So it\u2019s the 20th of October, and everybody has been\u00a0not-so-quietly anticipating the release of the first phone from non-hardware company Google. Given that the iPhone 7 turned out to be a bit of a fizzer, and the fact that Samsung don\u2019t currently have a phone to sell us, Google\u2019s timing is somewhat serendipitous, and a spot of luck on their part as a sea of tech-savvy onlookers await something fresh,\u00a0and exciting in the form of a shiny new smartphone.\r\n\r\nGoogle have talked up a big game about their foray into the smartphone market, and few have doubted their ability, considering how much they\u2019ve got right so far in their 18 years of being the number one search engine in the world. I\u2019ve been playing on my new Pixel for a day now, so can give you the verdict, Man of Many style.\r\n\r\nFirst and foremost, this is an android phone. If you\u2019re an iPhone user, it\u2019s going to be a big step, no matter how easy Google have made it for you. And make it easy they\u2019ve tried - after all it looks pretty darn similar to an iPhone, and there\u2019s even an adapter in the box to help you transfer all of your data from you old phone no matter what platform it\u2019s running. The feel of it is very pleasant. Lightweight, a subtle wedge shape so it\u2019s thinnest where you grip it, fingerprint sensor on the back (instead of the home-screen button of the iPhone) which is a very smart feature, and about the same size.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAs an iPhone user for years, it\u2019s not the easiest task to get your head around a completely different operating system immediately, but the features of this phone are well worth the effort. One of the biggest features Google are boasting is the built-in Google Assistant, basically Siri, except for the fact it actually works. You teach your Pixel to recognise your voice, so all you need to say is \u2018Okay Google\u2019 in your regular dulcet tones and the thing comes to life. And you can ask it anything and expect a proper answer or reaction. While Siri will collect the weather in Mozambique when you ask it for the time in Sri Lanka, a short play on Google Assistant proves that they\u2019ve spent a lot of time developing this tool to be very accurate.\r\n\r\nIt even understands Australian colloquialisms (\u2018this arvo\u2019 instead of afternoon, etc.), a nice touch. It\u2019s so impressive that one might actually find themselves using voice commands as they were intended, instead of just getting frustrated when it keeps\u00a0calling the wrong people. They\u2019ve also tackled battery life. It might not be the same as the good old days of your Nokia that could survive a three-day bender and still have 70% juice left, but it\u2019s certainly a step above the iPhone\u2019s notoriously blas\u00e9 attitude towards staying alive.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnother cool feature is Daydream, a $120 virtual reality headset that turns your Pixel into an immersive 3D experience, available next month. But perhaps the most obvious top-quality feature about this phone however, is the camera. They\u2019ve named it Pixel, after all, instantly setting the bar high on the expectation that this is a phone made for taking photographs. In a darkened room filled with flowers, the tiny camera which sits flush with the case picks up the most detailed of colours and subtleties within the image, more so than the human eye can capture in low-lighting. A side-by-side comparison with a new iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 taking a photograph in the same conditions and it\u2019s very easy to see that the Pixel is leagues ahead of the competition for images. It also shoots 4K video and features auto-stabilising software for perfect videos every time.\r\n\r\nThe Pixel is offered in two sizes, a 5\u201d and a 5.5\u201d, both of which are available with either 32GB or 128GB of storage, but the real kicker is the unlimited cloud storage offered to all Pixel owners in Google Drive. The phones come in either \u2018quite black\u2019 or \u2018very silver\u2019 (unfortunately not the \u2018really blue\u2019 limited edition colour enjoyed overseas).\r\n\r\nThe short of all of this is essentially simple - this is the android phone for iPhone users. Google have gone above and beyond to try to win over this segment of the market, and the Pixel is a formidable handset in a ferociously competitive marketplace. Whether or not iPhone users will make the jump and spend the time learning how to use a different OS that won\u2019t sync as seamlessly with their Apple computers? Time will shortly tell. As for now, it\u2019s safe to say that Google have proved that they know what they\u2019re doing in the hardware department and won\u2019t be going anywhere anytime soon.\r\nCheck it out\r\nHave you subscribed to Man of Many? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.