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Photo: Samsung

Samsung is announcing a host of new smartphones in its mid-tier "A" series, including two models that support 5G cellular networks.

Why it matters: Adding 5G into mid-tier devices ensures that more people who buy a new smartphone this year will be ready to access such networks. As we reported in yesterday's Login, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile say they are moving full speed ahead on 5G deployment.

Specifically, Samsung is introducing:

  • The Galaxy A01, which starts at $110 and comes with dual rear cameras and a 5.7-inch display.
  • The Galaxy A11, which starts at $180 and has a triple lens and 6.4-inch display.
  • The Galaxy A21, which starts at $250 and has a quad rear camera and a 6.5-inch display.
  • The Galaxy A51, which starts at $400, has a fingerprint reader, quad-rear camera and a higher-end 6.5-inch super-AMOLED display. A 5G-capable model will sell for $100 more.
  • The Galaxy A71, which only comes in a 5G model, starts at $600 and packs a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED+ display and a quad rear camera setup, including a 64-megapixel main camera.

Details: Verizon will be the first to launch the A51 and A01 on Thursday, with Sprint to follow with the A51 on Friday. The models will be available online from Samsung itself and from retailers and carriers, as well as for in-store pickup, where available.

  • The 5G models will be coming to the U.S. this summer, Samsung said.

The big picture: The Galaxy A-Series has been a mainstream part of Samsung's global phone lineup, but in the U.S. the focus has been largely on the high-end Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines.

Yes, but: It remains unclear how many people actually want to buy a new smartphone this year, and whether more affordable mid-tier models can gain share.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

8 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.