Report: Microsoft Canceled Mid-Range Version of Its Surface Duo 2

Microsoft has reportedly canceled a mid-range version of its dual-screen Surface Duo 2 device. A prototype has been briefly on sale on eBay before it found a buyer, and Windows Central confirmed that the now-deleted listing and the pictures of the device were legitimate.

According to Windows Central, this mid-range version of the Surface Duo 2 is codenamed “Cronos” and it was expected to ship later this year. The device would have come with a plastic body with flat displays, and the Glance Bar that Microsoft introduced on the regular Surface Duo 2 is also absent.

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Compared to standard Surface Duo 2, this Cronos prototype also had a smaller camera bump with a dual-camera system. Under the hood, the device had an “upper mid-range Qualcomm SoC,” and the rest of the specs are unknown.

Image credit: eBay.

“The changes to Cronos were designed to bring the price of this form factor down, though it’s unknown exactly how much Microsoft was planning to sell the device for. I’m told Microsoft canceled Cronos in late 2021 after it decided to focus on the next Surface Duo flagship instead, which is currently scheduled for a late 2023 launch,” Windows Central reported.

In recent years, Microsoft launched more affordable versions of some of its Surface products such as the Surface Go and Surface Laptop Go. It’s possible that Microsoft wanted to do the same for its Surface Duo 2, which launched at a pretty steep $1,499 price last fall. However, maybe the fact that Microsoft is still selling the original Surface Duo would have made this Cronos device redundant.

It’s not the first time that a canceled Surface product leaks. Back in 2014, Microsoft canceled a new “Surface Mini” tablet just a few weeks before it was expected to be announced. The tablet was running Windows RT 8.1, an OS that Microsoft was about to discontinue due to a lack of enthusiasm from both app developers and hardware manufacturers.

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Conversation 14 comments

  • james_makumbi

    18 July, 2022 - 11:57 am

    <p>The thought of a mid-range duo is pretty scary. I am an early adopter of Microsoft Launcher and would have loved to try out the dual screens since I only use two screens on my phone now. </p><p>I think I will buy the duo 2 or whichever device comes before they finally make the duo a folding screen. </p>

  • harmjr

    Premium Member
    18 July, 2022 - 12:22 pm

    <p>I think I would have loved this at least the cheap plastic casing that is. I see so many Duo’s online with cracked backs and it would be nice for makers to realize we dont need cases if they were to use reclaimed plastic for the case. </p>

  • rob_segal

    Premium Member
    18 July, 2022 - 12:25 pm

    <p>Microsoft may not be selling enough Duos to justify having one device in the market, much less two. </p>

  • rmlounsbury

    Premium Member
    18 July, 2022 - 12:26 pm

    <p>I think a Surface Duo Go isn’t a terrible idea. I actually wouldn’t mind a polycarbonate body Surface Duo and for many people the camera likely isn’t a priority so the cost cutting there is fine. Dropping the glance bar doesn’t seem wise and even I would question how we a Duo Go would perform on an "upper mid-tier" Snapdragon chip. </p><p><br></p><p>I am at least encouraged that Microsoft decided to invest the resources in such a device. It at least indicates that Microsoft believes there is a future place in the Surface Duo and even potentially a budget version. </p>

    • rob_segal

      Premium Member
      18 July, 2022 - 12:35 pm

      <p>It could also be a discouraging sign and this is the camp I fall into. Microsoft may understand that the market for a dual-screen device like Duo is so small that they can’t justify manufacturing two different devices. They’re not selling enough devices to make two. They may not be selling enough devices to justify one; if sales don’t increase, one Duo model may become zero.</p>

      • rmlounsbury

        Premium Member
        18 July, 2022 - 3:28 pm

        <p>We’ll probably have to agree to disagree here. It seems the MS team handling the Duo software side of the house are humming a long just fine and made large strides in getting Duo 2 into what Microsoft originally promised to deliver.</p>

  • ben55124

    Premium Member
    18 July, 2022 - 1:44 pm

    <p>The Duos seem far fetched to me. My advice – drop the niche and just make a Pixel "a" type phone that has some tie-in with MS services and offers an MS vision of mobile. If niche is a must, do something useful like serviceability.</p>

    • gregsedwards

      Premium Member
      18 July, 2022 - 2:27 pm

      <p>Agree, but serviceability isn’t exactly in line with the Surface brand… </p>

    • robincapper

      20 July, 2022 - 9:43 pm

      <p>Happily, sadly, my Samsung S21 Ultra is pretty much the Surface Phone I hoped Microsoft would make. Good screen size, great camera, pen supported for notes and mark-ups. </p><p>Glad I found the elegant and simple Niagara Launcher as think Microsoft’s is a cluttered confusing mess. Niagara is so elegant in comparison yet does all I need.</p>

  • Brazbit

    18 July, 2022 - 2:37 pm

    <p>I would love a Nokia level polycarbonate housing on a modern phone. Whoever thought encasing a device that is often dropped, carried in a pocket, and basically doing anything more than simply sitting on a shelf on display should be covered front and back by glass was smoking something.</p>

  • vernonlvincent

    Premium Member
    18 July, 2022 - 4:09 pm

    <p>If the shell was similar to what we had on the old Nokia Windows Phones, then that plastic would have been pretty decent all things considered. I remember those Nokia phones being super durable even without a case. So, I don’t feel that a ‘plastic’ Surface Duo would necessarily have equated with cheap quality at all.</p>

  • rbwatson0

    Premium Member
    18 July, 2022 - 7:17 pm

    <p>I thought the original Duo <em>was</em> a mid-tier device!</p><p>/s</p>

  • peterc

    Premium Member
    19 July, 2022 - 2:44 am

    <p>I’d welcome a surface duo 3 in a range of colours and a polycarbonate case with a decent chip and option of “with triple camera” or cheaper “single shooter camera” for basic imaging and doc scan tasks etc. </p><p><br></p><p>I’ve always seen the duo as pocketable productivity and don’t see the need for expensive camera set ups pushing up the cost. If a polycarbonate case drop costs further, great.</p>

  • Errole

    20 July, 2022 - 10:40 am

    <p>I feel the duo isn’t selling well. Not many people are buying the device like Samsung or Apple or event the Google Pixel. Even a few friends of mine at Microsoft is saying use Duo as a companion device, not a main. Get a iPhone. </p>

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