Microsoft's Surface Duo has remained a US exclusive since its launch in September 2020, but the company is now making good on its promise to launch the device internationally. In a flurry of news releases published this morning, Microsoft confirmed that its ambitious, dual-screen smartphone will go on sale in the UK, France, Germany and Canada on February 18th.
Fans in the United Kingdom will be able to buy their Duos at Currys PC World and from Microsoft directly, with prices starting at £1,349. The company has also inked similar distribution deals with FNAC and Darty in France, along with Saturn and MediaMarkt in Germany, where the Duo will be sold for €1,549. (At time of publication, Microsoft hasn't yet disclosed its Canadian pricing.)
The company also had good news for would-be Surface Duo owners a little closer to home: for now at least, the device now sells for just $999, down from the original $1,399. While we can’t tell if this is a permanent price cut just yet, it’s a sure sign that Microsoft wants to give the Duo a fighting chance in a year when rivals like Samsung are prioritizing “more accessible” — or in other words, cheaper — foldables.
While Microsoft doesn’t usually like calling it one, the Surface Duo is the company’s first new smartphone since 2015’s Lumia 950 and 950 XL — a pair of devices that more-or-less flopped right out of the gate. In the years since, we’ve seen the quality of Microsoft’s hardware shoot through the roof, and the Surface Duo might be one of the single best expressions of the company’s talent for engineering. Unfortunately, the first wave of review units seemed to be plagued by inconsistent, inelegant software, resulting in reviews that killed much of the early hype Microsoft was hoping to capitalize on. By most accounts, though, the Surface Duo’s software situation has improved noticeably thanks to a series of semi-regular updates — between that added polish and this new price cut, the Duo just might have a chance to shine now the way it couldn’t nearly six months ago.