Facebook's Portal TV is the best way to video chat with friends and family right now. The Portal is probably the best bet for most people, but the Mini or Plus are also worth checking out if you either want a huge display or have limited space. However, you can’t save the photos or video, only send them via Facebook Messenger. The Portal TV accessory costs $149 / £149, making it cheaper than the $179 / £169 Portal smart display, but a tad more expensive than the $129 / £129 Portal Mini. Facebook Portal and Amazon Echo Show both use Alexa, have 10-inch screens, and offer up great entertainment options. Because you can’t carry a display around as you would a phone or tablet, you’re usually stuck in one spot, and the person on the other end of the line won’t be able to see you if you move. 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. Facebook Will Implement Limits Ads Run in 2020. All rights reserved. Editor's note (October 6, 2020): We've updated this review as Facebook has added new features to the Portal. ... UPDATE - April 2020: Since I bought the Portal TV around 5 months ago, the software has been updated. 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. 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. Give credit where it’s due: With the original Portal, Facebook figured out a problem when making video calls from a smart display. Despite my being in a somewhat dark room, the Portal’s camera produced a bright, colorful image. Come and Chill. 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. The Photo Booth app lets you take both stills and video, and apply the same filters as you would during a video call. Portal and Portal+ are home video communications devices that make it easier to connect with loved ones, and feel like you’re in the same room, even when you’re far apart. The first Facebook Portal was an impressive smart display, but its biggest problem was, well, Facebook. The place is yours :) Facebook just recently announced that they’re planning on limiting the number of ads any given Page can run within set limits of time. “Hey Portal, play WBGO” was continually misinterpreted, as was my ask to stream 97.5 the Fanatic. 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. The Facebook Portal Mini is great for smaller spaces and kitchen worktops. TechRadar is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. To date, the only other smart display that can do this is the Google Nest Hub Max. © Display: 10 inches (1280 x 900 pixels) Cleverly, if you turn the Portal so that it’s either in landscape or portrait mode, the screen automatically reorients itself. 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. The Portal app helps you manage your Portal devices right from your smartphone. 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. 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. Despite our ongoing concerns about privacy, the Facebook Portal is excellent when it comes to video calls via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. However, if you’re already on Facebook, you’ve likely already made this calculus in your head. It's simple to use and has lots of fun features. Facebook Portal TV is designed for TVs, so you can make video calls to your Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp contacts on a big screen. You can also opt not to have the Portal save any recordings whatsoever. What did TechRadar make of the new Facebook Portal devices? 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. Create an account or log into Facebook. If you spend a lot of time video chatting with your friends and family on Facebook or WhatsApp, then keep read to learn about how much fun the Portal TV is. NY 10036. With its two speakers and rear-facing subwoofer, the Portal turned out pretty good audio for its size. Don’t panic yet, though. Return requests must be completed by end of day January 31, 2021 (local time) to be eligible. The system automatically generates the ‘Yes’ recommendations and also the ‘No’ recommendations, that you can display on … 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. Let’s start with Alexa. The Facebook Portal and larger Facebook Portal Plus smart displays were first released in late 2018. Read the rest of our Facebook Portal review to see if its benefits outweigh its issues. Please try again later. 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. 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. 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. The Portal solves that issue by tracking your face and digitally panning and zooming its camera so that you remain in the center of the frame as much as possible. Xbox Series X survey asks if you want PS5 DualSense features in the Xbox controller. The Beatles’ I Want to Hold You Hand streamed from Spotify was reproduced accurately with a strong bass. $191 AUD). 163 talking about this. With the Portal app, you can send photos directly to your Portal's Superframe, call your Portal… Wi-Fi: 2.4/5GHz Connect with friends, family and other people you know. BA1 1UA. 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. Facebook Portal review (2nd generation) The second-generation Facebook Portal smart display is an improvement in every way. 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. "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. 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. 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. TechRadar weighs up whether Facebook's smart displays are worth your money. Although the Portal devices offer a number of different features, like photo display and Alexa integration, they're primarily focused on video-calling. $152 AUD) and Portal TV (£99 / $149 / approx. Luckily Facebook has built-in a bunch of privacy features to make users feel a little more comfortable. 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. Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. A year later and Facebook has refreshed its Portal devices and added two more to the Portal family: the Portal Mini and Portal TV. $462 AUD) was also unveiled by Facebook. The Portal comes with 18 bookmarked webpages, which include Yelp, ESPN, Twitch, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and, of course, Facebook. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, As I have accounts with both services, I made calls via Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and both came through sharp and clear. We didn’t think much of the original Facebook Portal. Low camera quality and shoddy zooming, though, holds it back from greatness; not to mention its association with an increasingly scrutinised Facebook brand.". Is the second-generation Portal a much better device than the original? The Facebook Portal TV attaches to your current TV with an HDMI cable. So it's just like the Portal, but with a big screen – your TV screen. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, Today's best Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal TV deals. We'll be updating this section as we spend more time with the new Portal smart screens. You can even look up recipes and have them show up on-screen, so you can follow them step by step. 