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Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Samsung kicked off a San Francisco event Wednesday with details on Galaxy Fold, a $1,980 smartphone that unfolds into a tablet. It also introduced 4 versions of its mainstream flagship phone, the Galaxy S10, which starts at a far more affordable $749.

Why it matters: Samsung hopes the foldable will usher in a whole new category of devices, while the S10 family aims to rival Apple's iPhone.

Galaxy Fold details:

  • The Fold will come in LTE and 5G models, but will start at a whopping $1,980 — the price of a high-end phone and tablet combined.
  • The device has a 4.6-inch display when closed and opens to reveal a 7.3-inch display.
  • It packs 6 cameras and will ship in April.
  • Samsung previewed its foldable at a developer conference last year.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S10 will come in 4 models:

  • A smaller model, known as Galaxy S10e, starts at $749 and has a 5.8-inch display.
  • The standard model, the S10, starts at $899 and has a 6.1-inch display.
  • A larger screen model, the S10+, starts at $999 and has a 6.4-inch display.
  • A 6.7-inch model, the Galaxy S10 5G, works with 5G networks.

S10 details:

  • The S10e has dual rear cameras; the S10 and S10+ have 3, including standard, zoom and wide-angle; while the Galaxy S10 5G adds a fourth, depth-sensing camera as well as an additional depth-sensing camera on the front.
  • All models can wirelessly charge another device, such as another phone or compatible accessory, and pack Qualcomm’s new high-end Snapdragon 855 processor.
  • An ultrasonic fingerprint reader sits underneath the full-screen display on the S10.
  • The camera app will feature an Instagram mode, developed with the Facebook subsidiary, that includes access to its filters and tools as well as easy posting to the social network. It also partnered with Adobe for a custom version of its Premiere Rush video-editing software.
  • Pre-orders for all but the 5G model will start Thursday, with the device hitting store shelves March 8. The 5G model will ship in the second quarter, first on Verizon and later in the quarter on other carriers.

In addition to the phones, Samsung introduced a pair of wireless earbuds, known as Galaxy Buds. Those who pre-order the S10 or S10+ will get the $129 earbuds for free.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.