The Google Pixel Fold has ruined my love for the Surface Duo — and it's all Microsoft's fault

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spicypadthai

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Going with Android was a mistake.
Please, Windows Phone/Mobile/whatever is not viable. That ship sailed long ago. Android was/is the correct choice. Unfortunately, MS is using the same strategy with the Duo as they did the last couple of years of Windows Phone/Mobile: buggy and incomplete products at launch that don't give the products a chance to gain a foothold followed up with minimal and vague communication for the short-term plan for fixes and new features, and then zero communication for the long-term vision.
 

Cmndr_Bytes

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I don't see the alternative. What was Microsoft going to do? Windows isn't built for phones. iOS isn't an option.
But why couldn't they make it so it was. Especially with Windows 11. For so many years MS was pushing the one OS for all devices. And with Win 11 and the ability to run Android apps. Could have been best of both worlds. (?)
 

GraniteStateColin

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I love the Duo 2, but if MS won't provide a sequel, I'm not sure I'd go with a Google Pixel (as the next closest hardware option) over a non-folding Galaxy for the better Windows integration. I also strongly dislike the external screen for all the added wasted thickness (one of many problems with a single foldable screen over 2 screens). If the Pixel fold is anywhere near as thick as the monstrous Galaxy Fold, that's a dealbreaker for me. On the other hand, if Google has managed to make something as thin as the Duo 2, that would nullify that concern.

I love the 3:2 aspect ratio of the Duo screens. If the Pixel Fold's screens are close to that, where Samsung's are quite narrow, that would be a compelling advantage to the Pixel over Samsung.

I also use the Duo's tent-mode posture all the time, either to set it on a table or wrap around my hand like a self-contained pop-socket for stability. So far, none of the foldable devices support this. I know Zac has pointed out that a foldable screen is too soft and easily scratched to be on the outside, but I think I'd rather take that risk than settle for a screen that can't fold open. I wish someone (ideally MS) would offer a foldable screen where the screen is on the outside instead of the inside, eliminating that absurd hack of a solution of a separate external display and its extra thickness.

I'll read the reviews and accept that at some point I may need to move to a non-Duo phone, but for now, I have no need to update my Duo 2, which is almost the perfect device for me. MS has some time to update before I'm forced to an alternative. While I don't dispute that annual updates are probably important to the marketplace as a whole, as long as the phone works and is fast enough to run everything well and is not missing any critical features other phones have added, I'm happy. The main thing missing from the Duo 2 for me is Qi charging. Other than that, I'd like an ever better camera, but Duo 2 hits the mark for being "good enough" in that regard (where the Duo 1 had an even better, thinner form, but fell FAR short with its terrible camera).
 

The Werewolf

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For me, the price/benefit ratio for foldables is still way too low. Admittedly, I may have been soured by my Surface Duo first gen (which I bought at US$400 when AT&T bonfired their stock) which was underwhelming feature-wise and further crippled by AT&T disabling the eSIM slot. Having the USB port crack (a common problem on Duos and Duo 2s) didn't help.

But the Pixel Fold is US$1800. To put that into context, an ASUS Rog Flow Z13 i9/16GB/1TB/RTX4060 tablet - with keyboard costs the same price. MacBook Pros are cheaper!

And many large screen Android phones and tablets support split-screen multitasking.

Don't get me wrong, I was all in on foldables and dual screen devices and have been since the Courier videos leaked... but these are not consumer devices... they're bougie "aspirational" devices - and I'm not bougie. I'll buy a really solid affordable phone and a really solid affordable tablet and save half that price.

Now, what we need is a new top end 8" Android "iPad mini" class device to pair with a good 6.5" phone.
 

dkstrauss

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With independent developers successfully porting Win11 for ARM to the original Surface Duo, there is NO REASON that Microsoft with its resources couldn't do an even better job and bring us the Courier that many have begged for in an even better, smaller, and dual screen package than the Courier concept.
 
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MisterBear

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Microsoft has a very long list of product failures. The products were never bad, and were initially cutting edge concepts, but Microsoft has never been consistent in the support of their own products. It's all withered fruit now, dead, and dropped off the tree into oblivion. I know because I have several of those amazing and dead products.
I'm sure the success of the Surface Tablet was a complete surprise to them considering how they bungled the first release, and have shown mostly apathy to anything that came later.
All hail another dead phone with nobody to blame but themselves. Past and present product potential dead and ignored. I thankfully didn't get suckered again. My past lesson was well learned.
 
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taynjack

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I think Microsoft might have 5 fans left. They burned so many, yet they just keep doing the same thing and scratching their heads why it isn't working. I hate Google and yet even I'm considering a Pixel Fold. Microsoft is the best player on every other team.
 
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Jcmg62

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I think, as with most first generation devices, the fold is going to fall short of expectations.

Reading the early review over at Android Central, there's already a couple of concerns about the folding screen.

The team who were sent to cover the launch noticed a quirky inner bezel, and white spots on the edge of the screen. They also said it was quite dim, even at full brightness.

There was some concern about how stiff the hinge is. It's apparently difficult to open, and gets stiffer as you move toward the 180 degree posture. The worry is that some users will overcompensate with force and cause damage.

They found those issues across all the Folds they picked up.

Their assessment is "An impressive first effort."

That's hardly a glowing review from the fan boy club.

On a personal note, I thought the inner screen would be bigger. Compared to the Duo, it seems quite small and very squared off.

I'm sure it's a great deive, and it will undoubtedly get a tonne of OS improvements and ongoing support from Google, but I'd only feel confident jumping in at the second or third generation.
 

dirtyvu

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This is more grass is greener on the other side. Linus on LinusTechTips pointed out whether Google will actually support the Pixel Fold with true software support because so far, it hasn't on any multiscreen or tablet screen phone. He's owned a Galaxy Fold (multiple iterations) for years. And still today, Google's own apps don't work properly for all the features and the screen. He showed how the Youtube app doesn't allow recording Shorts on the Fold phone but does on a regular slab phone. He also pointed out other Google software that doesn't have true support for these foldables.
 