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. After all, the company doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation on security and privacy. So far, that’s all they’ve said, and we don’t know more yet. The Facebook Portal TV is an attractive little black bar that measures 1.25 by 7.50 by 2.25 inches (HWD) on a folding, rubberized metal foot that can go above or below your TV. Thanks to the Portal’s four microphones, callers were able to hear us easily, even if we were ten feet away from the display. W hich brings us to 2019, Portal’s second coming: Portal TV, which turns your television into a video conference call machine. 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. ... Portal-to-Portal Facebook calls work brilliantly, and the picture quality is excellent. Microphones: 4 Fast-forward a year later and Facebook announced a second-generation of Portal devices, including the Portal Mini (£79 / $129 / approx. It also has a microphone that minimizes background noise. Facebook Portal is the name for just one product in a whole range of smart display devices from Facebook. †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. 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. It's a webcam that tethers to your television via HDMI. Share photos and videos, send messages and get updates. $230 AUD) is the original model and has recently been seen a sleeker 'picture frame' design. 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. Speakers: 10-watt stereo, subwoofer The Portal TV is a little different. By Mike Prospero 06 October 2020 If you’re on either of those platforms — and there’s a good chance you are — then the Portal is a smart display worth considering. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, Sony 2021 TV lineup revealed with OLED, 8K and Google TV for all, Samsung's 2021 soundbars are getting killer upgrades — here's how, Acer unveils stunning 275 Hz gaming monitor — and it costs more than PS5 and Xbox Series X combined, Acer Chromebook Spin 514 packs AMD Ryzen power into 2-in-1, Lenovo laptops get more Alexa with Show Mode, Where to buy PS5 — Best Buy has restock right now, Excellent at video calls through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, Facebook voice assistant not as good as Alexa. 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. Camera: 13 MP, 114-degree field of view Yes. Facebook offers the Portal in three versions. 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. And, by using the Portal, you’re not giving up any more information than you would have otherwise. 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. Importantly, whoever you're speaking to doesn't need to own a Portal to receive your calls. Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals! There was a problem. Now, you can view everything that the Portal heard, and delete each recording individually, or all at once. Selecting this option is the best course of action, for this or any other device that records what you say. The same goes for other sites such as YouTube and ESPN. You will receive a verification email shortly. 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. Along the left edge are volume controls. Does Facebook’s privacy issues still concern me? 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. The Facebook Portal (£119 / $179 / approx. 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. It also looks nicer than the original, and can do more stuff, especially when you’re using Alexa on the Portal. 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. 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. That means your TV then becomes your smart display and the Portal TV adds a camera, microphone and Alexa to it. In this way, you can view your Facebook feed, but it’s not nearly as easy to navigate as it is on a laptop or through a dedicated mobile app. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. †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. 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. Yes, Facebook’s myriad privacy issues have still not been adequately resolved. Thank you for signing up to Tom's Guide. © At the same time that the Portal was released in October 2018, the Portal Plus (£239 / $279 / approx. You can slide the button to turn off just the camera, but leave the microphone on, too. Workplace by Facebook is a tool that can very well resolve problems that are inherent in corporate communication. We also reviewed the larger Portal+ early last year. Visit our corporate site. 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. 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. Audio during video calls was equally strong. However, t higher tones, such as Ringo’s cymbal work, felt a little compressed. The second-generation Facebook Portal is a much better device, letting you make video calls not just to Facebook friends but those on WhatsApp, too. Where are all the cheap Xbox Series X and PS5-friendly 4K 120Hz TVs? If you don’t video chat through Facebook and you don’t have $200 to spare, this device isn’t for you. For starters, all Portal video calls are encrypted and, according to Facebook, the AI technology within the camera and microphone run locally on the devices themselves rather than on Facebook's servers. The Facebook Portal utilizes Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp to connect you to your friends and family around the world. It's a smart video-calling device that has a 10-inch display and is a rival to the Amazon Echo Show. Facebook's Portal ($199) is a supremely capable video calling appliance you shouldn't buy until we're all convinced that Facebook … Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, In keeping with its aesthetic, the 10-inch touchscreen is surrounded by an ersatz matte border — the thing that costs so much when you go to get a picture framed. 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. The Facebook Portal changed that. 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? This is essentially the same device, but with a much bigger 15.6-inch display. The Portal comes with two voice assistants: Facebook’s “Hey Portal” and Amazon’s Alexa. Tom's Guide is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. All other terms and conditions of our standard return terms … Facebook is jumping into the smart display race with a new video communication device called Facebook Portal. You will receive a verification email shortly. The Facebook Portal (£119 / $179 / approx. Rather than being a smart screen you can easily keep on a kitchen counter or coffee table, it relies on your TV. I personally tested the larger Portal+, which has a 15.6-inch rotating display, and it's downright huge — thi… It’s a lot more sophisticated than the cheap plastic clip that served a similar function on the original Portal. Size: 10.2 x 7 x 0.8 inches (excluding stand). 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. But the Facebook Portal does one thing exceptionally well: Video calls using Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. However, you can expand YouTube videos to full screen. My wife and I spent a few minutes gawking at the virtual cats on our heads. In fact, it looks more like a digital picture frame than anything else, and acts as such when you’re not using it for video calls. 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. 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. 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. This is especially true if you were considering one of the similar devices from Amazon, like the Echo Show.