Microsoft's Surface Duo lands in the UK next week

The foldable smartphone will available from 18 February for £1,349

Microsoft's Surface Duo on top of a pile of books

Microsoft's foldable smartphone, the Surface Duo, will be available in the UK on 18 February for the eye-watering price of £1,349, the firm has revealed.

This is the tech giant's first attempt at a smartphone since shutting down its ill-fated Windows range of handsets in 2016.

Rather than a display that bends, in a style similar to Samsung's Galaxy Fold or the Huawei Mate X range, Microsoft has simply fitted two screens together with a hinge. The Duo has been available in the US since September, where it has received fairly good reviews but has been widely criticised for its expensive price point.

That price may be justifiable just for the fact it is based on Google's Android operating system, which would have been an unthinkable collaboration just a few years ago.

The Duo has a 360-degree hinge, screens that can be used as single displays or together as an 8.1-inch screen, and it sports a number of innovative multi-tasking functions. In IT Pro's review of the Surface Duo, we found that it has all the capabilities of a tablet, but with the added benefit of being able to fit into your pocket.

That is arguably the main appeal of the device, as it doesn't quite hold up to other smartphones from Apple or Samsung. Looking at its internal specs, it has 2018's Snapdragon 855 processor, matched with 6GB of RAM, so it isn't as powerful as most smartphones on the market. There is also the issue of battery life, with the Duo only lasting 12hrs 5min in our looped video test. That not only looks poor against other major smartphones, it also makes its price tag look a little unreasonable.

Surface for Business customers are now able to register their interest in the Duo through a number of Microsoft resellers. Microsoft is also offering a handful of warranty and protection plans on top of the default package.

UK customers can get the Surface Duo on 18 February via Microsoft's online store or through its partnership with Curry's PC World.

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