The first impression reviewers had of the Microsoft Surface Duo was extremely positive, praising how sleek and thin the device was and how nice it was to hold despite its wider than normal size. Unfortunately, that design choice forced Microsoft to make some compromises in the materials and build of the dual-screen foldable phone. Early adopters of this novel device are now reporting irreparable damages to the thin plastic surrounding the USB-C port which also happens to be one of the most exposed and abused part sof a smartphone.
The Surface Duo might be glass back and front but, instead of the usual glass-metal-glass sandwich in premium phones, Microsoft opted to use plastic to cover the edges. While plastic would have helped prevent the glass from instantly shattering in an accidental fall, one area of that frame was so thin it took very little to actually break it.
With an already thin frame, there was very little space left for the plastic surrounding the USB-C port. That thin strip of plastic is apparently so fragile that something as simple as plugging in the charging cable could actually crack it. You could do some DIY and unofficial repairs but since it’s pretty much part of the phone’s structure, there is no other official recourse than have it replaced. Presuming such damages will be covered by Microsoft’s warranty policy.
Curiously, JerryRigEverything’s bend test didn’t exhibit this problem but that may be because he was bending it in a specific direction. It might also be possible he overlooked checking the port but still came off with the same conclusion. That plastic isn’t exactly the most durable material and the Surface Duo was only saved because of the metal hinges.
MSPoweruser, however, also points out an even more worrying consequence. The USB-C port might also be susceptible to being damaged easily, especially considering the wear and tear. And since it’s soldered onto the mainboard itself, repairing it will be even more difficult compared to an equivalent modular component.