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Nenshi bows out after 3 terms as Calgary mayor

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s genesis story is well known by now, an outsider with a geeky love of municipal politics who rose to power with the promise of politics in full sentences and who captured the attention of national and international audiences. He was the first Muslim mayor of a big Canadian city, a kid from the city’s northeast with an academic pedigree, a very active Twitter account and a penchant for the colour purple. On Tuesday, however, the geeky outsider-turned-insider announced he would not run again after three turbulent terms. That 11-year span included massive flooding, a sharp economic downturn, a pandemic, sometimes acrimonious fights over what Calgary is and could be, but also systemic changes to budgeting, growth and communities. Nenshi said it was a decision he’s been struggling with for some time, and made the call to bow out only this past Thursday. “I think it’s the right decision for me and I hope it’s the right decision for Calgary.… I have sought advice from a lot of folks, but the hardest conversations and the most difficult conversations were with myself,” he said in an interview with CBC’s Scott Dippel on Tuesday. WATCH | Why Naheed Nenshi is not running again. “If we learned anything this year, it’s that there are many voices in our community … there are many voices that haven’t always felt heard, and it felt like the right time to make some room.” So what is his legacy? Calgary in a new light Jack Lucas, a University of Calgary associate professor in the political science department, says Nenshi helped to change how others perceive the city. Former prime minister Stephen Harper, centre, with former Alberta premier Alison Redford, left, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, speak to the media with the flooded Bow river behind them on June 21, 2013.(Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press) “It was national news when he was elected in 2010 and really kind of made people across Canada wake up and understand that Calgary was a big, urban, diverse, rapidly growing place with all of the characteristic features of any large urban metropolis,” he said. “And it was a more diverse and, I don’t know, urban place than people outside Calgary tended to picture. It has this sort of image that Nenshi maybe helped shake up a little bit.” Nenshi was a business prof at Mount Royal University and a former McKinsey & Company consultant with a master’s degree from Harvard, after all. But it’s not just all perception when it comes to Nenshi’s legacy. Emerging from a group called Civic Camp that was pushing for a more urban vision for the city, Nenshi was elected on a mandate to curb sprawl and breathe more life into communities. During his time in office, he managed to eliminate the so-called sprawl subsidy that forced the city to pay a hefty chunk for developers to build on the outer fringes of the city. Mayor Naheed Nenshi urged calm and patience throughout the pandemic that struck in 2020. (Mike Symington/CBC) He also helped push through the bus rapid transit network and the route ahead plan for transit that helped fund the as-yet-unbuilt Green Line LRT. He oversaw the construction and opening of the new central library, and chaperoned the expansion of the East Village and Rivers District on downtown’s eastern edge. Then there was the approval of food trucks and the addition of four big rec centres. The approval of secondary suites was moved out of the council chambers, where the hearings would sometimes logjam meetings for days. WATCH | What Naheed Nenshi hopes his legacy will be. Nenshi laughed when asked to narrow it down to just one accomplishment, but said he’s particularly proud of a less flashy achievement. “What I’ve done that doesn’t get a lot of press is the work we’ve done to make city hall work better,” he said, adding that the work isn’t done. “Cities are never done. We’re always changing, we’re always adapting, there will always be more dragons to slay.” Noel Keough, who co-founded Civic Camp, says Nenshi was able to push through some of the group’s vision, including more affordable housing, developer levies and more inclusive budgeting processes, but was also stymied by the nature of council politics. “So I would say, you know, he’s attempted to do many of those things. He’s had some success. But it’s limited by the kind of overall conservative nature of Calgary,” said Keough. ‘Social infrastructure’ Joe Ceci, the NDP’s municipal affairs critic and the former finance minister, served under two mayors when he was a Calgary councillor. He says Nenshi seemed to have some growing pains through the first years as he wrestled with just how a council works, but once he found his footing, he pushed hard for the city. “I always saw him as fair, you know, dragging, pushing, prepared when it came to meetings, he worked well with other mayors. Him and [Edmonton’s] Don Iveson were a pretty formidable duo of big city mayors to deal with,” said Ceci. Calgary Central Library’s new location opened in 2018 with the support of Mayor Naheed Nenshi. (Michael Grimm) Nenshi, along with Iveson, wrangled more power for Edmonton and Calgary by signing charters with the province under the NDP government. Ric McIver, the current minister of municipal affairs who ran against Nenshi for mayor in 2010, did not respond to a request for an interview. For Ceci, Nenshi stands out for his talent at communication, particularly during crises like the 2013 floods, when citizens were begging him to get some rest as he tirelessly kept the city updated and tried to boost spirits. Ceci also gives him credit for engaging more young people in civic politics, and for his efforts outside of brick-and-mortar priorities. “He certainly focused on a lot of social infrastructure in the city. Things like reconciliation were important for him and he showed great sensitivity towards that and anti-racism work, support for the LGBTQ+ community, support for affordable housing development in the city,” he said. Partisanship and perception Lucas says Nenshi remained focused on non-partisanship at the municipal level, but that the perception of