Google’s Pixel Phones Earn Mostly Rave Reviews

Arriving on the market Thursday, Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL Android smartphones are earning plaudits from a majority of reviewers on the strength of their cameras, long battery life and built-in intelligence. On the flip side, the devices get a bit of flak because they're not water resistant. In addition, some are calling the designs of the phones uninspired as compared to Apple's iPhone.

The fact that the new Pixels are being compared to the iPhone at all, though, highlights Google's apparent success at coming out with high-end phones that can be compared head-to-head with Apple's iconic design. That could prove to be a key to how well the Pixels perform on the market, considering the devices' equally high-end prices: $649 for the Pixel and $769 for the Pixel XL.

Designed and built by Google, the Pixels replace the company's previous in-house Android brand, the Nexus line, which first launched in 2010. Before unveiling the new smartphones at a launch event earlier this month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the Pixels, which are loaded with smart software, represent the shift from a mobile-first world to one led by artificial intelligence.

More Thumbs Up than Down

A review of the top 20 headlines about the Pixels on Google News today showed raves outnumbering criticisms by a score of 15 to five.

Among those weighing in with positive assessments were the Wall Street Journal, Time, CNET, PCWorld, The Verge, Engadget and ZDNet. Reviewers responding with a "meh" included Ars Technica, the New York Times, ABC News and The Telegraph, while Gizmodo's thumbs-down -- "too dumb and ugly to replace your iPhone" -- was a definite outlier.

The Pixels' screens and cameras are the features earning the strongest praise from most reviewers.

"The AMOLED display makes photos look better; even ones taken on...

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