Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 vs. Microsoft Surface Duo

Two unique and capable folding phones face off

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Galaxy Z Fold2 vs. Microsoft Surface Duo

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 and the Microsoft Surface Duo are exciting and unique phones. Both are folding phones, adopting a unique two-part design with a flexible screen or hinge that lets them act as a phone for one-handed use and unfold into a tablet-sized device for multimedia and multitasking. We looked at both phones, comparing their design, display quality, specs, and more to help you decide which one to get. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 Microsoft Surface Duo
120Hz HDR10+ display No high refresh or HDR10+
Snapdragon 865+ processor Snapdragon 855 processor
5G connectivity No 5G connectivity
Three 12MP rear cameras Single 11MP rear camera

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G


Microsoft Surface Duo

Surface Duo
Microsoft Surface Duo.

Design and Display 

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 resembles a Note 20 when looked at from the back. It has a plastic edge-to-edge screen on the front, a glass back, and an aluminum frame. When snapped closed, it looks like two phones stacked on each other, making it slightly thick. There’s a triple camera array on the back and a pair of selfie cameras on the front. Because the front of the screen is plastic, it’s not as durable as glass and may be prone to scratches (it comes with a screen protector installed by default). 

When you unfold the screen, it comes out to 7.6 inches; while folded, it has a 6.23-inch cover display. The screen resolution is a crisp 2208x1768 pixels, which works out to 373ppi. The screen is a foldable version of Samsung’s AMOLED, giving you bright and vivid colors boosted by HDR10+. The panel is also a high refresh display at 120Hz, giving you smooth motion and transitions, especially for multimedia and games. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.

The Surface Duo is quite different from the Z Fold2 in design. Rather than having a folding screen, it’s two screens connected by a hinge in the middle. That means you get a phone with a Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, and it’s not a folding screen, so you have less worry about creases and breakage throughout use. The downside is that there’s quite a sizable bezel on both the top and bottom and a bezel down the middle where the hinge meets. Apps, shows, and games won’t look nearly as seamless as on the Z Fold2. 

The screen itself is of mediocre quality. It’s 5.6 inches folded and 8.1 inches unfolded, making it slightly bigger than the Z Fold2. It has 2700x12800 pixels, working out to a crisp 401ppi. It’s also AMOLED, so you get deep blacks and nice colors, but it’s not a high refresh panel nor rated for HDR10+, so you’ll be missing smoothness and dynamic range. 

Performance and Camera

Samsung has packed the Z Fold2 with specs on par with its flagship phone lineup. You get a Snapdragon 865+ processor and the best Android chipset on the market. It has 12GB of RAM and 256GB/512GB internal storage. Despite the large and hungry display, multitasking and demanding games shouldn’t be a problem. 

The camera setup consists of three 12MP sensors: a standard wide-angle sensor, a telephoto sensor for 2x optical zoom, and an ultrawide sensor. Pictures are on par with the Note20 Ultra and other high-end Samsung phones. It can also record 4K video at 60fps, and there are 10MP selfie cameras on the front. 

Surface Duo
Microsoft Surface Duo.

The Microsoft Surface Duo isn’t nearly as capable as the Z Fold2. A somewhat older Snapdragon 855 chipset powers it with 6GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB storage. While apps and games should still run fine, for the most part, it won’t score nearly as well in benchmark tests and might chug more for running lots of apps side by side. 

Camera capabilities are even more shortchanged. There’s just a single 11MP rear sensor with no other sensors for telephoto zoom or ultrawide shots. It can record 4K at 60fps. There’s also no selfie camera. Instead, it simply uses the rear camera for selfies. 

Software and Connectivity 

Both the Z Fold2 and Surface Duo run on Android 10. Samsung has its custom One UI skin on top, giving you a variety of features, Samsung apps, and things like the Bixby voice assistant. There are also several customizations for multitasking to help you run apps side by side, split the screen, use Samsung DeX, and more. The S Pen doesn’t work for the phone currently. The Z Fold2 has full 5G connectivity

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G

The Surface Duo also runs Android 10, but it’s been some time since Microsoft released a phone, let alone an Android phone. However, you’ll find similar features to make multitasking easier, and run apps side by side. It might work better for workflow because two separate screens allow you to compose an email on one while connecting on Zoom with the other. It’s compatible with the Surface Pen for note-taking and can link to Windows. 5G connectivity is not supported. 


At MSRP, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 will run you $2,000, making it one of the most expensive phones you can get, though many carriers offer it for $1,000 with a trade-in. The Microsoft Surface Duo is cheaper at $1,400 and is currently on sale for $1,200, which makes sense since there aren’t nearly as many high-end components or features packed on.

Final Verdict

If you’re willing and able to shell out $2,000 for a phone, you may as well get the Galaxy Z Fold2. Samsung has had experience making a folding phone; it has all the best hardware like the Snapdragon 865+, high refresh display, and 5G connectivity. It also looks a lot nicer overall. The Surface Duo may have more productivity potential due to the dual screens, Microsoft apps, and Surface Pen support. Still, its hardware and camera capabilities are underpowered and lack 5G support.

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