Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone

Technology has a way of unraveling mementos of our past and bringing them to the present as a form of nostalgic progress; the Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone, debate, offers shades of nostalgia and spadefuls of progress.

Whether out of necessity, novelty, or something else entirely—we find ourselves with Bluetooth enabled record players, tablets turned art studios by pressure-reading pens, and, in the last year, flip-folding smartphones. Through some remarkable innovation, and differing schools of thought, the Microsoft Surface Duo and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip are here to change the direction of smartphones from bigger and bigger candy-bar screens—to making multiple screens, compact.

Why Flip? Why Fold?

Before we examine the specs, functionality, special features, and everything else about these two phones; it’s important to understand why they even exist right now. As technology has moved forward with cellphones, the function of them has fundamentally changed. Beyond just texting, web searching, or calls—we use our smartphones for gaming, watching movies, and even a majority of our work. However, with bigger screens to do all of that comfortably, and still have the device readymade for 5G support or better-quality cameras, there is an inherent necessity to expand other hardware features—the battery, and the cooling system.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone – Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

All these expansions mean the size of the phone has to expand too, to fit it all. In a sense, a vicious cycle of innovation by necessity or desire has us trending toward these bigger phones.

The reason then, for a flip or a fold design, is so that we can have all this new technology, and the comfortable screens we’re used to—without the need to sacrifice either. This amazing innovation allows for phones to keep getting bigger, but not take up more space. With all that in mind, does the Microsoft Surface Duo or the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip do it better?


The Specs of The Microsoft Surface Duo vs Samsung Galaxy Z Flip


  Microsoft Surface Duo                                                  Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

  • Price: $1,199 (128 gb) $1,499 (256 gb)                      $1,299 (256 gb) $1,449 (5G/256 gb)


  • Display: 2 5.6-inch OLED screens                                       6.7-inch foldable OLED screen


  • Processor: Snapdragon 855                                                 Snapdragon 855+


  • RAM: 6 gb                                                                             8 gb


  • Storage:      128 gb or 256 gb                                               256 gb


  • Battery: 3577 milliamp(for both screens)                              3300 milliamp


  • Camera 1                                                                               3


  • Special Features 360 Hinge, dual-screen                 Foldable-glass screen, wireless charging


As different as their take on flip or fold technology, the specs of these two phones are remarkably similar. Both in price and processors—they carry with them near identical tech, to the point where speed and battery life measured in person would be almost indistinguishable.

They have similar screen sizes (minus the lack of a second screen with the Flip), 4k resolutions (horizontal display resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels: read more), mono sound, and both close in order to shut down or sleep. Therefore, the biggest difference between the two phones comes not necessarily from the specs, but the intention of the buyer.

What will the phone’s function be for you, and what will you mostly use it for?

Functionality of The Microsft Surface Duo vs The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Let’s start with the Microsoft Surface Duo.

This phone, with its 360-degree hinge (more on that later) and two large screens, readily designed for stylus use, functions as an all-in-one workspace—one where multiple systems can be used simultaneously on the dual-display. This allows for far more efficient multitasking with regards to business than a regular phone could even hope to offer. That being said, the Duo works exceptionally well for people who already use multiple-desktop-screen workspaces. Because, just like the multiple screen spaces, The Duo allows for quick movement between them, dragging content seamlessly across the hinge, or using the screens individually, with two totally different programs active.

Microsoft Surface Duo
Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone – Microsoft Surface Duo

For example, when browsing the web, if you open up a new tab, instead of changing the left screen, the tab might just open up on the right screen—allowing you to work on both, simultaneously. Another example could be where you have a Zoom call taking place on one screen, and notes opened up on the other.

Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone
Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone – surface Duo

The dual screens, and the variations to how they can be used allow for a lot of autonomy from the user. This makes the function of the phone very similar to a tablet—and, with a combined screen size of 8.1 inches, that isn’t far off. On the other hand, there is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone – The Z Flip

The Flip is a smartphone through and through. With its three cameras, 4k ability for recording with them, powerful RAM, and compact design to fit in your pocket—it’s made with accessibility in mind.

Everything you could hope for with a phone is here, easy to use, and surprising with how small the device appears. Not to mention, the added “Flex” mode allows the phone to be supported by the hinge, allowing for the use of a kind of miniature laptop. In that regard, business can be accessible on the phone, but it’s designed primarily for the general user. Where the Duo could be recommended mostly to someone using it for business, this phone could be recommended to nearly everyone.

