Microsoft Surface Duo 2 Pops Up at FCC With 5G, NFC, and Wireless Charging

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Microsoft has a Surface hardware event on the agenda for Wednesday, Sept. 22, but an FCC filing might have just spilled the beans. The document reveals some notable details on the alleged Surface Duo 2, a follow-up to Microsoft’s first Android phone in 2020. That device was criticized for missing several table stakes features, but the Duo 2 might have what it takes, based on the documents spotted by Windows Central. 

Microsoft chose to launch the Duo without 5G connectivity, NFC, or Wi-Fi 6 support. All of those features were standard for high-end phones at the time, but Microsoft seemed more interested in playing around with a new (or revitalized) form factor than competing on specs. Still, these missing features made the $1,400 dual-screen phone a tough sell. 

The new FCC documents were posted publicly on September 17, listed as C3K1995. As with most FCC filings for unreleased devices, there is an active confidentiality request. That means all the juicy parts are being kept under wraps, but the testing results are always made public. From that, we can ascertain several facts about the hardware. For example, the device supports 5G networks. The documents lists numerous sub-6 frequencies, which is the only 5G that matters right now. There’s also support for a pair of millimeter-wave 5G bands (n260 and n261). While mmWave can be very fast under the right circumstances, it’s finicky and has terrible range. The FCC also makes mention of improved Wi-Fi 6E with both 5GHz and 6GHz frequencies. 

The first-gen Surface Duo.

The supposed Duo 2 will have NFC, according to the filings. That was a conspicuous omission from the last Duo. Usually, it’s only very cheap phones that skip NFC, which is increasingly important for contactless payments. The phone supports UWB (ultra-wideband), which could suggest accessories that communicate over the standard. In a similar vein, the phone has wireless charging…of some sort. The filings call it Wireless Power Transfer. That could mean standard Qi wireless charging, or it could refer to a way of charging an accessory, for example, a stylus. That would jive with the UWB support, but we won’t know until the event on Wednesday. 

A leak several months back purported to show the Duo 2, looking a lot like the first-gen device with the same dual-screen hinge design. However, there’s now a triple-camera array on the back, which is a departure. The original only had one camera above the right display, so you had to fold the screen back to snap photos. It was a strange phone, and the Duo 2 looks like it will be, too.

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