Samsung isn’t the only game in town when it comes to foldable phones – Microsoft insists that it is also in that court. Of course, the Surface Duo and its Surface Duo 2 successor do fold, but in a very different way and with very different use cases. With the very different mechanisms and materials used to create Microsoft’s products, we have a very different durability story compared to the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Thankfully, JerryRigEverything has done the literally hard work for us and put the Surface Duo 2 through the wringer to see just how tough this strange phone really is.
If you simply base it on the term “foldable” alone, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 definitely fits the bill. It even does more than any other foldable phone in the market since it can fold back all the way, like the 360-degree “yoga” style convertible laptops. That said, it’s in a totally different class of foldables because it’s actually two distinct pieces with two distinct screens joined at the hinge, which does have some consequences to its durability.
The scratch and burn tests are uneventful and almost boring, as the Surface Duo 2 survived as you would expect. The one flaw, however, can be found in the fingerprint scanner, which is covered only by a plastic coating. Enough scratches can render the sensor ineffective, making moot any security benefits it offers.
The bend test is where it’s at, of course, and here is where a potential problem lies. The Surface Duo 2 doesn’t break, of course, and YouTuber Zack Nelson (of JerryRigEverything) credits Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus for that. It does, however, show a visible flex and remains slightly deformed. It does survive, but it won’t be pretty.
It’s slightly disappointing that the YouTuber didn’t try bending it while folded the other way around since the camera bump introduces a wide gap between the two halves that could affect the results. Granted, you’re unlikely to accidentally sit on the device while folded that way, but it would still be an interesting test of Microsoft’s odd design.
Along with the almost dreadful IPX1 rating, the Surface Duo 2 doesn’t inspire much confidence when it comes to durability. That confidence is further squashed by reviews of the state of its software, but that is easier to fix than design and production flaws. At this point, the Surface Duo 2 remains a novelty and serves an even more niche market, at least until Microsoft can get its software act together to make using Android on the device a more pleasurable experience.