Yes, we still have concerns about what Facebook is doing with our data, but the Portal is the best smart display if you want to make calls with Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Despite being in news for all the wrong things for quite a time now, the social media giant still boasts of over 2.6 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2020. Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. It also looks nicer than the original, and can do more stuff, especially when you’re using Alexa on the Portal. Give credit where it’s due: With the original Portal, Facebook figured out a problem when making video calls from a smart display. Editor's note (October 6, 2020): We've updated this review as Facebook has added new features to the Portal. And, by using the Portal, you’re not giving up any more information than you would have otherwise. Being the monolithic social networking platform that it is, the Portal lets you make calls not just to Facebook Messenger contacts, but also to people on WhatsApp, which Facebook owns. However, you can expand YouTube videos to full screen. “Hey Portal, play WBGO” was continually misinterpreted, as was my ask to stream 97.5 the Fanatic. More importantly, Alexa visual skills are now available on the Portal, so if you want to turn on your smart lights, a slider will appear on-screen, letting you adjust their brightness. This is essentially the same device, but with a much bigger 15.6-inch display. As long as they have Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp on their smartphone or tablet, you're good to go, with up to seven different people on one call. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Surrounding this is a small gap between the border and the exterior of the frame, which not only serves as a nice design element, but also allows audio through, while hiding its actual speakers. $230 AUD) is the original model and has recently been seen a sleeker 'picture frame' design. The Nest Hub Max is more of a well-rounded smart display: It provides you news and weather at a glance, has an equally impressive camera, and lets you stream movies and the like via Chromecast. The Facebook Portal Mini is great for smaller spaces and kitchen worktops. The Beatles’ I Want to Hold You Hand streamed from Spotify was reproduced accurately with a strong bass. The “Hey Portal” command can be used to start and end video calls, play music, set timers, and get the weather, but it’s not as functional, nor as accurate, as Alexa. Of course, the size you choose depends on the space you've got to spare in your home. Facebook also makes the Portal TV ($149), which is essentially a webcam you stick on top of your television. Despite my being in a somewhat dark room, the Portal’s camera produced a bright, colorful image. Not only has the design of the device improved — it’s much more subtle, and has a physical switch for the microphone and camera — but its functionality is much closer to that of the best smart displays. Create an account or log into Facebook. Importantly, whoever you're speaking to doesn't need to own a Portal to receive your calls. Enjoy fogging. Does Facebook’s privacy issues still concern me? All rights reserved. Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! Speakers: 10-watt stereo, subwoofer TechRadar weighs up whether Facebook's smart displays are worth your money. One fun aspect of video calls via the Portal are all the filters you can apply not just to yourself, but to the other people on the call. Those two services collectively account for roughly 40 percent of the world’s population, so there’s a good chance you’ll find someone you know. Size: 10.2 x 7 x 0.8 inches (excluding stand). Both of the smaller Portals have 13MP cameras with a 114-degree field of view, while the Portal+ has a 12.5MP camera with a wider 140-degree view. Yes. With the exception of its “foot,” which extends about four inches out the back right corner, the Portal is only 0.8 inches thick, and measures 10.2 inches wide by 7 inches tall. This is good because there's limited support for home video calls through your TV with other services (especially because Skype shuttered its smart TV app) but in our Facebook Portal review we weren't impressed by the fairly low camera quality. You can even look up recipes and have them show up on-screen, so you can follow them step by step. Although this is all reassuring, we still wouldn't blame you if you'd rather not have the social network that knows all about you already – and was hit with a $5bn fine this year over its handling of user data – snooping in your home too. There was a problem. Wi-Fi: 2.4/5GHz There was a problem. Connect with friends, family and other people you know. However, its big draw is video-calling, with a smart camera that moves when you do to make chatting to your friends and family easier. Facebook offers the Portal in three versions. Facebook Will Implement Limits Ads Run in 2020. 163 talking about this. W hich brings us to 2019, Portal’s second coming: Portal TV, which turns your television into a video conference call machine. Bath If you do a lot of video calling with friends and family, the Facebook Portal, Portal Plus or Portal Mini could be worthy contenders for a smart display so you don't always have to use your smartphone or tablet. While you can use the Hey Portal command to open the 18 web pages that come pre-bookmarked, you can’t open any other websites by asking the Portal. Get instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips. The Facebook Portal changed that. Ahead of Valentine's Day, Facebook is discounting its Portal products by $30 each -- and it's added $50 discounts for bulk-buying into the mix, too. Facebook is jumping into the smart display race with a new video communication device called Facebook Portal. But unless Facebook makes drastic improvements to its assistant, there’s very little reason to use it in favor of Alexa. You will receive a verification email shortly. †Extended Holiday Return Period: Products ordered November 16, 2020 through January 1, 2021 on portal.facebook.com are eligible to be returned through January 31, 2021. At the same time that the Portal was released in October 2018, the Portal Plus (£239 / $279 / approx. I personally tested the larger Portal+, which has a 15.6-inch rotating display, and it's downright huge — thi… Facebook Portal TV is designed for TVs, so you can make video calls to your Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp contacts on a big screen. The Facebook Portal and larger Facebook Portal Plus smart displays were first released in late 2018. Return requests must be completed by end of day January 31, 2021 (local time) to be eligible. Facebook Portal review (2nd generation) The second-generation Facebook Portal smart display is an improvement in every way. Yes. Is the second-generation Portal a much better device than the original? Luckily Facebook has built-in a bunch of privacy features to make users feel a little more comfortable. Share photos and videos, send messages and get updates. While the Portal’s camera-tracking can be a bit sluggish — there’s a delay of about a second from the time you move to the time the camera shifts — it was neat to watch it lock on to me, eventually. You