Every new prerelease Surface Duo that is spotted in public or showcased by a Microsoft employee reveals something interesting about how the upcoming dual-screen device will work or look.
According to a recent photo of a Surface Duo prototype, the device will sport a front camera and flashlight.
A curious traveler posted the photo on Twitter after taking it on a train in Vancouver, Canada.
Hey, not sure if interesting, but I just saw a guy in Vancouver's SkyTrain playing around with Surface Duo. Got photos and videos. pic.twitter.com/TsRQYdD1pz
— Israel Rodriguez (@yzraeu) February 7, 2020
Microsoft has been generous with information relating to Surface Duo app UX design. It has not divulged a lot about the device’s hardware specs, though .
After the company released an Android emulator for the device, it paved the way for developers and designers to explore the dynamic user experiences possible with flexible, multi-screen content layouts.
Below is a video posted by Jonas Daehnert to demonstrate the smooth transition of content from one screen mode to another on the Surface Duo. It is an Android simulation of the device’s apps in different display modes, showcasing single and span layouts.
In context – this feels even more magical. pic.twitter.com/8yLLoioE1K
— Jonas Daehnert (@PhoneDesigner) January 22, 2020
Will the Surface Duo feature a rear camera?
None of the Surface Duo prelaunch versions seen so far have a dedicated rear camera. That explains the speculation that the device may not have that feature after all.
Microsoft may still be planning on adding a back-facing camera to its futuristic gadget, which it refuses to acknowledge as a phone, to date.
Remember that what you may have seen so far are just prototypes on test runs, not the finished product. Also, the best mobile user experiences are usually an outcome of iterative design based on rigorous testing and requirements validation.
There is no telling what the software giant has up its sleeves between now and the scheduled Surface Duo launch date this holiday season. After all, this is not a question of whether it is technologically possible to put a rear camera on a dual-screen device.
Samsung Galaxy Fold, which is in the same form factor category as Surface Duo, has 6 cameras—3 back-facing, 2 front-facing, and 1 cover cam.
Surely, Microsoft has to figure out a way to compete with that. Maybe a single dual-purpose camera will do?
If the Surface Duo prototypes that Microsoft is releasing are meeting or surpassing technical and UX requirements, the finished product might launch sooner than expected, as some reports suggest.