Microsoft Duo Teardown We lost a good one. Well, in front of us, we have one of my favorite phones that I’ll never end up using the Microsoft Surface duo. It’s my favorite because of its uniqueness and simplicity, but I’ll also never end up using it because of that same simplicity. Today we’re going to open up the surface duo and see how it works from the inside, paying particular attention to that hinge. Let’s get started.
The hinge of the Microsoft duo is pretty awesome. It’s simple, with no moving parts, and its 360-degree functionality allows for more Screen Position drive than any other folding phone out there at the moment. To get access to the internals, we will have to remove the dual m OLED displays. And this is where things start to get tricky smartphone displays are fragile and not usually meant to come off. Yeah, with some heat. The adhesive, but one wrong move can crack the top glass or start D laminating the display portion from the glass’s underside, which then kills the screen. Microsoft has not made this duo he’s to repair. I can make the final slice down the spine side of the display. And once the screen is loose, I’ll turn it on to inspect the damage.
And it looks like glasses intact with no cracks. We did end up breaking the screen. And by we mostly mean me, the dead area of pixels are D laminated and will never compile. Generally, during these teardowns, I like to have the phone survive and be fully functional when I reassemble them, but unfortunately, not everyone will make it, which is also the theme of the US code response.
But we’ll keep going for the sake of future historians. Both of the screens are the same. Each has a 5.6 diagonal and is super thin, thanks to being an amulet. And I’m not going to lie. This thing looks pretty great inside. Not sure if Microsoft is sold enough of these duo’s to warrant a teardown skin yet, but I’m a pretty big fan of the internal .. I’ll unclip the smaller of the two batteries. The larger battery does not have a visible disconnect. It might not need the smaller circuit board. I’ll remove the 64 screws holding that board down. Then I can unclip the exciting looking wire cable running through the hinge. It’s just like a ribbon cable, except for this time it’s made up entirely of little metal wires instead, which probably makes it way more durable than a standard ribbon since it does have to live a lifetime of always flexing 360 degrees. It’s got to be healthy. We’ll get a closer look at these in just a second try. There’s another one running up through the top hinge. Once that latch is lifted and disconnected. The smaller board can come away from the phone, revealing both attachment points for those hinge wires and a white water damage indicator near the bottom. The massive battery itself still does not have a Lego-style plug, just a large ribbon with cold contact pads. We haven’t seen this kind of connector battery connector before on a cell phone, so that’s kind of interesting. The battery itself is not easy to remove. Remember, bending the battery kills the battery since there are tons in layers inside of the pouch. And when those layers get crushed together. The battery is never really ordinary again.
Underneath the battery seven long adhesive strips. Imagine all the fun we could have had if Microsoft had just made these portable as we saw inside the iPhones, you know, repairable on the top side of the battery we get a little message this component cannot be easily replaced.
And whose fault, do you think that is Microsoft. It probably took more time and effort to print the apology on the battery than it would have to make the battery removable. I’ll sit down the 2707 milliamp-hour battery and move over to its smaller 755 milliamp-hour counterpart, which is also very securely taped and
This time around, the battery tape is stuck to more graphite tape. But yeah, the repairability of this phone could be improved for the next version. Let’s continue making our way towards the hinge. Eleven screws are holding down the motherboard, and an additional four screws holding down the charging port. All of these are still the T four screws. I’ll leave a link for the toolkit I’m using down in the video. Another layer of graphite tape over the motherboard’s top and some copper foil underneath offer heat dissipation. I’ll remove the SIM card tray. The bottom microphone. I can then work on the cool new wire cable ribbon that allows both halves of the phone to communicate with each other. And finally, with everything disconnected. We can slowly peel the motherboard out from the frame.
Behind the motherboard is more graphite tape. More copper foil, which helps the heat escape to the back glass panel. The camera is still attached to the motherboard at this point, along with the earpiece try. On some phones, this earpiece would double as a stereo speaker, but that’s not the case with this duo. I’ll show you the loudspeaker in just a second. The tiny front-facing cameras are a tiny front-facing camera. All of its 11 megapixels get focused through this super small lens, and it has a super small footprint without any optical stabilization. The camera is a weak point on this phone. The yellow square and its satellite dish over here is the front flash. And unfortunately, down here at the bottom of the motherboard is the USB C port. It’s matched the Microsoft Surface duo does have a series of magnets around the outside, probably to help keep the phone closed when it’s folded. Now it’s time for the. The last piece of hardware we want to analyze the hinges, which kept this whole phone from snapping during the bend test and is the only majorly structural component inside the duo, will remove the six screws down to the bottom. And another six screws up at the top, we can see that the cool-looking wire cables are free-floating inside of that hinge, not able to pull apart yet though, which means there are probably a few more hidden screws underneath the white back glass panel. We can make short work of that with our heat gun and the razor blade. Microsoft has added a ton of adhesive back here to hold everything together, but we can get that back panel off in one piece with a bit of aggressive persuasion.
With the back panel gun, we get our first look at the singular last round here on the left side, as well as those tiny screws we were looking for. There are seven of them running lengthwise down the edge of the hinge. Try these T two screws to help keep the strong hinge attached to the weaker body panel. The plastic frame itself is also molded into the ends. Kind of like hinge caps, which can pretty quickly pop off, so we can get a better look at how the hinge works.
We’ve seen many folding devices like the Royal flex pi, the Z fold, the Z flip, and the iPad Pro drive this duo is most like the Motorola razor yet surprisingly even more straightforward. The long CNC metal bar has a small channel on top for those cool wire connectors to connect both halves of the phone. It’s made for metal. Since it bins and cheap, the friction fit in caps is what allows the hinge to fold into its unlimited number of positions, while at the same time, allowing space inside for those wires to flex with the screen and not get pinched. There are also no moving parts or gears that can catch dust or rocks, which junk up the mechanism. It’s a pretty straightforward, smart design. The duo gets to do a thumbs up for me. Even if I won’t end up using it as a device. I think Microsoft has proven that they are more than capable of making a folding phone. And if the next version of the duo two includes better cameras, way more tempted into using it.