What reviewers are saying about the new Microsoft Duo device

It’s here. Microsoft is not only pushing with new ideas in hardware, but it’s doing it without the software, that’s right, Microsoft has built hardware that runs Android instead of Windows. This isn’t your Dad’s Microsoft anymore.

The Microsoft Duo is the future, or some of its design is. The two-screen idea is a much better option than a folding screen, and for many reasons. Also, the two-screen design allows for existing applications to be opened on a single screen side-by-side with another application without any modifications to them.

This is a big deal; people will be able to take advantage of the new device format without waiting for developers to release new versions of their apps to take advantage of the dual-screen layout.

What others are saying about this device?

MICROSOFT SURFACE DUO REVIEW: DOUBLE TROUBLES

All the right ideas — but spoiled by buggy software and a bad camera

By Dieter Bohn @backlon
The Verge

Microsoft Surface Duo review

A beautiful, expensive work in progress

Brian Heater @bheater
TechCrunch

Review: Microsoft Surface Duo

The company’s first dual-screen phone points to a future for mobile technology that is both exciting and disappointing.

Julian Chokkattu
Wired

Most reviews are pretty neutral; some really like the design and agree on the quality of the hardware, while others seem to be disappointed with the quality of the camera and the high price. Folks, this is something new, something refreshing, and reviewers who experienced some bugs probably tested an earlier version of the software as the latest updates seem to have fixed most of these… It’s a work in progress, and it’s exciting.

I don’t disagree with these reviews, but the new Microsoft Duo is essentially setting up a new foundation for mobile devices. In my opinion, the dual-screen will be a success, and many other manufacturers are going to follow suit – and this is a good position for Microsoft to be in.

The Microsoft Duo is, for now, a device for reviewers and early-adopters. The price is high and unaffordable for most people out there. Still, with time, I am sure Microsoft and other manufacturers will perfect the new dual-screen design, and then competition might bring the prices down and increase the quality of the hardware and software. Let’s hope that this is what happens.

Tech Specs

Dimensions:
Open: 145.2 mm (H) x 186.9 mm (W) x 4.8 mm (T)
Closed: 145.2 mm (H) x 93.3 mm (W) x 9.9 mm (T at hinge)

Processor:
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 Mobile Platform optimized for the dual-screen experience

Weight: 250 grams

Display:
Dual PixelSense™ Fusion Displays open: 8.1” AMOLED, 2700×1800 (3:2), 401 PPI
Single PixelSense™ Display: 5.6” AMOLED, 1800×1350 (4:3), 401 PPI
Display Material: Corning® Gorilla® Glass

Battery Life:
Up to 15.5 hours of Local Video Playback2
Up to 10 days of Standby Time
Up to 27 hours of Talk Time

Camera:
Adaptive camera 11MP, f/2.0, 1.0 µm, PDAF and 84.0° diagonal FOV optimized with AI for front and rear

Network and Connectivity:
WiFi: WiFi-5 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth® 5.0
LTE: 4×4 MIMO, Cat.18 DL / Cat 5 UL, 5CA, LAA. Up to 1.2Gbps Download / Up to 150Mbps Upload

Connections:
USB-C® 3.1

Storage and Memory:
128GB or 256GB UFS 3.0 of internal storage
6GB DRAM

Apple’s floating store in Singapore

Microsoft decided to close its Microsoft Store physical locations back in June, and personally, I think this was a mistake. As a consumer, seeing the Microsoft stores at the mall prompted me (and my kids) to visit it and look around. It is because of these stores that in the past few years, my family and I have purchased more Microsoft products.

In contrast, Apple is investing and opening new and more complex (and I’m sure more expensive) stores. The latest one is located in Singapore, and while it isn’t open as of today, many Instagrammers have shared photos of the new futuristic floating Apple Store.

The new floating store was built by architecture studio Foster + Partners on the water alongside the Marina Bay Sands hotel, and it looks amazing!

