News that Microsoft will ship the Surface Duo with an unlockable bootloader is great news for the enthusiast community. Given the phone’s high price tag, however, we may not see a ton of support as I can’t imagine there are a lot of people willing to risk bricking such an expensive device.
Of the dual screen / foldable smartphones already on the market or in the pipeline, Microsoft’s Surface Duo is arguably the most intriguing. On paper, the device skirts the durability issues of true foldables by employing two separate displays and according to the latest out of Microsoft, it’ll have a long software lifecycle and be enthusiast friendly.
Citing a Microsoft spokesperson, Android Authority claims the Surface Duo will be supported with OS and security updates for a minimum of three years. At a time when many hardware makers only commit to two years of updates, it’s certainly worth noting.
XDA Developers received the same confirmation from their Microsoft rep, who took things one step further by adding that the Surface Duo will also have an unlockable bootloader. This will allow tinkerers to easily root the device, load custom ROMs on it and so on. That’s a somewhat risky proposition, especially on a phone that costs $1,399. What’s more, we don’t yet know if doing so will void the handset’s warranty or not.
The Surface Duo is currently up for pre-order on Microsoft’s online store and through AT&T at the aforementioned $1,399.99, or $46.67 per month for 30 months through AT&T’s installment payment plan.