Microsoft’s second attempt at creating a dual-screen Android smartphone is a device that intrigues and confuses me as I use and test it.
Surface Duo 2 is compatible with Microsoft’s stylus, Surface Slim Pen, and Slim Pen 2 for navigating the interface or drawing ideas. One of the changes Microsoft made between the original Duo and the Duo 2 is the official addition of the use of magnets on the front cover to hold the Surface Slim Pen to the phone. It’s an easy place to hold the stylus when not in use, but it’s also awkward when putting the phone in your pocket; the pencil often comes loose.
When Microsoft announced the Duo 2, the Duo 2 pencil case was also introduced. This accessory is both a phone case, a protective case and a wireless charging accessory. Let me explain.
Jason Cipriani /
The main part of the Pen Cover Duo 2 is a piece of rigid plastic that covers the entire front of the Duo 2. It fits over the device, covering the edges and protecting the front glass. The other two pieces are plastic bumpers that only cover the edges of the rest of the device. The rear panel, where the rear cameras are located, is not covered. The plastic protectors are covered with an adhesive that keeps them in place.
The quality of global manufacturing is excellent and that if you install the combo étui / couverture sur la Duo 2 lorsque je l’ai fait tomber et that j’ai cassé le coin, elle n’aurait probably passed été endommagée Not at all.
Jason Cipriani /
What about wireless charging?
As well as adding a layer of protection to your Duo 2, this protective case adds wireless charging to the phone for any of the Slim Pen models. This is a strange feature, considering that the Duo 2 cannot be charged wirelessly. At the same time, it’s a feature that makes sense – the phone should be able to quickly and easily charge the Surface Slim Pen without the need for an additional charging accessory (except for the cover).
I only had the case on the phone for an hour or two, but my first impressions are positive. The magnets that hold the stylus in place appear more powerful than those offered by the phone alone, and the stylus begins charging instantly as soon as it is installed.
However, I wish there was a way to check the charging status of the pen on the Duo 2. As it stands, the little indicator light on the pen is the only way to verify that he is actually in charge. It will light up for a second or two when you first plug it into the deck, and then it should assume it’s charging. I looked in the settings app to find a switch or button to activate some kind of status message, but couldn’t find anything.
Jason Cipriani /
The pen vibrates quickly after removing it from the case, but, like the lack of a charging alert, there is no alert at all if you forget the pen behind you.
The only setting I could find regarding the Surface Pen allows you to change the hand you write with and a toggle that allows you to enable or disable charging of the Slim Pen when attached to the phone with a compatible case.
I still don’t understand why you can’t charge the Slim Pen wirelessly without the case, or why the Duo 2 alone doesn’t benefit from wireless charging. I feel like wireless pen and phone charging should be a main feature of a $ 2,300 phone without requiring a $ 69.99 accessory to charge the pen.
That said, the case provides a layer of protection that the glass case clearly needs. And you get additional wireless charging functionality for your stylus.
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