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Google Pixel Fold vs. Microsoft Surface Duo: How Do They Compare?

Google Pixel Fold vs Microsoft Surface Duo

Google Pixel Fold vs. Microsoft Surface Duo: How Do They Compare?

Google has finally acknowledged the existence of the Pixel Fold. It’s Google’s first attempt at making a foldable phone. The anticipation is over the roof, and rumor mills are working round the clock to keep the conversation going.

We have sifted through the rumors, guesses, and the latest Google announcement to come up with what the Pixel Fold will look like. To place it in proper perspective, we’re comparing it to another flagship foldable phone, the Microsoft Surface Duo.

Even though the two phones are three years apart and the Duo has been overtaken by time and technology, Google’s Pixel Fold resembles it in more ways than one.

Google Pixel Fold vs. Microsoft Surface Duo: Side-by-Side Comparison

Pixel FoldSurface Duo
Phone typeFoldable smartphoneFoldable smartphone
Operating systemAndroid 13 or 14Android 10
CameraTri-camera systemOnly one 11 MP camera
NFCYesNo
RAM12GB6GB
Internal Memory256GB and 512GB128GB
Battery4,821mAh3577mAh

Pixel Fold vs. Microsoft Surface Duo: What’s the Difference?

Overview

Through a tweet and an Instagram post, Google confirmed that it would launch its first foldable phone, the Pixel Fold, on May 10, the same day as the Google I/O 2023. It was believed to be one of the new launches during the event, and it was.

The rumors that the tech giant was working on the sly to launch a foldable phone to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Z series are now confirmed. If you’re wondering how the phone will look, it is like many other foldable phones; it features a book-style mechanism. 

Launched in 2019, Surface Duo is Microsoft’s first foldable phone. However, leaked and teaser videos doing rounds on social media present some resemblance between the Pixel Fold and Surface Duo. This is interesting, considering that the Surface Duo didn’t live up to the hype as it failed to match the expectations of many in terms of practicality.

That explains why some have nothing to write home about when it comes to the Duo. So, the fact that the Pixel Fold looks a lot like the Duo might not sit right with most people, especially those disappointed with Microsoft’s first foldable phone.

Well, times have changed, and technology has improved. So, it might be correct to assume that the Google Pixel Fold will offer an unmatched experience.

Price

Rumors abound about the starting price of the Pixel Fold. However, there seems to be a consensus that the price will vary depending on the specs, especially the storage.

The Pixel Fold will come in two main storage options, 256GB and 512GB, with the former costing about $1,799 and the latter coming with a $1,919 price tag. But what does this say about this gadget’s performance and reliability?

Great Processor
Google Pixel Fold
$1,699.99
  • Google Tensor G2 chip
  • Advanced image processing
  • Features Fingerprint Unlock and Face Unlock
  • Made with polished aluminum and matte glass
  • Comes with a telephoto and ultrawide lens
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 07:40 am GMT

Well, it appears that the Pixel Fold will join the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 in the category of the most expensive foldable phones in the US. However, the Pixel Fold will likely enjoy the price helm for a time before it’s destabilized by Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5, which will arrive later in the year.

But the biggest question remains the same. Will the Pixel Fold match or beat Galaxy Z Fold 4’s smooth and refined experience? Will it be a suitable option for productivity-oriented people?

The Microsoft Surface Duo first came with a $1,399 price tag but it has now dropped. This is expected, given the launch of Microsoft’s second-generation foldable, the Surface Duo 2, and other more advanced models. The same fate could await the Pixel Fold if the Google outfit fails to impress the eagerly waiting foldable phone enthusiasts.

Design

Google claims the Pixel Fold measures 139.7×158.7×5.8 mm when unfolded and 139.7×79.5×12.1 mm when folded. The thickness of 5.8mm when open and 8.3mm when folded gives it a more compact design.

Aside from the strong hinge that allows the phone to open at any degree, it also supports flex mode, making it an excellent option for those fond of taking selfies while partying or out with friends and family.

