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Samsung's Note 10. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Samsung introduced its latest Galaxy Note smartphones on Wednesday. Among the new features are improved video editing controls, augmented reality doodling and what Samsung is calling "Air Actions"— gestures made using the digital pen to control the camera and other apps.

Why it matters: Samsung's Note customers are its most loyal and demanding, and the high end remains the most lucrative part of the U.S. smartphone market. But the industry is finding it increasingly tough to make phones that are better than the pretty darn good ones most people already have.

The Galaxy Note will come in three versions, including a 6.3-inch model that isn't much bigger than a standard Galaxy S model and a Note 10+, with a 6.8-inch screen. A third version, the Note+ 5G, will support multiple 5G networks and ship first as a Verizon exclusive in the U.S.

  • All three models are nearly all screen on the front, with just a small hole punch notch for a front-facing camera.
  • In addition to the changes on the phone itself, Samsung is adding software for the Mac and PC that make it easier to get files and other information on and off the phone.
  • The Note 10 will come in four colors: a metallic Aura Glow, white, black and Aura Blue, the last of which will only be available on Note 10+ models ordered from Best Buy or Samsung.com.
  • The Note 10 will start at $949, the Note 10+ model will start at $1099, and Verizon says the Note 10+ 5G will start at $1299.
  • The phones will be available for pre-order at midnight and hit stores on Aug. 23.
  • Oh, and unlike previous models, there is no headphone jack. (Wired USB-C headphones do come in the box and a dongle to use your own standard headphones is available from Samsung.)

The bigger picture: Samsung is looking to regain momentum after having to delay its Galaxy Fold. The $2,000 smartphone is now set to ship in September. Meanwhile, rival Apple is expected to debut its next iPhones in September.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

10 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.