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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

Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.

6 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.