David Imel / Android Authority

Microsoft hasn’t launched a brand new Android gadget since 2021’s Floor Duo 2, however a brand new report might have shed some mild on the corporate’s future plans.

Home windows Central reported that Microsoft ditched the dual-screen design of earlier Floor Duo units in favor of growing a Floor Duo 3 with a folding show (akin to the Galaxy Z Fold line). Moreover, the outlet’s sources assert that the corporate plans to launch a extra typical slab-type smartphone akin to different handsets.

Sadly, I don’t suppose a brand new Microsoft foldable or typical smartphone makes a lot sense in 2023.

Do you wish to see new Android-powered Floor units?

2 votes

Sure, a foldable and standard cellphone


Sure, a foldable


Sure, a standard cellphone


No, I am not


Samsung already presents unofficial Microsoft telephones

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Maybe the most important purpose for shoppers to skip new Android-powered Microsoft smartphones is Samsung. The corporate’s telephones, together with the Galaxy S sequence and Galaxy foldables, are successfully Microsoft telephones in all however title.

Samsung’s telephones supply quite a lot of pre-installed Microsoft apps for starters, together with Outlook, LinkedIn, Workplace, and OneDrive. The 2 firms even labored collectively to supply foldable-focused enhancements in apps like Groups and Outlook. The Microsoft extras don’t finish right here for Samsung house owners.

Samsung telephones already supply pre-installed Microsoft apps and unique options for Home windows connectivity.

Microsoft additionally presents a Hyperlink To Home windows service on quite a lot of Android telephones, permitting customers to obtain cellular notifications, ship/obtain texts, entry cellphone images, and extra by way of their PC. However Samsung telephones (together with the Floor Duo and Honor Magic 4 Professional) achieve further semi-exclusive options, equivalent to cross-device drag-and-drop, cross-device copy/paste, utilizing your cellphone apps on PC, and extra.

In different phrases, Samsung telephones are as near a Microsoft expertise as you will get in some ways. Even Microsoft co-founder Invoice Gates opts for a Galaxy Z Fold 4. However there are additionally a number of areas the place Samsung telephones and foldables will seemingly be higher than any Microsoft Android gadget.

Microsoft’s {hardware} and software program go away us wanting

David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung telephones are virtually assured to supply a greater digicam expertise than a brand new Microsoft slab or foldable cellphone. Microsoft’s days of getting one of the best (and even nice) smartphone cameras are lengthy gone, and the Floor Duo and Floor Duo 2 certainly demonstrated that. Samsung, then again, continues to be one of many prime manufacturers for pictures.

Microsoft’s Floor Duo sequence additionally doesn’t encourage a lot confidence by way of total {hardware}. The primary Duo particularly introduced a previous-generation flagship chipset, 60Hz screens, a single rear digicam, no NFC, no wi-fi charging, and no 5G for an eye-watering $1,400 in 2020. The Duo 2 addressed virtually all of those points, however for $100 extra. For sure, whereas the Floor Duo 2 suggests Microsoft is studying from its {hardware} missteps, it’s far too early to inform whether or not a future Floor Duo 3 and Floor cellphone will probably be compelling {hardware} propositions.

Extra studying: One of the best foldable telephones price shopping for at this time

The corporate’s obvious swap to a foldable display for the Floor Duo 3 additionally presents further {hardware} challenges. Samsung has spent over 4 years refining its present foldables, delivering ultra-thin glass, harder folding screens, S Pen help, and water resistance. We’re positive Microsoft can undertake a few these developments, however the Redmond agency continues to be on the again foot on this regard.

There’s extra to a cellular gadget than {hardware}, although. All of the shiny components imply nothing if the software program isn’t adequate, and Microsoft discovered this out with each the first-gen Floor Duo and Floor Duo 2.

We thought the first-gen mannequin had horribly buggy software program in our Floor Duo evaluation, starting from UI points and unlocking glitches to lacking backgrounds and extra. Issues appeared somewhat higher with the Floor Duo 2, but it surely nonetheless reportedly shipped with a ton of bugs. Microsoft launched a gradual stream of updates to repair these issues after launch, however you shouldn’t count on such a extreme lack of polish once you’re paying effectively over $1,000.

Future Android-powered Microsoft units will seemingly lag behind rivals in the case of software program polish and {hardware}.

The corporate’s observe file on this space mixed with a swap to a folding display means unpolished software program is nearly inevitable with the Floor Duo 3, even with Android 13’s enhancements. However Samsung additionally edges out Microsoft’s earlier Floor Duo units in the case of software program updates, providing 4 OS updates and 5 years of safety patches. Against this, the Floor Duo 2 ought to ship three OS updates and three years of safety patches.

However right here’s why it is perhaps well worth the gamble

David Imel / Android Authority

Regardless of all these arguments towards a correct Floor foldable and Floor cellphone line, there are nonetheless a few the reason why we’d wish to see these merchandise. For one, we’d welcome these new units in the event that they represented a part of a centered, long-term cellular technique for Microsoft. In spite of everything, what’s the purpose of shopping for right into a model’s merchandise if it decides to depart the section in a number of years? A protracted-term dedication would hopefully end in extra stable merchandise in a number of generations — simply have a look at Google’s Pixel line.

Microsoft can also be uniquely positioned as a Home windows platform-holder. It could possibly convey deeper, native PC integration with any future Android-powered units. So that you may not need to go for Apple’s ecosystem or get a Chromebook if you need a really seamless cross-device expertise.

We’d additionally stay up for these new merchandise just because Microsoft’s earlier Floor Duo units have delivered some attention-grabbing and progressive options. The primary-generation Duo launched app spanning throughout two screens and the flexibility to launch two apps on the similar time. We additionally noticed another attention-grabbing options such because the notification peek performance (providing you with a glimpse of alerts once you partially open the gadget) and drag-and-drop between apps.

In different phrases, a Floor Duo 3 foldable or Floor cellphone would doubtlessly make for a extra thrilling, progressive smartphone panorama. However even when these units are commercially unsuccessful, they may finally seed the trade with contemporary concepts and ideas.


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