can pretty much do everything with Alexa on the Portal as you can on any other Amazon device: Control smart home products, play music, play games, and control the volume of the Portal’s speakers. Camera: 13 MP, 114-degree field of view It's simple to use and has lots of fun features. Facebook Portal Plus Smart display with the best camera and screen Yes, we'll admit no one really wants to let Facebook put a mic and a camera in their home -- except maybe grandma and grandpa. New York, A year later, it's clear Facebook is going all-in on its smart displays. But the Facebook Portal does one thing exceptionally well: Video calls using Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Let’s start with Alexa. I’ve had the 10-inch Portal for a week, and having a dedicated videophone ... Adrienne So is a senior writer for WIRED and reviews consumer technology. By Mike Prospero 06 October 2020 © The features on both are pretty much the same, the main differences being size (the Portal+ is larger and has a slightly better speaker and display) and price. What did TechRadar make of the new Facebook Portal devices? The Portal Mini is just like the Portal and Portal Plus, but it has an 8-inch display for smaller rooms and surfaces. †Extended festive season return period: Products ordered between 16 November 2020 and 1 January 2021 on portal.facebook.com are eligible for return up until 31 January 2021. With the evolution of the Facebook reviews system, you can use a platform such as EmbedReviews to help you generate the new recommendations posted on your Facebook Page. $191 AUD). The place is yours :) We also reviewed the larger Portal+ early last year. The Portal’s browser is an ok workaround — it even has an incognito mode — and something you don’t get on other smart displays, but the experience isn’t the best. It also has a microphone that minimizes background noise. Along the left edge are volume controls. The Facebook Portal (£119 / $179 / approx. However, with competition from the likes of the Amazon Echo Show and Google Home Hub, as well as rising privacy concerns when it comes to smart home tech and Facebook, the big question is: should you buy a Facebook Portal? The Facebook Portal (£119 / $179 / approx. The Photo Booth app lets you take both stills and video, and apply the same filters as you would during a video call. "For home video calls through your TV – something with quite limited support elsewhere, especially after Skype shuttered its smart TV app – there’s certainly a reason to get the Portal TV into your living room. It's a webcam that tethers to your television via HDMI. It has Alexa built-in and can be used to play music, check the feed from other smart products (like a Ring video doorbell), display photos, play with AR effects and more. However, you can’t save the photos or video, only send them via Facebook Messenger. This is especially true if you were considering one of the similar devices from Amazon, like the Echo Show. As of October 2020, Facebook has also added Zoom, and expects to add more web-conferencing apps (BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, WebEx) to the Portal at some point. Low camera quality and shoddy zooming, though, holds it back from greatness; not to mention its association with an increasingly scrutinised Facebook brand.". This social network platform for businesses hosts numerous features, that used correctly, can help companies get rid of some of the most common communication headaches. With its two speakers and rear-facing subwoofer, the Portal turned out pretty good audio for its size. The system automatically generates the ‘Yes’ recommendations and also the ‘No’ recommendations, that you can display on … When Facebook debuted its Portal video chat devices last year, they were met with a great deal of skepticism. The Portal app helps you manage your Portal devices right from your smartphone. Visit our corporate site. Unlike a lot of smart home gadgets — including the original Portal — the second-generation Facebook Portal doesn’t look like some wacky device from the future. This way, if you have the Portal set up in your kitchen, you can walk around and prepare a meal, and the person you’re chatting with can still see you clearly. In the upper left corner of the Portal’s front is the camera, and the top edge above this is a slider that physically blocks the Portal’s camera and shuts off its microphone. There are also other software settings for privacy, including turning off the camera and microphone, as well as a physical mute switch and small camera cover on all of the devices. Xbox Series X survey asks if you want PS5 DualSense features in the Xbox controller. Facebook's Portal TV is the best way to video chat with friends and family right now. Microphones: 4 ... UPDATE - April 2020: Since I bought the Portal TV around 5 months ago, the software has been updated. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. You will receive a verification email shortly. You can add functionality to the Portal by installing apps and websites; currently, there are only 12 apps available, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, FB Gaming, ABC News Live, Food Network, Story Time, and a web browser. The Portal comes with 18 bookmarked webpages, which include Yelp, ESPN, Twitch, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and, of course, Facebook. Facebook Portal is the smaller 10-inch product in the line-up; a series which also includes Portal Mini and a TV-mounted device known as Portal TV. So it's just like the Portal, but with a big screen – your TV screen. Thank you for signing up to Tom's Guide. The Portal Mini ($129) has an 8-inch display; the Portal ($179) we tested has a 10-inch display; and the Portal+ ($229) has a massive 15.6-inch display that can rotate from portrait to landscape mode. In addition, the Portal+ has two 2-inch tweeters and one four-inch woofer, while the smaller models have less powerful stereo speakers. However, t higher tones, such as Ringo’s cymbal work, felt a little compressed. Facebook Portal and Amazon Echo Show both use Alexa, have 10-inch screens, and offer up great entertainment options. With the Portal app, you can send photos directly to your Portal's Superframe, call your Portal… Where are all the cheap Xbox Series X and PS5-friendly 4K 120Hz TVs? Audio during video calls was equally strong. If the idea of giving Facebook a (quite literal) portal into your living room makes you feel a bit weird, then you're not alone. The one thing you can’t do is make voice or video calls using Alexa, but given that Facebook wants you to use its services, is an understandable limitation. Thanks to the Portal’s four microphones, callers were able to hear us easily, even if we were ten feet away from the display. As I have accounts with both services, I made calls via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and both came through sharp and clear. TechRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Fast-forward a year later and Facebook announced a second-generation of Portal devices, including the Portal Mini (£79 / $129 / approx. Likely already made this calculus in your head that served a similar function on the original, and we ’. 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