Google Pixel Fold vs Microsoft Surface Duo: A Tale of Two Foldables

Foldable phones represent the cutting edge of smartphone design and a glimpse into the future of mobile devices. Two of the most anticipated foldable devices have been Google‘s upcoming Pixel Fold and Microsoft‘s Surface Duo line. While one folds outward like a book and the other inward like a clamshell, both offer expanded screen real estate for next-level productivity and multitasking.

But when it comes down to making a purchasing decision between the two, the Pixel Fold and Surface Duo have key differences you‘ll want to consider. This comprehensive comparison breaks down the specs, features, strengths and weaknesses of each to help you determine the best fit.

Brief Background

Google Pixel Fold

After years of rumors and speculation, Google finally unveiled its first foldable phone in May 2023 – the Pixel Fold. Slated for release by the end of June 2023, the Pixel Fold features a book-style design with an interior foldable 7.69” OLED main display and a 5.8” OLED cover display. It runs Android 13, with a Tensor G2 processor, 12GB RAM, up to 512GB storage, and a triple camera system. Pricing expected to start around $1799.

Microsoft Surface Duo

The original Microsoft Surface Duo launched in 2020 as Microsoft’s first foray into foldable devices. With its dual-screen design that folds flat like a book, the Surface Duo aimed to boost productivity with seamless integration of Microsoft 365 apps. But it was criticized for lacking key features like NFC and wireless charging. The second-generation Surface Duo 2 launched in 2021 to address complaints, but Microsoft has since halted further Duo development.

Head-to-Head Comparison


The Pixel Fold sports a foldable 7.69”Flexible OLED interior screen with 2208 x 1840 resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio. Its 120Hz high refresh rate enables smooth scrolling and graphics. The 5.8” OLED cover display has 1080p resolution.

The Surface Duo consists of two 5.8” AMOLED displays with 1800 x 2700 resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio, joining together via a seamless 360° hinge. But with only 60Hz refresh rates, animation performance lags behind the Pixel Fold.

Verdict: Pixel Fold’s single expansive interior display lends itself better to tablet-style use compared to the Surface Duo’s dual screens.

Processor, RAM and Storage

Leveraging Google’s advanced Tensor G2 chip and Mali GPU, the Pixel Fold promises exceptional AI capabilities for graphics, photography, speech recognition and more. Paired with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512GB UFS 3.1 storage, it will deliver laptop-level performance.

In contrast, the Surface Duo is powered by the now-dated Snapdragon 855 paired with 6GB RAM and up to 256GB storage. Benchmarks reveal it to be significantly slower than the Pixel Fold.

Verdict: With the latest silicon, the Pixel Fold easily trounces the Surface Duo in sheer processing power and speed.


The Pixel Fold comes out swinging with an impressive camera array consisting of a 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 10.8MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom. Plus a 9.5MP selfie camera. Software enhancements like Super Res Zoom, Night Sight, and Top Shot further bolster photo and video capabilities.

Hampered by its slim form factor, the Surface Duo has just a single 11MP camera above the right display. Without optical zoom or image stabilization, its images tend to look murky and blurred. There is no rear camera on the device either.

Verdict: The Pixel Fold clearly wins this round with versatile, advanced triple cameras vs the dismal solo shooter on the Surface Duo.

Battery Life and Charging

Google managed to cram a sizeable 4,821 mAh battery into the Pixel Fold’s 7.9mm thin body. Combined with the power-efficient Tensor G2, it promises over 24 hours of use on a charge. 30W wired charging tops it from 1-50% in just 30 minutes. 23W wireless charging is supported too.

Each of the Surface Duo‘s 5.6” displays has its own 1788 mAh battery, combining for an anemic total capacity of 3577 mAh. Tests show a runtime between just 5-8 hours of regular use. 18W wired charging takes nearly 2 hours for a full charge. No wireless charging is offered.

Verdict: Significantly longer endurance per charge plus both wireless and fast charging give the Pixel Fold dominance in the battery department.


As a Google product, the Pixel Fold prominently features pure Android 13 OS out of the box, with an Android 14 update slated down the road. Custom UI optimizations like a dock, larger menus, and a drag-and-drop cross-screen capability provide a seamless dual-display experience.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo launched with Android 10 and only officially supports OS updates up to Android 11. Outdated software is a handicap, although Microsoft 365 apps like Outlook and OneDrive feature customizations tailored to the Surface Duo’s twin-screen form.

Verdict: With the latest Android version and ongoing support, the Pixel Fold offers greater long-term software viability compared to the now unsupported Surface Duo.


As a brand new cutting-edge foldable, the Pixel Fold commands a premium price with a starting tag expected around $1799. The highest-end configuration with 512GB storage will cost about $1919. Availability is limited initially.

Having launched in 2020, the Surface Duo sees discounts bringing prices down to $449 for 128GB. More advanced Surface Duo 2 models with 5G, NFC, better cameras do demand over $999.

Verdict: The Surface Duo is now the more affordable option, but the Pixel Fold brings more advanced technology justifying its high-end pricing.

The Bottom Line

The Google Pixel Fold is the clear winner, with better displays, exponentially faster performance, vastly superior cameras and battery life plus up-to-date software. The only advantages of Microsoft‘s Surface Duo are dual screens for some usage scenarios and its lower pricing. But sub-par specifications and an unsupported operating system make it hard to recommend the Surface Duo for new buyers. For those seeking the pinnacle of foldable phone engineering and user experience, the Pixel Fold is the device to get.

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