With its more compact, traditionally sized screen or even smaller than some smartphones, and three great cameras, the Flip emulates the progression of a lot of other phones on the market—phones that edge toward general usability as a social tool rather than a business one.


Special Features: The Microsft Surface Duo vs The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

When it comes down to it, the price similarity of these phones is interesting for a few reasons. One is the screen size, two is the added features—but last is that often a price reflects the Research & Development required to put a phone on the market. That R&D cost can be a result of innovation, and in that frame of mind, the Flip is a more remarkable innovation of technology.

In order to make the first folding-glass phone, they discovered a way by cutting the glass at the hinge remarkably thin, almost the thickness of a single strand of hair. With that design and refined materials, the phone can fold on the hinge and not leave a crinkled-up center from the constant folding because it is true glass—just really thin glass.

That being said, there is still a small seam in the center of the phone when it’s open. If you focus on it, you can see it, if you don’t—you won’t notice it. And that’s pretty impressive. In the duel of Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone that puts the Flip ahead.

However, the last thing I’ll mention is that when the glass is cut that thin, obviously it’s a little more fragile. To compensate for that, the designers layered a plastic covering over the glass, similar to what everyone tends to buy for their phones anyway—a thin sheet so if the phone does get dropped, the plastic breaks first and not the actual glass.

On the other hand, the Duo brings with it dual screens on a 360-degree hinge. That hinge, like many all-in-one tablet laptops on the market already, allows for a full opening of the phone. In that way, you can hold only one screen, just as a traditional phone might rest in your hand. Additionally, the Duo that opens comfortably like a book, is especially great for reading or anything else usually only attributed to a tablet.

The ability to multitask is small in regards to innovation, with other items so similar in design already on the market—but it’s remarkable to have it in convenient a package as a smartphone.

Beyond the innovation of the hinge, however, the Flip has the edge on other special features. With three cameras, NFC for mobile payments (NFC allows payments via mobile wallets like Android Pay and Apple Pay, plus contactless cards – read more) and a system for wireless charging and power-sharing—it really is packed with all the new smartphone benefits available.

Which is Right for You – The Microsft Surface Duo vs The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip?

All that being said about the phones, it’s a decision based around intended use, and meeting your needs. They are both wonderful phones and, I’ll admit, they carry with them something else exciting with regards to what this technology evokes—nostalgia.

The ability to close a phone, to have it shut completely when you’re at the dinner table allows a certain distance from a screen that is always open, waiting to be pressed—activated. In that way, the foldable phone can say something though subtext. If it’s closed, I’m present here. If it’s open, I’m not. That small feature doesn’t seem like much, but it’s an exciting nostalgic novelty that seems to be finding its way back into the main stream.

However, besides that little anecdote—the decision still comes down to what you need a phone for.

The Microsoft Surface Duo, folding like a book and one of the larger phones on the market isn’t terribly compact, but wonderful for business use and multitasking. It has a simple design with it’s 360-hinge and one camera that basically attributes itself as a more work-oriented phone. In that way, if the phone is intended for business, this could be the perfect choice. It certainly doen’t lag behind the Flip in business design stakes in Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, on the other hand, is one of the smallest phones available while still having the same screen-size as most phones on the market. And that strange oxymoron is a sure sign of its innovation. It is compact, safe to carry in your pocket or purse with all the rest of your daily items. It has a great set of cameras, quick interface, is available in a plethora of colors, has wireless charging connectivity and would honestly be a great phone for anyone in the market for a new one.

Overall, these two phones represent a nice change in the future of smartphones, and where the technology is progressing. Rather than bigger and bigger screens, they aim to make those multiple screens, compact. Both the Microsoft Surface Duo and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip work remarkably well, even as they come from different schools of thought on how to implement the flip or fold technology.

Microsoft Surface Duo vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Phone is a debate with many chapters. Which one works best for you still depends on intention, on individual needs of functionality—but both are great options and a great sign of what this amazing technology can evolve in to.

If you already have bought the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip you may be interested in our article: Best Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Cases.

Galazy Z fold cases offer great protection: read 12 Best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 Cases



Kavya Singh is a full-time blogger. She is a tech enthusiast and loves to write about it. She writes about all the latest gadgets as well as upcoming gadgets for the people to decide which one to buy.