Samsung Unveils Galaxy Note 10 Smartphones, Which Omit Traditional Headphone Jacks

Todd Spangler

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After a series of leaks about its latest flagship smartphone, Samsung Electronics officially unveiled the Galaxy Note 10 line with two different screen sizes — and as expected, the new devices eliminate the traditional headphone jack, following Apple’s same move with the iPhone three years ago.

Samsung’s move to kill the headphone jack on the latest phones — reducing space requirements and cost — comes after its marketing had tweaked Apple for doing the same thing. According to Samsung, about 70% of Note and Galaxy S owners say they use wireless headphones.

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The Galaxy Note 10 phones include one pair of USB-C earbuds, and users can connect Bluetooth headphones. However, a USB-C-to-3.5-mm adapter costs $10 extra. The new models also omit the Bixby button, a physical button on prior Galaxy Note models that called up Samsung’s virtual assistant.

Samsung announced three versions of the Note 10: the 6.3-inch Note 10 (starting at $950), the 6.8-inch Note 10 Plus ($1,100) and the Note 10 Plus 5G ($1,300), which initially will be available only through Verizon before coming to AT&T and T-Mobile. The phones will be available to pre-order Thursday and are slated to ship Aug. 23. The smaller Note 10 has 256 gigabytes of storage and costs $50 less than the Note 9 with 128 GB.

For the first time, the Galaxy Note comes in two sizes — the previous-generation Note 9 had a 6.4-inch screen. The Note 10’s edge-to-edge Cinematic Infinity Display is “nearly bezel-less,” according to Samsung, which means the 6.5-inch Note 10 Plus is about the same overall size as the Note 9. The phones are available in three colors: aura glow, aura white and aura black.

“Every element of Galaxy Note 10 was designed to help users achieve more,” DJ Koh, president and CEO of Samsung’s IT and Mobile Communications Division, said in announcing the smartphone. “Whether they’re finishing a big project for work, capturing and editing a video, or playing their favorite mobile game, the Galaxy Note 10 will help them do it faster and better.”

Other notable features of the Note 10:

  • Handwriting-to-text and Air Actions: Users can jot down notes with the S Pen stylus and then convert their handwriting to digital text and export it to a variety of formats (such as Microsoft Word). S Pen Air Actions allow users to control certain aspects of the device using gestures.
  • Link to Windows: Users can connect the Note 10 phones to their Windows 10 PC with one click to view notifications, send and receive messages, and review recent photos.
  • Samsung DeX for PC: With extended DeX capabilities, users just need a USB connection to connect the Note 10 to a Windows computer or Mac, allowing for drag-and-drop of files between devices and the ability to use mobile apps with a mouse and a keyboard.
  • Pro-grade camera for creators: Features including Live Focus Video, Zoom-In Mic and Video Editor let users capture and edit pro-grade video without the need for extra gear.
  • AR Doodle and 3D Scanner: Using the latest AR and 3D capabilities, users can personalize photos with dynamic drawings, effects and animations that track to the image. The 3D Scanner creates movable 3D renderings using the Note 10’s DepthVision feature.

Apple is widely expected to announce its next iPhone line next month.

Also Wednesday, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Book S ($999), a new Windows 10 laptop that combines the mobility of a smartphone and battery life of up to 23 hours. The company also showed off the Galaxy Watch Active2 Under Armour Edition ($309), a smartwatch designed for runners that lets users pair with UA HOVR running shoes for up-to-the-minute stats on stride length along with tips for improvement.

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