him as a politician and partisan changed over the course of his time in office. “I really wish we had great survey data from 2010 because my guess is that if you had asked people in 2010 where Nenshi stands ideologically, their responses would have been very mixed,” he said. Nenshi was re-elected for his third-term as Calgary’s mayor in 2017. (CBC) “Then in 2017, where we do have good high quality survey data on this, and again in 2018, you see that Calgarians think of Mayor Nenshi these days as being firmly left of centre, and I think that’s been a trajectory that Mayor Nenshi has consistently tried to resist.” Lucas thinks a lot of that perception is due to opponents trying to define Nenshi for their own reasons. “It becomes difficult to resist that claim, especially if you’re not comfortable resisting it by saying, ‘No, I’m not a left winger, I’m a right winger,'” he said. On that front, Nenshi’s legacy is a mixed bag. There are the transit projects and the social infrastructure that Ceci notes, but there are also the budget cuts and zero-based budget reviews and red-tape reductions that many would associate with a more conservative politician. Under Nenshi’s leadership, the city has transformed the way it doles out cash, and the overall budget has been slashed by hundreds of millions. Of course, it hasn’t always been a smooth, or popular, ride. Challenges As much as Nenshi is known as a great communicator, he’s also been known to put his foot firmly in his mouth. He was caught on camera calling the CEO of Uber a “dick,” and has been widely criticized for acting like the smartest guy in the room. He was taken to court, accused of defamation by Calgary developer Cal Wenzel, and is currently facing another defamation suit by another Calgary businessman. The Wenzel case was settled out of court. Representatives from the three groups behind the Flames arena deal pose for a photo after it was approved by council. From left: Barry Munro, who handled negotiations for the city; Coun. Ward Sutherland; John Bean of CSEC; Mayor Naheed Nenshi; Ken King of CSEC; Stampede CEO Warren Connell; Coun. Jeff Davison; and Coun. Shane Keating.(Audrey Neveu/Radio-Canada) Nenshi has never shied away from a war of words. He fought with the Calgary Flames ownership in the lead up to an arena deal, he fought developers, he even fought some councillors. He’s been criticized for overseeing an increasingly fractious council that’s grappling with big issues. Nenshi’s time in office coincided with a hollowing out of the downtown core, brought on by a long-term decline in the price of oil that started in 2014. The city has struggled with a tax shortfall caused by the empty downtown towers, and recently voted to once again subsidize business taxes in order to reduce the impact of skyrocketing rates outside of the core. The Flames got their arena with $225 million in funding from the municipality just as the city was announcing cuts to transit service, and Nenshi watched as his dream of hosting the Olympics was voted down by Calgarians in a plebiscite in 2019. He will likely leave office before construction of the massive Green Line LRT line begins, due to delays brought on by a provincial government often at the receiving end of Nenshi’s verbal barbs. Nenshi said this job has been the greatest honour of his life and he hopes to stay involved in the city’s story. Stepping down isn’t a decision based on term limits. “I don’t believe that folks, you know, who say politics shouldn’t be a career, [they] don’t want professional politicians. Look, I want a professional electrician doing my wiring … I want a professional plumber. Why wouldn’t I want a politician who knows what they’re doing?” he said. “Right now, there’s a huge part of me saying, ‘What are you doing, you’re in your dream job, you’ve been able to have impact, you’ve been able to make change.'” But, he said, the decision is about more than just him. “It’s not just about me … there’s 1.3 million people here whose visions we have to listen to.” Legacy So was he successful? Lucas says he will leave it to others to judge Nenshi’s policy successes while reiterating the mayor’s accomplishments at changing perceptions of Calgary both within and outside of the city. Keough feels the same, suggesting some of the young and progressive candidates running for council seats in October’s election are there because Nenshi showed it’s possible to run, and win, even if you don’t fit the Alberta conservative stereotype. He wishes, however, that the mayor had done more to push the city away from its reliance on oil and gas and fought harder against ongoing suburban development on the city’s edges. For Ceci, he’s unequivocal. “No hesitation to say yes. I think early on he had some challenges in terms of understanding what the consensus building role of a mayor is about, and I think he definitely learned how to do that more often and better, as he got further into the work,” he said. “The things that council was able to achieve, when they were working together, is pretty remarkable.” Mayoral candidates and sitting councillors Jyoti Gondek and Jeromy Farkas thanked Nenshi for his years of public service following his announcement. “Mayor Nenshi has been a strong advocate for our city. He will be missed on council,” Gondek said. Nenshi said he’s been thinking back to words he said when first elected a decade ago. “‘Calgary is different than it was yesterday, today … and not because of me, because of you. Because of all of you Calgarians who have embodied a new vision for the city.’ And that’s what I remember today, as emotional as I’m getting … the city is going to get even better.” As for his own future — Nenshi turns 50 shortly after the next election — he isn’t sure what’s next. “I really have no idea. I’m going to do something that’s uncharacteristic for a big planner like me and open myself up to the universe.” WATCH | What Naheed Nenshi plans to do next. He also isn’t saying whether he plans to endorse any mayoral candidates, but he does have some advice for the next person to take up the role. “My advice is never forget that people have given you their dreams. It’s an incredible responsibility but its a responsibility you have to embody every minute of every day.”