This is definitely one more reason for me to visit Singapore as soon as I am able to travel again, currently limited by the pandemic. What do you think? Amazing isn’t? With Apple’s two+ trillion market cap, water/floating stores don’t seem to be such a bad investment.

PlayStation 5

It’s a new console, and it promises to be faster, more immersive, and just plain better than anything else.

The PlayStation 5 comes in two different models, the digital edition, and the, should we call it, non-digital edition? The PlayStation 5 digital edition comes without an optical blue-ray disc-drive, which means you’ll only buy and play games digitally. And since there isn’t an optical drive, it also means you won’t be able to play DVD/Blue-Ray movies, or anything else that requires an optical drive.

Sony claims that this PlayStation will offer a more immersive experience, and I hope that it does, it’s 2020 and it’s time for these games consoles to showcase all the advances in both software and hardware.

The PlayStation 5 has a faster SSD drive; for those not familiar with the term, it means that it has a Solid State Drive, and it is, in fact, faster than the regular Hard Disc Drives (HDD). The SSD drives are also more durable as they don’t have any moving parts. So that’s a good thing, trust me.

The PlayStation 5 also comes with a more in-depth immersion experience due to its support for haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D audio. And what does all that mean? Good question, haptic feedback refers to any technology that can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. For example, this PlayStation probably has much better haptic feedback through the game controllers.

This new game console also promises to have adaptive triggers, which means you truly feel the tension of your actions in the game, for example, when you are jumping, shooting, or drawing a bow to shoot an arrow.” This, along with the haptic feedback, is a way of trying to pull you, the player, further into the game than ever before, making a more immerse experience.

It’s been a while since I owned a PlayStation, I think the last one I bought was the PS3, and then I switched to the Microsoft Xbox. The main reason I did this was that my PlayStation fan was very loud, and it was very annoying when playing games or watching movies. However, I will buy this new PlayStation 5, I have to experience it to further expand my review and opinion of it, but so far, it looks good.

The only thing that I don’t like is the design, it just isn’t futuristic enough, in my opinion, and it reminds me of Sony’s dog robot. It’s probably the color and the shape of it, I’m not sure, but in a way, it looks like a cheap plastic toy to me. To be fair, I haven’t seen the real device, my opinion about the design is purely based on the photos and videos I have seen so far.

What are your thoughts? Are you ordering one? It launches in the holiday 2020, according to Sony’s website, which means, Christmas 2020, or December 2020. Some rumors the cost of the PlayStation 5 is going to be between $470 – $499.

Sonos shows its laziness when handling legacy products, it later apologizes.

A few days ago, Sonos sent a message to its customers, informing them that certain products people had bought years ago were going to be obsolete and possibly unusable by May 2020.

The notification started an outcry on Twitter and other online platforms and forums. People began sharing their discontent about Sonos’ decision to stop software updates and new features for what they are clarifying now as legacy products.

You see, many people had spent a lot of money in the early days of Sonos by trusting this company and investing in their product. These early-customers felt cheated by a company they supported from the beginning.

Sonos’ message about legacy products:

In May the following products in your system will be classified as legacy and no longer receive software updates and new features. This will affect your listening experience.

Legacy products were introduced between 2005 and 2011 and, given the age of the technology, fo not have enough memory or processing power to sustain future innovation.

Please note that because Sonos is a system, all products operate on the same software. If modern products remain connected to legacy products after May, they also will not receive software updates and new features.

Sonos’ notification to its customers

Essentially, Sonos told some of their most loyal customers that by May of this year, all of their Sonos products (new and old) were going to be practically neglected from upcoming updates and features, rendering potentially useless in the near future.

After a few days of strong and steady complaints and criticism about this decision by Sonos, the company changed the policy and sent an email to its customers (see image below). Then Sonos’s CEO posted an apology letter to their company blog.

Image

The Sonos’ response is fine, but I wish they would have done that from the beginning and save themselves the hate and all the complaints they justifiably received.

But why did they tried to do this to them in the first place? Laziness.