Jan Meffert

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Sinds de komst van de CEO is Microsoft niet meer te vertrouwen!

[Zorg ervoor dat u in het Engels post]
**Translation by Mod: Since the arrival of the CEO, Microsoft can no longer be trusted!
 
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browryan

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If the pixel fold supported inking I'd buy it in a heartbeat! Guess I'll wait for the Duo 3 which from what I understand will pretty much be the same as the pixel fold.
 

naddy69

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“For so many years MS was pushing the one OS for all devices.”

While that was a good idea, the problem was that the “one OS” was going to be Windows. Unfortunately, Windows is not portable, nor is it modular. It is very difficult to slice/dice/move Windows to other products and architectures.

Besides, today we already have “One OS for all devices”. And we have had it for many years. It is Unix. Because Unix IS portable and modular.

Unix runs on everything from IBM mainframes to PCs to ALL phones. And many watches. Linux is Unix. Android is Linux. MacOS is Unix. iOS/iPadOS/WatchOS are forks of MacOS and thus are Unix.

While Windows runs on PCs. Period. Which BTW has been a shrinking market for 11 of the last 13 years.

Windows (and Microsoft) is in no position to take on Unix. Microsoft realizes this. Thus, Azure is 75% Linux. Microsoft is (was?) trying to sell an Android phone. Windows 11 can run Android apps.
 

Cosmocronos

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I don't see the alternative. What was Microsoft going to do? Windows isn't built for phones. iOS isn't an option.
Well, Windows CE and it’s various variants as WM, WP7 and after that WP 8 were built for smartphones; and Pocket PC before that.
I would not say that there are no alternatives; what is debatable is if it is worth to pursue the development of alternatives or if it is better to take advantage of what is widely available, specifically Android. In a tactical optic the answer is surely yes for the latter, in a strategic one definitely not.
 

Cosmocronos

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I love the Duo 2, but if MS won't provide a sequel, I'm not sure I'd go with a Google Pixel (as the next closest hardware option) over a non-folding Galaxy for the better Windows integration. I also strongly dislike the external screen for all the added wasted thickness (one of many problems with a single foldable screen over 2 screens). If the Pixel fold is anywhere near as thick as the monstrous Galaxy Fold, that's a dealbreaker for me. On the other hand, if Google has managed to make something as thin as the Duo 2, that would nullify that concern.

I love the 3:2 aspect ratio of the Duo screens. If the Pixel Fold's screens are close to that, where Samsung's are quite narrow, that would be a compelling advantage to the Pixel over Samsung.

I also use the Duo's tent-mode posture all the time, either to set it on a table or wrap around my hand like a self-contained pop-socket for stability. So far, none of the foldable devices support this. I know Zac has pointed out that a foldable screen is too soft and easily scratched to be on the outside, but I think I'd rather take that risk than settle for a screen that can't fold open. I wish someone (ideally MS) would offer a foldable screen where the screen is on the outside instead of the inside, eliminating that absurd hack of a solution of a separate external display and its extra thickness.

I'll read the reviews and accept that at some point I may need to move to a non-Duo phone, but for now, I have no need to update my Duo 2, which is almost the perfect device for me. MS has some time to update before I'm forced to an alternative. While I don't dispute that annual updates are probably important to the marketplace as a whole, as long as the phone works and is fast enough to run everything well and is not missing any critical features other phones have added, I'm happy. The main thing missing from the Duo 2 for me is Qi charging. Other than that, I'd like an ever better camera, but Duo 2 hits the mark for being "good enough" in that regard (where the Duo 1 had an even better, thinner form, but fell FAR short with its terrible camera).
It depends by how people would use it; personally I used the Duo in the open position 30% of the time, 70% folded 360 degrees using one screen. Again just my personal preferences but the Fold is a no go for me because there is no pen support.
 
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Grungni

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I sold my Duo and my Samsung Galaxy Fold as these options together with my Windows PC just didn’t give me the same integrated feeling that Windows Phone with Surface Pro and Microsoft Band gave me and I don’t like Android and Google tracking my every move… I have always been a huge fan of Microsoft but have switched to iphone, Apple Watch, AirPods, iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, Apple TV, HomePod etc and have never been happier… I have an iphone Mini and it’s pocketability for me is it’s killer feature especially now the Summer is here… I still use Microsoft 365 and have an ASUS gaming laptop but for me Apple gives me the seamless integration that I’d always hoped Microsoft would be able to provide.
 

mikefarinha

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Hindsight is 20/20.

There were a lot of various reasons that conspired to kill windows phone. One of those reasons, i believe, was Kipman making the sales pitch that AR was going to replace the mobile device. MS's senior staff seemed to agree and killed Windows Mobile and went full steam with HoloLens.

Fastforward to now. HoloLens is now on life-support and MS can't figure out if it wants to be relevant in the mobile space. I would argue that MS should be in the mobile space.

I loved that MS tried to reenter the mobile space but could tell from the beginning that the company didn't have its heart into it. They were focused on the hardware and not the software.

If MS really wants to be relevant in the mobile space then they need to do what they did with Edge/Chromium. They need to sink a lot of effort into making a relevant MS version of Android. Then build from there a traditional phone portfolio first. Then build something innovative. Any MS version of Android should have at least 3 years of OS updates and 2 more years of security updates. Those are some of the fundamentals that need to be invested in for long term success in this space.

When i see MS move in this direction I'll consider jumping back into an MS phone ecosystem. Until then I'm on team Pixel.
 

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