The smartphone world is all about annual incremental updates. Sweeping new model designs don't happen often as companies like Apple and Samsung prefer to boost specs each year. In terms of Microsoft's smartphone, it is unclear if the company has plans to release a Surface Duo 2 in 2021.
Several job postings show Microsoft is working on a sequel to its dual-screen Android handset. Those listings seem to show Microsoft will continue the smartphone market trend and give the Surface Duo a spec update.
That means no changes in terms of design and form factor, but some important upgrades under the hood. Microsoft seems to be developing the Surface Duo 2 under the codename “Zeta”. Suggesting the job listings were for the handset, Microsoft has since removed them.
They were on the Microsoft careers page and pointed to the Duo 2 getting 5G connectivity. Another listing shows the company is seeking a SW/FW Engineer II to work in Taiwan. This posting describes a “journey to create new experiences with Surface Duo” and 5G will “fully express the Microsoft vision.”
“Job responsibilities will encompass working across a team of high impact individuals who are designing and coding RF drivers, RF board bring up including LTE and 5G technologies, factory tools, modem protocols, mobile operator certifications and PTCRB/GCF certifications on Surface Duo device,” the company adds.
Another job posting points to Microsoft working to make the Surface Duo camera better. It shows the company will leverage AI and machine learning to develop camera software to enhance image processing.
Improving the camera dramatically would improve one of the worst aspects of the original Duo. Reviews were mixed for Microsoft smartphone, with all praising the stellar design and functionality, but more lamenting the software and old specs. If 5G is coming to the Surface Duo 2, that could mean the processor will be current generation.
Microsoft has not said if the Surface Duo 2 will debut this year, but it would be a mistake if it did not. The smartphone market is not about falling still and no new device in 2021 would leave Microsoft playing catch-up again.
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