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U.S. social audio app Clubhouse launches ‘wave’ feature for private chats

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U.S. social audio app Clubhouse launched a feature on Thursday to let users virtually wave at friends inside its audio-only chat app to show they are open to a private chat, in a move to expand beyond public rooms that can have thousands of listeners.

Clubhouse, which pioneered the “social audio” feature that has since been copied by Facebook and Twitter, wants to enable users to have private chats, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Paul Davison told Reuters.

“A lot of people know us for bigger conversations, but the reason people stay so long is they’re finding their friends and meeting new people,” he said in an interview.

Users of Clubhouse, which is backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, can “wave” at friends online in the app and a private audio chat room will open when a person accepts the wave. The user can then invite more contacts into the private room, or choose to open the chat to the public, Clubhouse said.

 

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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iPhone 13 benchmarks — Apple just blew away Android phones – Tom's Guide

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All four of our iPhone 13 reviews are in, as are our benchmark results from testing. Apple promised gains with the new A15 Bionic chip, and while it’s an iterative upgrade over last year’s A14 Bionic in most respects, it crushes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 that powers several of the best Android phones.

From synthetic benchmarks to real-world testing, the iPhone 13 series (especially the Pro models) pulled even further ahead from the best chips Apple’s competitors use. In some cases, the gap is incredibly wide. Qualcomm has its work cut out for it with the next-generation 800-series Snapdragon, not to mention the Tensor chip Google is working on to power the Pixel 6.

Apple even said that the A15 Bionic’s GPU in the Pro models would be 50% faster than the competition. (The best rival graphics engine right now is the Adreno 660 in the Snapdragon 888.) In our testing, that proved true in many cases. The A15’s performance hike over iPhone 12 phones is middling, but Apple upgraded the Neural Engine on its chipset this year. This has allowed for the new Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles, which heavily leverage AI to do their thing.

Measuring a phone’s performance goes beyond raw numbers. It’s more about what the phone can do in a real-world setting, and in that regard, the iPhone 13 certainly delivers. But those raw numbers do tell an important story, so here’s how the iPhone 13 stacks up to what’s already out there, for both the Pro, standard and mini models.

iPhone 13: Geekbench results

Geekbench 5 measures the CPU’s overall performance, broken out into single- and multi-core results.

Geekbench 5
Processor Single core Multicore
iPhone 13 Pro A15 Bionic 1733 4718
iPhone 13 A15 Bionic 1688 4436
iPhone 12 Pro A14 Bionic 1595 3880
iPhone 12 A14 Bionic 1593 3859
Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon 888 1123 3440
Galaxy S21 Snapdragon 888 1048 3302
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Snapdragon 888 1107 3418
OnePlus 9 Pro Snapdragon 888 1126 3685
Asus ROG Phone 5 Snapdragon 888 1127 3672
Pixel 5 Snapdragon 765G 596 1617

Geekbench 5 scores are arbitrary in a vacuum, but they help measure a device’s performance in context to other devices — even if you get slightly different scores every time you run the test.

