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Surface Duo 2 pops up at the FCC with 5G and NFC ahead of Surface event on September 22nd

Not long after photos of the Surface Duo 2 leaked and Industrial Designer Jonas Deahnert shared sexy renders and the device popping up in Geekbench, Surface Duo 2 has made a visit to the FCC, revealing and confirming a number of the device’s specifications.

Introducing Microsoft Surface Duo

The FCC documents were released on September 17th giving us a peak a previously unknown specifications. The data is filed under C3K1995 where C3K is the grantee code for Microsoft and 1995 is the FCC product code. In the documents, Surface Duo 2 is referred to as a “portable handset” with various reference to its multiple postures, 4G and 5G support. Among the other specs is Wi-Fi 8021.11b/g/n/ax (aka Wi-Fi 6), Multi-band 5G, NFC, and Ultra-wideband and “Wireless Power Transfer,” which is how the FCC refers to wireless charging. The wireless charging may not be for the phone itself, being that the thickness of Surface Duo may not allow for wireless charging in the internal stack. Wireless charging may acutally be for the Surface Slim Pen.

Surface Duo Fcc Wireless

What we know about Surface Duo 2 so far

Operating SystemAndroid 11
Displaysx2 5.8-inch Pixel Sense displays, 2754 x 1896 (Opened)
SoCSnapdragon 888
Memory8GB RAM
Storage128GB, 256GB
Expandable StorageNo
Rear CameraWide (12MP)
Telephoto (12MP)
Ultrawide (16MP)
Front Camera12MP
SecurityFingerprint Reader
Connectivity5G, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC
Ports1x USB-C
AudioStereo Speakers
Battery4,400mAh (rounded down)
ColorsWhite, Black

Today’s news confirms suspicions that Microsoft’s 2nd-gen Surface Duo would ship with a Snapdragon 888 and 8GB of RAM which is a great upgrade over the Snapdragon 855 and 6GB of RAM found in the first-generation Surface Duo. The Geekbench scores reveal a single-core score of 1091 and a multi-core score of 3517 which matches other Snapdragon 888-powered devices currently available. Another detail revealed by the benchmark is that the Surface Duo 2 is running Android 11.

screenshot via Geekbench

The biggest feature addition to Surface Duo 2 is the triple camera and subsequent camera bump, but that also has design consequences for this device that can fold both displays shut and open so that both displays are exposed, one on the front and the back. The design was likely inspired by the well-known Surface Note concept that solved all of the design issues except one, making room for a high-powered camera. The designer of the Surface Note concept says that his Lumia 950XL was the inspiration for the size of the Surface Note, so making the folded device no thicker than the thickest part of a Lumia 950XL, which was 8.1mm. That means that the thickness of the unfolded device would have to be a little more than 4mm. It is perhaps that initial choice to make the folded device no more than 8.1mm that forced the design to be so thin and thus have a large camera bump on Surface Duo 2 that will not allow the device to fully close back on itself.

It wasn’t clear from the leaked photos how the camera bump would fold into the phone posture and if that gap would look like. Deahnert has a potential solution it would seem. What isn’t clear though, did this come from the device photos, is this Deahnert’s solution and would it affect the camera having slanted cover glass? Since the selfie camera is no longer pulling double duty as the main camera, there is no longer a need for a flash on the display side of the device.

One thing we didn’t see in the leaked images is the Surface Duo 2’s display, Deahnert may be taking creative liberties with the display, but we love it either way. The USB-C port now matches the location of the original Surface Note concept, that put it in the middle of the closed device.

Based on past photo of Panos Panay holding a black Surface Duo prototype, we are hoping Microsoft actually makes Surface Duo 2 available in Black this time around. Any of our readers looking forward to Surface Duo 2 this fall? Let us know in the comments below.

A former industry insider and tech industry enthusiast.