Generally, the Pixel Fold is a little bigger but still among the thinner foldable phones. It also comes in two color variants: Porcelain and Obsidian. According to Arstechnica, the bezels will be slightly bigger than what you will find on the Surface Duo and other equal rivals, like the Oppo Find N 2 and Samsung Galaxy Fold 4.

Nevertheless, it boasts interesting features like Face Unlock and a fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button. The phone is IP8X rated, meaning it can endure up to 1.5 meters of water.

Compared to the Pixel Fold, the Surface Duo is very slender. It measures 186.9 x 145.2 x 4.8 mm when open and 145.2 x 93.3 x 9.9 mm folded. The 4.8mm thickness when open and 9.9mm when folded make it very pocketable. It’s worth noting that the Duo is the thinnest foldable phone ever to exist and only comes in a white shade.

Like the Google Pixel, you can launch different apps at the same time in dual-screen mode. Similarly, you can drag and drop files from one screen to the other. In addition, it has a 360-degree hinge in the middle instead of one foldable screen, which is strong enough to stop at any angle. It also has thick top and bottom bezels.

The thinness makes the Surface Duo comfortable to hold, but it also makes it very fragile and difficult to install a better camera. It also leaves no room for fitting NFC or wireless charging coils; features that have become the norm in phones that cost above $1k.

Nevertheless, the Duo comes with a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. It also has proximity, dual accelerometer, and dual gyro sensors to help enhance your experience. 

Display

Come June, Google’s Pixel Fold is expected to come with an internal 7.69-inch OLED screen, 2208 x 1840 resolution, and 120Hz refresh rate. The screen will be protected by Ultra Thin Glass and will output 1,000 – 1,450 nits of brightness.

It will also feature an OLED 5.8-inch display on the outside with 1080p, 120Hz, and an added protective Gorilla Glass Victus. It comes with a maximum brightness of up to 1,550 nits.

The Surface Duo, on the other hand, features two 5.6-inch AMOLED screens. It also has a Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and the rear, a stainless-steel double barrel hinge, and a matte white frame. The display design delivers an 1800 x 2700 pixels resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, and a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Camera

The Pixel Fold will come with a 48MP main camera and a 10.8MP telephoto camera with 5X optical zoom capability. It will also have a 10.8MP ultrawide camera on the rear. The front will house a 9.5MP selfie camera and another 8MP interior camera in the bezel above the display.

The camera is one of the main casualties of Microsoft’s decision to put thinness above other design considerations. The Surface Duo only comes with one low-quality 11MP camera on the top side of the right half of the dual screen.

Our Pick
Microsoft Surface Duo
$799.99
  • 5.6-inch screen size
  • 256 GB memory capacity
  • Android 10 OS
  • 360° hinge and dual PixelSense fusion displays
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 06:52 pm GMT

The Duo doesn’t have a back camera. So, this front camera serves more as a webcam than a smartphone camera, both in terms of quality and purpose. It works best in moderately lit environments, but the image and video quality is low compared to what you would get from most foldable phones.

Unlike the Pixel Fold, the Surface Duo does not feature an optical zoom lens, an image stabilizer, or a software-based solution like the Super Res Zoom found on the Pixel Fold.

Performance

Like other Pixel models, the Pixel Fold will run on Google’s Tensor Chip processor (G2) and the Titan M2 security chip. The Tensor chip has 8 cores and delivers a clock speed of 1.8GHz. The Tensor Chip will be paired with 12GB DDR5 RAM and Mali-G78 GPU for higher performance.

The Surface Duo runs on a Snapdragon 855 processor paired with 6GB RAM. Compared to the Google Tensor G2, we can confidently say that Surface Duo is not a great performer. Even so, the Surface Duo delivers an acceptable performance; though some individuals claim that it is a bit slow while typing.

Battery

Most foldable manufacturers still struggle to offer a long battery life. Nevertheless, Google Pixel’s 4,821 mAh battery appears great, though it’s less than the 5,000 mAh battery in the Pixel 7 Pro. Also, the USB charging is a bit slower, with a 30W maximum.

Nevertheless, Google claims that the Pixel Fold’s battery can last more than 24 hours when put to optimal use. It also says the battery life can extend to 72 hours on saver mode.

