Gadget Accessories

Facebook Portal – A New Video Calling Device

Written by Bibhu Prasad Bal

Facebook, we all know it as a social media giant. The resign you know it already. Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users. No need to describe more about it.

From now onwards we will know Facebook for another resign. Facebook is entering into the smart gadget market.

Facebook has launched a Portal device. These devices let you do voice or video calls. You can easily manage calls to other Facebook and Messenger users. It also launched another device named Portal+.

Now, Facebook debuts its entrance to the smart speaker market. Now it will battle with Amazon Echo and Google Home for its existence.

The social media giant claims that the devices is very very secure. It was built to give priority to users’ privacy and security. This also gives users control of their data.

“Today, we’re excited to announce Portal and Portal+, two new video communication devices for the home that dramatically change the way we keep in touch. Thanks to AI technology, Portal makes video calling easier and more like hanging out, while a widescreen display lets you enjoy every moment together. When you can’t be there, Portal and Portal+ let you feel there,” Facebook said in a statement.

Facebook Portal and Portal+ specifications

Let’s see the full specification of the new Facebook Portal and Portal+.

Portal has a 10.1-inch display and resolution of 1280×800. It has 10W dual speakers. The Portal uses four far-field microphones to record your voice. It also picks up your voice commands. It has a 12MP wide-angle camera that lets you make video calls.

Facebook Portal

The Portal+ is quite large. The large Portal+ has a 15.6-inch display with the resolution of 1920×1080. You can put the display vertically or horizontally. It uses the same arrangement of camera and microphone as the Portal. But it has two tweeters and one woofer arrangement totaling 20W sound. One can get better sound with this as compared to Portal.

Facebook Portal

If you need a bigger display then you should go for Facebook Portal+.

Actually, these two devices are powered by Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant Alexa. It also sports ‘Smart Camera and Smart Sound’ technology which gives you a hands-free experience.

The Smart Camera uses AI and follows actions and automatically pans and zooms according to your move. The Smart Sound feature gives you a enhance quality. It minimizes the background noise so that you will a better voice on calls.

Just say “Hey Portal” to start Alexa. Now you can start a video call either on Facebook Messenger or any other Portal device.

Except video calling, you can also use Alexa for checking sports scores, weather, control smart home devices etc. You still do a video call if the person whom you are video calling doesn’t have any of Portal devices.

You have the option to talk to them through Messenger. Portal and Portal+ also support group calls. You can connect up to seven people in the group call.

Both the device can play videos through Facebook Watch, play music through Spotify or Pandora. You can view photos in an album also.

As it is backed by Amazon’s voice assistant, you can easily do Alexa things.

Pricing

Portal is priced at $199 (approx Rs 14,000) and Portal+ is priced at $349 (approx Rs 26,000). Facebook gives you some discount if you buy both devices. The combo will cost $298 (Rs 22,000).

Facebook Portal

Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order. Now it is only available for the US buyers. You can find it in portal.facebook.com, Amazon.com and Best Buy. Facebook will start shipping the products in November.

Google Home Hub Vs. Amazon Echo Show Vs. Facebook Portal

Actually, Facebook wants to be in the race of smart speaker market and smart device market.

As the Facebook Portal is the nearest competitor of Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show, let’s different these.

Facebook Portal

Conclusion

In the past few years, Facebook has blamed many times for misusing people’s private data. Some sources claim that it sells the users data to the third party.

The Facebook app has been collecting a huge amount of data from people’s phones. This includes call history and SMS data on Android mobiles.

After these many security flaws, it loses people’s faith. So launching such a product like Facebook Portal and Portal+ may seem quite creepy.

However, Facebook handles over millions of voice calls and video calls. So this devices may give users a hands-free experience. Let’s see who will win the race of smart speaker.

About the author

Bibhu Prasad Bal

A professional content writer and a tech-savvy guy. He loves to explain stuff in a simple way, no matter what and how complicated it is.

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