't in the corner it's in a nice bar it's out of the way of
your landscape and it will get a nice angle of you for this at the top so yeah
I mean I'm normally the kind of person who when we're looking at like
year-on-year updates of phones I tend to be a skeptic about operating I tend to
say look stick on the old phone if you've got it or if you're looking to
find you one go with the old one it's going to be cheaper but I'm not she kind
of torn here because they have the same RRP 899 euros so that should mean
799 pounds $899 so that hasn't quite been confirmed just yet if you
want to get the terabyte version of the rog phone 2 that will jump up to 1199 euros so 300 euro difference again I assume the same in dollars and pounds that's a
big jump probably not worth it for most but if you're happy with the regular 512
model like it's the same price the other one will probably took down a bit just
because it's the older one there are so many updates across the board in the rog phone 2 everything like core specs camera design display accessories RGB
lights air triggers everything is better than it was before
and so it's really hard not to look at the first rog phone as proof of concept
and the rog phone 2 as the real deal alright yeah we're here
at IFA 2019 we're gonna be shooting more videos out here so like them
subscribe stay tuned check out and I cannot wait to get one of these in
and shoot an unboxing with it and hopefully do a full review

As found on YouTube