However, expectations may not be high in this aspect, as most Pixels are famous for not having the best battery life. Besides, with the larger and brighter screen, these claims raise some eyebrows. We can only hope that Google improves on this part.

The first generation of the Surface Duo came with a 3,577mAh battery split into two to power the device’s screens. It’s not the best battery for a foldable phone. Given the Duo’s high number of features, the battery can barely last 7 hours. Also, the 18W USB charging is not as fast as many would expect from a foldable phone.

Software

The Pixel Fold will use Android 13 and 14 later in the year. Like other Pixels, the Fold will be easy to customize and use. Moreover, Google promises to offer a better multitasking experience with this flagship.

It will also come with a dock feature. Users will be able to access apps from the lower part of the screen and redesign apps for large screen usage.

Surface Duo uses Android 10, which is quite outdated considering that modern devices run on Android 13. Unfortunately, it only supports upgrades to Android 11.

The Duo is one of the few smartphones that mirror their screens to a smart TV. You can also link it to your PC. Besides, it works well with Microsoft apps such as Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive and supports touchscreen controls for some Xbox games.

Google Pixel Fold vs. Microsoft Surface Duo: 7 Must-Know Facts

  1. The Surface Duo does not support 5G and NFC.
  2. The Surface Duo was replaced by the Surface Duo 2, which features better specifications like a bigger battery, a better camera, NFC, and a larger display.
  3. Microsoft’s Surface Duo is now fairly cheap.
  4. The Surface Duo screens fold on each other, like a book.
  5. Unlike the Surface Duo, Google’s Pixel Fold supports 5G and NFC.
  6. Pixel Fold comes with both wireless and wired charging.
  7. Google’s Pixel Fold will be released by the end of June 2023.

Google Pixel Fold vs. Microsoft Surface Duo: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

The Pixel Fold might not be out yet, but we believe it will be a better option than the Surface Duo. Reviews show that the latter came with several glitches and made some compromises on the design, causing it to fall out of favor with foldable smartphone lovers.

Besides, it does not offer the same features as most foldable phones with lower price tags. Therefore, if you need to invest your money in a foldable, you may be better off waiting for the Pixel Fold. Even so, the Surface Duo is an ideal foldable for those who need to read eBooks on the Kindle app or take notes, though it is slow while typing.

If you want to spend less and still get a good foldable phone, consider the Surface Duo. The price for the lower RAM version is currently very low. Alternatively, if you need a Duo with better features, consider the Surface Duo 2.

  1. Google Pixel Fold
    $1,699.99
    • Google Tensor G2 chip
    • Advanced image processing
    • Features Fingerprint Unlock and Face Unlock
    • Made with polished aluminum and matte glass
    • Comes with a telephoto and ultrawide lens
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/17/2024 07:40 am GMT
  2. Microsoft Surface Duo
    $799.99
    • 5.6-inch screen size
    • 256 GB memory capacity
    • Android 10 OS
    • 360° hinge and dual PixelSense fusion displays
    Buy Now on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    01/16/2024 06:52 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2?

The Surface Duo is Microsoft’s first foldable device, while Duo 2 is the second. The latter came with more advanced features and fewer glitches. For instance, it has an improved camera performance and NFC capability; hence, it’s a better bargain than the first.

Do Surface Duo or Pixel Fold support wireless charging?

Surface Duo cannot be charged wirelessly, but the Pixel Fold is expected to come with wired and wireless charging capabilities.

Can a foldable smartphone help improve productivity?

Given that they make using two apps at the same time seamless and more comfortable does not necessarily imply increased productivity. This capability can be a distraction, as you may be tempted to watch a movie on YouTube while reading on the Kindle app. Thus, your productivity will depend on how best you can avoid digital distractions.

How durable is the Google Pixel Fold?

The device has a stainless steel hinge, aluminum frame, and Gorilla Glass Victus on the external display, making it pretty durable. However, like any other phone, a case will help protect it from accidental drops.

Should I buy a foldable phone?

You can get a good single-screen phone at half the price of a foldable smartphone. However, if you need the multitasking power of these devices, then go for a Fold.

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