The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is rumored to launch later this year, and a new leak suggests the upcoming dual-screen phone will sport a top-end chipset we've seen in a variety of the best Android phones of 2021.
A Geekbench listing for an upcoming device with the model number "surfaceduo2" seemingly shows a variety of specs including 8GB of RAM and Android 11 software, alongside mention of a Snapdragon 888 chipset.
The original Microsoft Surface Duo featured a fairly powerful processor, but it was the Snapdragon 855 toward the end of its lifespan in flagship phones. The Samsung Galaxy S10 featured that chip in March 2019, but the Surface Duo still used it around September 2020 when many phones were using the Snapdragon 865.
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So it wasn't the absolute top-end hardware you'd expect from a phone that costs over $1,399 or £1,349.
Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset, but we've yet to see this debut in many smartphones. By the time of the Surface Duo 2 release, this may be more commonplace on top-end Android phones.
Previous Surface Duo 2 leaks have suggested the phone will support 5G connectivity and have NFC support. Another leak has said to expect a triple camera setup with a telephoto and an ultra-wide sensor alongside the normal camera, but little else is known about the phone so far.
We'd expect Microsoft to make improvements to its foldable design - that is a big part of what rivals like Samsung, Huawei and Motorola have iterated on - but we've yet to hear any leaks around the design of the phone.
Microsoft may unveil the Surface Duo 2 in October this year alongside upcoming products like the Surface Pro 8. We'll have to wait and see when it arrives as there isn't yet a firm date.
Analysis: a top-end chip is a positive thing
The original Surface Duo was an interesting attempt at a dual-screen phone, but with a remarkably high price of $1,399 / £1,349 many had expected to be getting the absolute best specs inside the phone.
By the time of the device's release, the specs weren't the top tier you would expect for that price. The Surface Duo was announced long before its release, and it's likely that impacted what was used inside the phone.
So it's a positive thing that Microsoft is now seemingly including a top-end processor in its sequel, and it's the equivalent of what is inside the Xiaomi Mi 11, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and OnePlus 9 Pro.
Whether the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 will be an all-round great smartphone is yet to be made clear, but this is a positive step that means it will be able to have similar power levels to some of the best smartphones on sale in 2021.
- Our original Microsoft Surface Duo review