Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 vs Microsoft Surface Duo
Two unique and capable folding phones go head to head
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and the Microsoft Surface Duo are two of the most interesting and unique phones on the market today. Both are folding phones, adopting a unique two-piece design with a flexible or hinged screen that allows them to act as a phone for one-handed use and unfold into a device the size of a laptop. tablet for multimedia and multitasking. We looked at both phones, comparing their design, display quality, specs, and more to help you decide which one to get.
|Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2||Microsoft Surface Duo|
|HDR10 + 120Hz display||No high refresh or HDR10 +|
|Snapdragon 865+ processor||Snapdragon 855 processor|
|12 GB RAM||6 GB RAM|
|5G connectivity||No 5G connectivity|
|Three 12 MP rear cameras||Single 11 MP rear camera|
Design and display
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 bears a broad resemblance to a Note 20 when viewed from the rear. It has an edge-to-edge plastic screen on the front, a glass back, and an aluminum frame. When broken closed it looks like two phones stacked on top of each other which makes it slightly thick. There is a triple camera array on the back, with a pair of selfie cameras on the front. Because the front of the screen is plastic, it’s not as durable as glass and can be prone to scratches (it comes with a screen protector installed by default).
When you unfold the screen, it comes out to 7.6 inches, while when folded, it has a 6.23 inch cover screen. The screen’s resolution is a crisp 2208 × 1768 pixels, which runs at 373ppi. The display is a foldable version of Samsung AMOLED, giving you vivid and vivid colors boosted by HDR10 +. The panel also has a 120Hz high refresh display, giving you smooth movement and transitions, especially for multimedia and gaming.
The Surface Duo is very different from the Z Fold2 in design. Rather than having a folding screen, it’s actually two screens connected by a hinge in the middle. That means you get a phone with a Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, and it’s not a folding screen so you have less worry about creases and breakage during use. The downside is that there is a sizable bezel on both the top and bottom and a bezel in the middle where the hinge meets. Apps, shows, and games won’t be as seamless as the Z Fold2.
The screen itself is middling quality. It’s 5.6 inches folded and 8.1 inches unfolded, making it slightly larger than the Z Fold2. It has 2700 × 12800 pixels, working at a crisp 401ppi. It’s also AMOLED so you get deep blacks and beautiful colors, but it’s not a high refresh panel nor rated for HDR10 +, so you’ll be missing out on smoothness and dynamic range.
Performance and camera
Samsung has packed the Z Fold2 with specs on par with its line of flagship phones. You get a Snapdragon 865+ processor, which is the best Android chipset on the market. It has 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB / 512 GB of internal storage. Multitasking and demanding games shouldn’t be a problem to run despite the big and hungry viewing.
The camera setup consists of three 12MP sensors: a standard wide-angle sensor, a telephoto sensor for 2x optical zoom, and an ultra-wide sensor. Photos are on par with the Note20 Ultra and other high-end Samsung phones. It can also record 4K video at 60fps, and there is a pair of 10MP selfie cameras on the front.
The Microsoft Surface Duo is not as capable as the Z Fold2. It is powered by a slightly older Snapdragon 855 chipset, has 6 GB of RAM, and 128 GB / 256 GB of storage. While apps and games should still perform great, for the most part it won’t score nearly as well in benchmark tests and might chug more for running a lot of apps side-by-side.
The camera’s capabilities are even more bypassed. There’s only a single 11MP rear sensor with no other sensors for telephoto zoom or ultra-wide shots. It can record 4K at 60fps. There’s also no selfie camera, instead it just uses the rear camera for selfies.
Software and connectivity
The Z Fold2 and Surface Duo both run on Android 10. Samsung has its custom One UI skin on top, giving you a variety of features, Samsung apps, and things like the Bixby voice assistant. There are also several customizations for multitasking to help you run apps side-by-side, split screen, Samsung DeX, and more. The S Pen does not currently work for the phone. The Z Fold2 has full 5G connectivity.
The Surface Duo also runs Android 10, but it’s been a while since Microsoft released a phone, let alone an Android phone. However, you’ll find similar features to make multitasking easier, run apps side by side, and it might actually work better for workflow, as there are two separate screens allowing you to compose an email in one while. by connecting to Zoom with each other. It is compatible with Surface Pen for note taking and can link to Windows. 5G connectivity is not supported.
At MSRP the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 will run you $ 2,000, making it one of the more expensive phones you can get, although many carriers offer it for $ 1,000 with a trade-in. The Microsoft Surface Duo is cheaper at $ 1,400 and is currently on sale for $ 1,200, which makes sense since there aren’t as many high-end components or features packed on.
If you’re willing and able to shell out $ 2,000 for a phone, you might as well get the Galaxy Z Fold2. Samsung has had the experience of making a folding phone before, it packs in all the best hardware like the Snapdragon 865+, high refresh display, and 5G connectivity. It also looks a lot nicer overall. The Surface Duo may have more potential for productivity due to dual displays, Microsoft apps, and Surface Pen support, but it is underpowered when it comes to hardware and camera capabilities and doesn’t. has no 5G support, which makes it hard to justify.