Last week we learned more about Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Duo Android smartphone courtesy of a spec leak. Specs include an 11MP camera, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and 6GB of RAM. Microsoft’s first smartphone in years will also come with support for the Surface Pen.
There are some important things to take away from this information. Firstly, stylus-like devices have not really taken off in the smartphone world. Yes, there’s the Samsung S Pen that ships with the company’s Galaxy Note devices, but that is a successful exception.
Secondly, it seems Microsoft is firmly charting a course for power and enterprise users. Galaxy Note smartphones are targeted for those users and it makes sense the Surface Duo with Surface Pen support will do the same.
By the way, it is worth noting that Microsoft and Samsung would not call their screen interaction devices styluses. Either way, Microsoft is promising the Surface Pen will work seamlessly with the Surface Duo and provide a unique user experience.
Engineers at Microsoft have made numerous tweaks to the Android input stack to provide a unified experience across touch and pen inputs. In other words, the Surface Pen will work with different pressure levels across both the Duo’s screens.
Furthermore, the peripheral will also support gestures, which include a double tap to capture a screenshot. We have previously discussed some other Surface Pen features coming to the Duo:
Users will be able to configure how the Pen functions on the smartphone, such as shortcuts for the button press. For example, the double click feature can be configured to launch applications like the Clock, Camera, Contacts, Calendar, Email, Gallery, Files, and Microsoft Edge.
Windows Latest points to Microsoft commits on the Chromium platform that will allow the Surface Pen to improve web browsing.