As you can see, the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini models are quite a ways ahead of the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 765G. More than a thousand points separates the iPhone 13 Pro from the two most powerful Android phones we’ve ever tested, the OnePlus 9 Pro and Asus ROG Phone 5. That’s not to mention that the new iPhones pull well ahead of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3, the best that Samsung has to offer.

And we’ll just skip over that delta between the iPhone 13 and the Pixel 5. Let’s hope the Pixel 6 helps Google catch up a bit.

iPhone 13: Graphics benchmarks

A lot of people play games on their phones, with the iPhones leading the charge. For the following benchmark, we use 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited test, which produces a score and average frames per second. It’s meant to provide a realistic impression of a phone’s gaming performance.

The A15 Bionic pushes the boundaries on mobile gaming, as you’ll see in the results below.

3DMark Wild Life Unlimited
Processor Score Frames per second
iPhone 13 Pro A15 Bionic 11,693 70
iPhone 13 A15 Bionic 9331 56
iPhone 12 Pro A14 Bionic 8619 51
iPhone 12 A14 Bionic 8555 51
Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon 888 5739 34
Galaxy S21 Snapdragon 888 5805 35
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Snapdragon 888 5622 34
OnePlus 9 Pro Snapdragon 888 5755 35
Asus ROG Phone 5 Snapdragon 888 5806 35
Pixel 5 Snapdragon 765G 1160 7

Like Geekbench, the Wild Life Unlimited score is meaningless on its own and should only be used for comparison to other devices. However, the important metric is the average FPS, which is a real-world benchmark. 

The iPhone 13 Pro with its five-core GPU smokes the competition, even its iPhone 13 sibling and that phone’s quad-core GPU — the extra core seems to really matter, based on these results. But look at how far ahead the A15 Bionic is compared to the Snapdragon 888 phones, which hadn’t caught up to the A14 Bionic from last year. 

The iPhone 13 Pro netted double the Snapdragon 888’s best framerate in our testing, which is insane. The Wild Life Unlimited benchmark is pretty hard on phones. (I didn’t even include the newer Wild Life Extreme Unlimited, which we’ve only recently started using in our testing.) So seeing the iPhone 13 Pro fare so well is a bit mind-boggling.

iPhone 13: Video encoding speeds

Another real-world application to gauge a phone’s performance is our Adobe Premiere Rush test. This tasks a phone to transcode a 4K video file to 1080p. The results below are listed as minutes:seconds.

Adobe Premiere Rush
Processor Time (Mins:Secs)
iPhone 13 Pro A15 Bionic 0:26
iPhone 13 A15 Bionic 0:26
iPhone 12 Pro A14 Bionic 0:27
iPhone 12 A14 Bionic 0:26
Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon 888 1:03
Galaxy S21 Snapdragon 888 1:03
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Snapdragon 888 0:50
OnePlus 9 Pro Snapdragon 888 1:03
Asus ROG Phone 5 Snapdragon 888 1:00
Pixel 5 Snapdragon 765G 2:52

Year-over-year, there’s functionally no difference between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 — maybe a second here or there. However, Apple’s lead over Qualcomm remains, performing the transcode in half the time that most of the Snapdragon 888-equipped phones needed.

Transcoding is a CPU-intensive task, and it makes sense that Apple’s phones would lead the way on this particular benchmark. Apple has said that you can perform a full video workflow from shooting to rendering on the iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 can also record in the ProRes format natively, which is what many professionals use.

The poor Pixel 5 needed triple the time required by the other Android phones.

iPhone 13 performance outlook

Another year, and Apple has further cemented its lead over Qualcomm. Not only does the iPhone 13 series have excellent battery life (excluding the mini, which is below average) and stellar cameras, but it’s the most powerful suite of phones you can buy. If having the best performance is a top priority for you, then you’ll want to look at the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max.