It was evident from the beginning, at least to their customers, that what Sonos’ was about to do wasn’t the result of limitations with the technology, it wasn’t. The original letter sent to customers with Sonos’ products bought between 2005 and 2011 was just the easy way to deal with this situation. 

Let this be another lesson to other companies out there, and let’s hope that in 10 years or so, Tesla doesn’t try to pull a Sonos with their customers.

Should I buy one of the new iPhone 11 smartphones?

The new iPhone 11 is out, and the world has taken notice. This year, Apple released all three phones the same day (iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max), and Everyone took it to Twitter, YouTube, and Podcasts to complain about how this new iPhone isn’t as good as it should have been, to tell us how much of the new capabilities are things that other devices already had, and also to make it a point how expensive they are. And yet, a lot of us can’t wait to get our hands on one of them.

Apple’s new iPhones have something this year that they didn’t have in the past few years; A considerable better camera(s), and much, much better battery life. Also, if you are already an Apple consumer, if you are in their ecosystem, getting a new iPhone with a better battery, and a better camera makes sense… if you do have the money for it.

For current iPhone users

If your iPhone battery is on red by the end of the day, go get the new iPhone.
If you appreciate photography, if you make videos, especially interview or vlog type videos, go get the new iPhone 11 Pro; yes, the one with the 4 cameras.
If the battery life of your current phone is right for you, and the camera takes the photos you like, there isn’t really a need to upgrade to the new iPhone, in my opinion.

For everyone else

There is probably a good reason why you aren’t an iPhone user, you either dislike the hardware, the software, the price, or all three of these things. I understand, people like and prefer different things and switching to any of the new iPhones isn’t going to give you anything that a new smartphone from Samsung or the Google Pixel won’t give you.

However, if you have a Mac, iPad, or iMac, using an iPhone gives you access to some really nice features that you won’t get with the other smartphones. And by the way, these features aren’t limited to the new iPhones, these sweet things are part of the software and will work with any iPhone as long as the software, iOS, is up to date. An example of the apps that make users very happy and productive within the Apple ecosystem is AirDrop (transfer files easily between your devices), Safari (you can view tabs from the other Apple devices), etc.

The good

The new iPhones are fast, very fast, you won’t be disappointed. The new custom-built A13 Bionic chip is as amazing and unique as it sounds. To most of us, it just means that the new iPhone can run the latest and also demanding apps and games. It also means you can do some photo and video processing right from your smartphone. I do prefer to do my photo and video editing using a much larger screen, but that’s just me.

The cameras, let’s talk about the cameras of the new iPhone, specifically, the iPhone 11 Pro. This smartphone, it’s a camera with high-end camera software. On the back, you have 3 new cameras, the ultra-wide camera, the wide camera, and the telephoto camera. That’s right, this new setup would give you a chance and flexibility to take some outstanding photos, and almost under any condition.

The battery last longer, and if you are a heavy iPhone user, you know how important that is. The battery is larger, but it also lasts longer, well done Apple, it’s about time.

The new iPhone 11 starts at $700, which is $50 less than last year’s iPhone XR. The Pro model is $1,000, and the Pro Max is $1,100.

The bad

It’s a good camera, it’s a good smartphone, but in a year or two, you’ll probably change it for a newer one.

The ‘notch’ is still very visible, other smartphones have made good progress making the ‘notch’ less visible, but Apple hasn’t.

The iPhone 11 fingerprint scanner is gone, which means you have to either type your password or use Face ID, which not everyone is happy to do use yet.

The iPhone 11 Pro is heavier than last year’s model, it weighs 188 grams while the iPhone XS was 177 grams, and the Samsung Galaxy S10, it’s just 157 grams.

Remember, if your budgets allow for it, and you are already in the Apple ecosystem, getting a new iPhone is not a bad idea if you appreciate having a much better camera and definitely much better battery life. It’s up to you, and please remember that if you are happy with your current’s phone camera, and your battery is still keeping up with your life then you are probably OK keeping your current phone a bit longer.