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Microsoft’s $1,399 Surface Duo doesn’t include NFC because it wasn’t ‘fundamental’

Microsoft officially confirmed the final details on its ambitious Surface Duo today, and well, the spec sheet is a little lackluster given the price tag. One notable omission is NFC and Microsoft has addressed why it’s not available on Surface Duo.

Speaking to Android Central, Microsoft explained that on the Surface Duo the company tried to focus on “fundamental scenarios that solve customer challenges.” As a result, the Duo is built solely with mobile productivity in mind.

This also explains why the device doesn’t quite live up to the standards of a normal smartphone either. Despite being thin, it’s bulky in the pocket — if it fits at all. It also lags behind in the processor department, lacks the expected 5G in 2020, and has other gaps, too. To Microsoft, these features just weren’t “fundamental” to the experience.

Surface Duo does not currently offer NFC. The role of any first-generation design is to focus on fundamental scenarios that solve customer challenges. Surface Duo is purpose-built for mobile productivity and giving people new ways to complete complex tasks while away from their computer. With this core priority complete, we will listen to customer feedback and apply that lens to future iterations of the product.

NFC, admittedly, isn’t something all users will take advantage of on a daily basis, but it’s the kind of feature that hurts when it’s missing. It cuts off the ability to make mobile payments, use NFC tags for connecting to networks and accessories, and more.

Surface Duo tries to get a lot right, but some of its shortcomings may be hard to overlook given its price point. After all, just look back to how some phones have been criticized for lacking inexpensive NFC at a fraction of the Surface Duo’s cost.

Is this a deal-breaker for you?

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