Folding devices offer the most flexibility but foldable phones such as the Galaxy Fold has triggered questions about durability. In contrast, the dual-screen Surface Neo and Surface Duo can be more durable due to the hinge mechanism and two separate displays, rather than a single flexible screen.
In both Surface Neo and Surface Duo, Microsoft has used hinge mechanism that supports a 360-degree wraparound and it allows applications such as ebook to run on one side of the Surface Neo in “laptop mode”. The hinge also allows applications to run in “tent mode” form factor of the Neo.
A Microsoft patent application for “ADJUSTABLE CLOSURE MAGNET FOR HINGED DEVICE WITH ASSISTED OPEN” was filed with WIPO last year. The patent details parts of the particular mechanism and it includes a diagram of the new hinge technology, which could be used in Surface Neo or Duo.
In the filing, the Redmond firm noted that the device includes a first magnet and second magnet positioned within the housing. The housing has a top end and Microsoft says one adjustment mechanism moves the second magnet in at least one translational direction
“The movement of the second magnet relative to the top end of the housing adjusts the position or orientation of the second magnet relative to the first magnet to alter a magnetic force between the first magnet and the second magnet when the first magnet is positioned proximate the top end of the housing,” the patent reads.
In theory, the implementation could lead to a durable and smooth hinge experience, allowing ‘simple and convenient opening of the device’.