Let’s hope Qualcomm’s next high-end Snapdragon or Google’s Tensor can narrow the gap with what Apple has built.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio With Unique Hinge Design Unveiled, Surface Pro 8, Surface Duo 2 Launched – Gadgets 360

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Microsoft on Wednesday hosted its hardware-focussed event where it unveiled the new Surface range of devices that include the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Go 3 — all running Windows 11 out-of-the-box. The event also brought the anticipated Surface Duo 2 dual-screen phone that is a successor to the earlier Surface Duo. Additionally, Microsoft launched its new accessories, namely the Surface Slim Pen 2, Surface Adaptive Kit, Ocean Plastic Mouse, and Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset. The existing Surface Pro 7+ and Surface Pro X also received updates to reach new customers.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3, Surface Duo 2 price

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio price begins at $1,599 (roughly Rs. 1,18,000). It is identical to the launch price of the Surface Book 3 that debuted last year as Microsoft’s 2-in-1 device. The Surface Pro 8, on the other hand, starts at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 81,100). It comes as a successor to the Surface Pro 7 that was launched with a starting price of $749 (roughly Rs. 55,200) in 2019. The Surface Go 3 price starts at $399 (roughly Rs. 29,400), which is just the same that we saw with the Surface Go 2 last year. Furthermore, the Surface Duo 2 carries a starting price of $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,10,600). It is $100 (roughly Rs. 7,400) more than the initial launch pricing of the original Surface Duo that started at $1,399 (roughly Rs. 1,03,200).

Alongside the new devices, the Surface Pro 7+ is now coming in the consumer channel with a starting price of $799 (roughly Rs. 59,000) — an upgrade over its earlier commercial-only offering. The Surface Pro X has also received a new Wi-Fi only option that starts at $899 (roughly Rs. 66,300). The LTE variant of the Surface Pro X came with a starting price of $999 (roughly Rs. 73,700) in 2019.

In terms of accessories, the Surface Slim Pen 2 is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 9,600), Surface Adaptive Kit at $9.99 (roughly Rs. 700), Ocean Plastic Mouse at $24.99 (roughly 1,800), and the Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset at $54.99 (roughly Rs. 4,100).

On the availability front, Microsoft said at the event that its new devices would go on sale starting October 5 — alongside the release of Windows 11. We can certainly expect some delay in the availability of the new devices in India as the official sale date is meant for the US and some other developed markets where pre-orders for the devices have already started.

The product listings on the Microsoft India site at the time of filing this story were showing that the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 would come early 2022, while the Surface Go 3 was tagged with a “coming soon” banner. Details about the India launch of the Surface Duo 2 are yet to be revealed.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio specifications, features

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio was one of the biggest announcements at the Microsoft event on Wednesday. The new device is designed as an “evolution of Surface Book” and is touted to be “built on the heritage of both Surface Book and Surface Studio.” The device is targeted at developers, creative professionals, designers, and gamers, who want a creative studio with the portability of a laptop. The Surface Laptop Studio features a 14.4-inch PixelSense display with touch support that is attached to a Dynamic Woven Hinge, allowing the display to move in multiple angles. The hinge allows the device to transform from a traditional notebook to a tablet or a canvas. However, the display is non-detachable — unlike the Surface Book 3 where you could pull the screen from the keyboard and use it as a tablet.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio comes with a Dynamic Woven Hinge
Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has provided three distinct modes on the Surface Laptop Studio. The first one is a Laptop mode in which you are provided with a full keyboard and touchpad for a regular notebook-like experience. You can, however, move the display to the Stage mode. This comes after pulling the display forward to an angle where the keyboard is covered but the touchpad is exposed to allow gaming, streaming, docking, and presentation in an immersive way. The third mode is called Studio mode where you can move the display on top of the keyboard to use it like a canvas or for writing notes.

The Surface Laptop Studio also includes an area underneath the keyboard where you can place the Surface Slim Pen 2 that magnetically attaches and charges when not in use.

Under the hood, Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is powered by 11th-generation Intel Core H35 processors, along with Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs. The device also includes studio microphones and 1080p webcam for an enhanced video conferencing experience. Further, the touchpad on the Surface Laptop Studio also includes haptic feedback.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 specifications, features

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is essentially Microsoft’s 2-in-1 flagship of this year as the Surface Laptop Studio doesn’t allow users to detach its display from the keyboard. The Surface Pro 8 comes with a 13-inch PixelSense display with touch support and a 120Hz refresh rate. It also supports Adaptive Colour Technology that is designed to adjust colour production on the display as per the ambient environment. The Surface Pro 8 also includes support for Dolby Vision display technology and Dolby Atmos sound.

microsoft surface pro 8 image Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 features a 120Hz PixelSense display
Photo Credit: Microsoft

For video chats, Microsoft Surface Pro 8 houses a 5-megapixel camera at the front. The tablet also includes a 10-megapixel 4K rear camera.

Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 8 is more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7 — thanks to the 11th-generation Intel Core processors. The 2-in-1 device is also built on the Intel Evo platform that is specifically meant for premium, ultra-slim devices.

The Surface Pro 8 also includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports and supports a new Surface Pro Signature Keyboard as an optional accessory. The new keyboard includes storage and charging support for the Surface Slim Pen 2 — just like the Surface Pro X. Moreover, the Surface Pro 8 is rated to deliver up to 16 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 specifications, features

For consumers who don’t want to spend much on the Surface Pro 8, Microsoft has the Surface Go 3 as an affordable 2-in-1 option. The new Surface Go model is design-wise quite similar to its predecessor. However, Microsoft claims that it is 60 percent faster from the earlier model with up to Intel Core i3 processor. There is also an optional LTE Advanced support for an enhanced connectivity while on-the-go.

microsoft surface go 3 image Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3 looks quite similar to the Surface Go 2
Photo Credit: Microsoft

The Surface Go 3 comes with a 10.5-inch touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and features 1080p cameras on the front and back. It also includes Dolby Audio and studio microphones. Microsoft also claims that the Surface Go 3 is designed to deliver an all-day battery life.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 specifications, features

The last major announcement of Microsoft’s hardware event this year was the Surface Duo 2. The new dual-screen phone by the Redmond company comes with a list of improvements over the original Surface Duo that was more like a concept in the market. However, there aren’t many changes at the design level.

Running on Android 11 out-of-the-box, the Surface Duo 2 features two 5.8-inch PixelSense displays that make a larger 8.3-inch viewing experience when the device is unfolded. There is also a glance bar that lets you check all the notifications when the phone is folded. You can also check battery levels when charging through the glance bar — without requiring to unfold the phone. Under the hood, there is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, which is a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 855 powering the first-generation Surface Duo.

microsoft surface duo 2 image Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 features two 5.8-inch PixelSense displays
Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 also carries a triple rear camera setup that houses a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 wide-angle lens and optical image stabilisation (OIS), and a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 telephoto lens and OIS support. This an upgrade over the single rear camera available on the original model. The rear camera setup is also accompanied by a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor and an LED flash. Additionally, the Surface Duo 2 carries a 12-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front.

Connectivity options on the Surface Duo 2 include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. The phone also comes with a dedicated cover that can attach the Surface Slim Pen for an enhanced user experience. Further, the Surface Duo 2 includes a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.

The dual-screen form factor of the Surface Duo 2 is designed to run two apps simultaneously. Microsoft also claimed that it has worked with developers and game studios to bring 150 optimised games for the dual-screen setup. These games include Asphalt Legends 9, Modern Combat 5, and Dungeon Hunter 5.

Microsoft will bring the Surface Duo 2 in Glacier and Obsidian colour options.

Microsoft Surface Pro X specifications, features

The new Microsoft Surface Pro X is based on the same Microsoft SQ2 silicon that was powering the model launched previously. However, it brings Wi-Fi only connectivity over integrated LTE to deliver the earlier experience with some affordability. It is claimed to come with an all-day battery life and offer Windows 11 out-of-the-box.

Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2, Surface Adaptive Kit, Ocean Plastic Mouse, Modern USB-C Headset details

Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 is an optional accessory that is designed to take the experience on the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 to new levels. The stylus is powered by a custom-designed Microsoft G6 chip and includes a digital ink that is meant to offer tactile feedback when drawing and writing on the screen. Microsoft claims that it has improved haptics and interaction feedback using the digital ink on the new Surface Slim Pen to give users the feel of pen on paper. The stylus can be stored and charged magnetically.

The second interesting accessory that Microsoft unveiled at the virtual event was the Surface Adaptive Kit that is specifically designed for differently abled people who want to use Surface devices. It includes stickers that can be attached to the keyboard, cable, and even the lid of Surface laptops and tablets for ease in their use — specifically for people with low vision, blindness, and/or limited strength.

Microsoft also brought the Ocean Plastic Mouse as a wireless accessory for computing users. It is claimed to be 20 percent recycled and has plastic that came from oceans and beaches. The device also comes in a plastic-free, recyclable packaging.

The last accessory of the event is the Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset that is certified for Microsoft Teams and is designed with a lightweight build to enable hours-long audio and video calling. It includes dedicated meeting controls and USB Type-C connectivity.


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