Microsoft's Surface Duo launching Sept. 10 at $1,399

Features two 5.6-inch screens that open up to a combined space that’s 8.1 inches wide

Microsoft’s Surface Duo smartphone now has a launch date and price tag.

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The company announced Wednesday that the dual-screen device connected by a 360-degree hinge will hit U.S. stores Sept. 10 at a price of $1,399.

“I’m not trying to reinvent the phone,” Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, was quoted by Reuters as telling reporters. “But I do believe this is a better way to get things done.”

In this 2019 photo, a Microsoft Surface Duo is displayed in New York. Microsoft is back to selling smartphones for the first time since it abandoned its mobile business more than four years ago. (AP)

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The Surface Duo, which runs on Google’s Android operating system, features two 5.6-inch screens that open up to a combined space that’s 8.1 inches wide.

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Microsoft says the dual-screen setup will allow apps to “seamlessly work together.”

"Open two apps side-by-side, so you can now plan your hike and pull up directions at the same time,” the company says.

It’s also equipped with an 11-megapixel camera that supports 4K video recording.

When folded, the device is less than half an inch thin.

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Microsoft says pre-orders are now available on its own website and with Best Buy and AT&T, according to Reuters.

The Surface Duo will work on that network, Verizon and T-Mobile, Reuters adds, but it does not support 5G connectivity.

Adding a mobile device to its Surface line of computers is a reversal for Microsoft after its short-lived ownership of smartphone-maker Nokia and its difficulties in transitioning its Windows operating system to the mobile era. Apple and Google's Android long ago cornered the market on phone operating systems, but Microsoft's rare partnership with Google means Duo comes with a suite of Android apps.

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However, it remains to be seen how many consumers will be willing to pay for Microsoft's innovations in a recession and pandemic. Samsung this summer also unveiled top-of-the-line new Galaxy phones that will cost roughly $1,000 to $1,300.

But Apple is enjoying success with a far cheaper iPhone in the $400 range that it released in April. Google is also rolling out an inexpensive Pixel phone at nearly $350 that has many of the same features as its more expensive model.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.