Surface Duo 2 Discussion Thread (October 2021)

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by JoeS, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

    Messages:
    8,808
    Likes Received:
    4,555
    Trophy Points:
    331
    The Duo 2 arrived late today, while we were having dinner. So things had to wait a bit until the dishes were cleared away and the dishwasher was earnestly humming along. The following are very first impressions as I've only had about two hours to play with this new device and a large part of that time was actually involved in running through the set-up routine.
    • Bottom line first, I mostly agree with Rubino's Duo 2 review over at Windows Central with link posted here earlier today by @Bishop ( Surface Duo 2 review: A huge step in the right direction, but still much work to be done | Windows Central ) I'm not yet sure how "huge" the step really is, however. I need more time.
    • As noted, the Duo 2 comes with the usual documents and a USB-C - USB-C cable. No charger. This is fine by me as I have a drawer full of chargers that I can use. I looked for, but did not find, a $19 polishing cloth...
    • I ordered the Obsidian Black phone this time, and it really looks nice! If it's fingerprint prone, I haven't noticed that, yet.
    • My first impression when I took the phone out of the box was that it was significantly heavier, and noticeably thicker. This was probably because I had literally just put down my Duo 1 because I was getting the SIM card out of it. Holding both phones in either hand, the weight difference was more subtle, but I really notice the thickness increase.
    • The new, more rounded edges do make the D2 nicer to hold. Except when the D2 is folded all the way back, the camera bump is not an issue. When folded back, the small gap due to the camera bump is not as bad as I expected, but I still worry a bit about torsion if the lower corners happen to be pressed together. The hinges and opening resistance seemed about the same to me.
    • The displays are great, as expected. Like Rubino, I found the touch sensitivity to be less responsive than I had hoped. During set-up, I had to tap some icons repeatedly to get them to respond. As for the pen, I haven't yet had the chance to test it. I remember that someone (Microsoft?) said that the D2 would provide pen haptics, but we'll see...
    • I've made the decision that I want to rebuild my D2 from the ground up rather than copy my D1, so it will take a while before I get to the "daily use" stage. I also have several companion apps that I need to load and synchronize with the corresponding devices.
    • The cameras. I've been a photographer for a long time (way beyond my involvement with tablets) and a digital photographer since the first viable digital cameras were offered. I cycled through the D2's camera app and just sort of kicked the tires a bit and... these D2 cameras are OK. The editing screen is very convenient. Time will tell, but I don't see any reason to complain about them, yet.
    That's about all I can comment on for the moment. It's late and I still have a lot to do with my Duo 2 to get it ready for daily use...
     
  2. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    2,083
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Thank you @Steve S.

    Maybe someone will successfully get the dual sim working.
     
    Steve S and nnthemperor like this.
  3. desertlap

    desertlap Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,043
    Likes Received:
    5,761
    Trophy Points:
    231
    @Steve S great info and please keep posting additional impressions as you set it up.

    I was talking to one of my customers that has personally decided to buy the new Duo 2 (his company is BYOD with mobile devices).

    His point is that both Duo basically require and implies deliberate thought through modifications in how you use your device compared to a garden variety android phone (or even to a degree an iPhone)

    The idea being that the other benefits such as IMHO, the best multitasking hands down, make it worth it

    Edit: an imperfect analogy might be a choice to run Linux versus windows on a personal system because of specific linux functionality or apps ( we had one customer that kept one system just to run GIMP)

    I think that's ever true to a lesser degree with the Fold and in my case what tilted me towards the Fold was the more seamless (pun intended) tablet experience. OTOH our department admin is a multitasker in the extreme and I think he'd be happiest with a Duo 2.

    So two last comments
    1. As many of the reviews point out, MS still has tons of work to do on the software to deliver on the full capabilities of the device. Plus there are still a surprising number of obvious bugs that need to be addressed IMHO

    2. Because of all of the above, MS needs to really step up their evangelism and education of users on the benefits (and trade offs) of a device like a Duo and IMHO, at least so far their efforts have been halfhearted at best.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  4. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,363
    Likes Received:
    11,831
    Trophy Points:
    331
    Tsk, tsk, tsk...a real TCPR' would have traded entire weekend dishwasher duty for Thursday night with their new tech toy...
     
    Marty, Steve S, Bishop and 1 other person like this.
  5. nnthemperor

    nnthemperor Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,304
    Likes Received:
    1,231
    Trophy Points:
    181
    But why send it out half-baked? What's the rush? Apple would have waited to make sure the device is almost perfect and then charged an arm and a leg. Say what you want about Apple, they are good at what they do.
    I guess that's the difference between the two companies, and exactly why one's more successful.
    Look at the Apple pencil, they got it right on the first trial, while MS needed more than 5 iterations to be closer to the pencil smoothness. It's such a big shame!

    Sent from my SM-P205 using Tapatalk
     
    Steve S likes this.
  6. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    2,083
    Trophy Points:
    181
    Wow. You got your 4G SIM card to work in a 5G device? Verizon was a real pain when I wanted to put an existing 4G SIM from an existing iPad into the iPM6. I wound up using the eSIM instead of trudging to a VZW store.

    The M$ website actually includes Duo Deux in the list of devices with the hardware to implement Slim Pen 2 haptics. The fine print is the apps have to be optimized (recoded and/or recompiled?) No word or commitment from M$ when that will happen. If sales flop, maybe never I'm guessing. Am I a pessimist or a realist? Based on the broken promises of optimized software for SDuo OG YES, yes I am.

    .
     
    nnthemperor and dstrauss like this.
  7. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    2,083
    Trophy Points:
    181
    "Dear M$: it's the software STUPID!"

    Amen.
     
    nnthemperor, dstrauss and desertlap like this.
  8. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,343
    Likes Received:
    2,083
    Trophy Points:
    181
    To be fair, Apple built their own. When M$ abandoned Wacom, they set out trying to Frankenstein N-Trig. That never works out like anyone planned - in real life and the movies.
     
  9. desertlap

    desertlap Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,043
    Likes Received:
    5,761
    Trophy Points:
    231
    The reason for the "optimization" needed is that there is an Android 11 and Duo digitizer specific change and associated software libraries,

    That also means that haptic support wont be coming to the original duo even when/if it gets Android 11
     
    nnthemperor and Bishop like this.
  10. desertlap

    desertlap Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,043
    Likes Received:
    5,761
    Trophy Points:
    231
    More directly on topic, if you want to improve the results from the cameras with the Duo 2, you can get better results in some cases with Google's camera app versus the MS one.

    It's far from optimized (and thus buggy) and last time we tried it, you had to sideload it as it wasn't offered through the app store, but results, particularly in low light show significant improvement.

    TLDR MS camera app needs lots of work
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
    nnthemperor likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page