Microsoft's Surface Duo is in my hands at last. No more ogling the dual-screen don't-call-it-a-phone-or-tablet device from afar or in Twitter pics. It's real, I just unboxed it, and it's so much thinner and lighter in real life.
This isn't a review (we'll have one soon enough so stay tuned for that), but more of a quick-and-dirty first impressions post. Since it's not a review, I'm not allowed to show you the two screens powered on or the software. I know, I'm just as bummed about it as you probably are right now because the software is the make-or-break feature. But let's nerd out about the design because the Surface Duo is gorgeous.
You really have to hold the Surface Duo in your own hands to appreciate its stunning industrial design. The first thing that surprised me was its materials. The back is actually glass and not the magnesium alloy that Microsoft uses in the Surface Pro. But the glass, which is super thin (like really thin), doesn't add much weight or heft as you'd find on regular phones.
The real showstopper is the two metal hinges. They are so smooth. There's no creaking and no clicking as you open the Duo — just a single smooth motion that flips 360 degrees backward from closed.
On the right side of the Duo is the volume rocker and power button. Both make satisfying clicks when pressed. And below the power button is a slightly recessed fingerprint reader; my thumb went right to it so that's already a good sign.
Photos simply don't do the Duo justice. The two 4.8mm halves are so thin that they actually bend a little if you, well, try to bend them. Obviously, don't purposely bend your Duo. I'm not sure the included rubber bumpers will do much to protect it from flexing, either. I think if you buy a Duo you're going to want to baby it a little bit, which you probably already knew since it comes with no water-resistance whatsoever.
The Duo also isn't as wide as I thought it would be. It's wider than an iPhone 11, OnePlus 8 Pro, or Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but not to the point where any reasonable-sized hand can't hold it. This is a dual-screen device so you're going to be two-handing it most of the time.
There's so much more to dive into, but I'll leave things here for now, I've already put my SIM card inside of the Duo and am in the process of setting up all my Android apps. I expect there to be some learning curve to using two screens, but I'm excited as hell because hot damn, this is one sexy device.