Google’s new Pixel smartphones proved popular during the busy holiday shopping season between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Google Pixel device activations were up 112% compared to the smartphone’s average number of activations in four preceding weekends, according to new data from mobile app analytics company Localytics. In comparison, iPhone 7 activations were only up 13%. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 saw activations grow by 36%, according to the research firm. The data comes from Localytics analyzing customer activations from Black Friday, Nov. 24 through Cyber Monday, Nov. 28. Localytics draws its data from more than 2.7 billion devices worldwide.
It’s hard to say exactly what caused the massive discrepancy in activations during the holiday weekend. Localytics said in a statement that its data will “confirm what many have believed since the device was released in October: the Pixel is a very impressive device.” The company also acknowledged that the iPhone 7 experienced strong demand when it was released in September, and there might be fewer people looking to buy the new handset.
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However, Localytics added that iPhone models released in years past have actually done better than the iPhone 7. Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone 6s, which was released in 2015, for instance, saw its holiday weekend activations soar last year.
“During last year’s Black Friday weekend, the newest Apple models fared much better,” Localytics said, referring to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. “The iPhone 6s And 6s Plus saw lifts of 36% and 29%, respectively.”
Regardless, it’s clear that Google (GOOGL) is on to something with Pixel, the first handset the company has designed and engineered on its own. The Pixel, which was unveiled last month, is the 5-inch version. A larger Pixel XL comes with a 5.5-inch screen. Both models come with what Google calls the “highest-rated smartphone camera,” long-lasting battery life, and a high-end processor for performance.
Although analysts don’t expect the Pixel line to match Apple’s iPhone in overall sales, they have said there’s strong demand for the device. Earlier this week, in fact, Morgan Stanley analysts predicted Google would sell about 3 million Pixel devices in the fourth quarter, and another 5 million to 6 million next year. If Google can extend its partnerships with other companies, the analysts say, it could boost those estimates.
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Google surprised some industry watchers at its device unveiling last month when it said it was partnering with Verizon as its carrier partner. Now a month later, Verizon (VZ) is the only carrier selling Google’s smartphone. Expanding those relationships to other carriers could help Pixel’s sales, analysts say.
Still, the Pixel is available unlocked at Google’s online marketplace, allowing customers to pay full price—the handset’s pricing starts at $649—and run it on the carrier of their choosing.
According to Localytics data, 46% of the Pixel handsets activated over the holiday weekend were done so through Verizon. The remaining 54% of Pixel handsets were unlocked and brought to other carrier networks.
One other tidbit from the Localytics data: consumers activated more smartphones on Thanksgiving Day than any other day during the holiday weekend.