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Google's New Pixel Phones Are Shaping Up to Be a Big Hit

Editors' pick: Originally published Oct. 19.

With the Note 7 literally going up in flames, Samsung has given Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google a golden opportunity to join an upper echelon of high-end smartphone makers that currently has just two names. Initial reviews and order activity for the company's Pixel and Pixel XL phones give reason to think the opportunity won't be wasted.

Two weeks after Google unveiled the first smartphones to bear the company's Pixel brand, a gaggle of reviewers have declared the devices to be the best Android phones available. "Google has come out of the gate with a top-flight phone and...