Facebook’s lineup of Portal devices is continuing to grow and branch out. If you’re interested in purchasing a Portal, it might be hard to discern the differences the smart devices.
But we’re here to help. We’re taking look at all four members of the Portal lineup to help you decide which one is best for you.
Portal+: The Top-of-the Line Experience
If you’re ready to dive into the Portal experience with both feet and don’t mind spending some cash, the Portai+ is for you.
The big draw of the $349 device is its 14-inch HD touchscreen that can tilt up and down for a perfect view. That’s the largest screen in the Portal line. It also sports a 12-megapixel camera with an ultra wide field of view.
A Smart Camera features pans and zooms so if you move around the room, it will always keep you in view. And if someone enters the room, the camera will widen the view to show everyone.
With such a large screen, the Portal+ can show up to 25 people in a gallery mode during a Zoom call. The adaptive screen will also match the color and lighting of the room.
And along with the great screen, the Portal+ sports two 5W range speakers and one 20W woofer. It also has a four-microphone array and a Smart Sound feature that uses AI to minimize background noise and enhance the voice of the person talking.
So along with the video calling feature, the Portal+, like other devices in the line, can access a number of apps like Spotify, Pandora, Plex, and others.
The Portal+ and all of the other Portal devices also have the popular virtual assistant Amazon Alexa so you can unlock a wide variety of other apps, interact with smart home devices, and more.
For anyone with the cash to spend, and enough room for a huge screen in their home, the Portal+ is a great way to fully experience what Facebook has to offer.
Portal: A Multipurpose Smart Home Device
For most users, the Portal is a great choice that balances screen size and cost.
The Portal sports a 10-inch screen and is available in either black or white. Retailing for $179, the device looks similar to a digital picture frame and can be placed almost anywhere in a home thanks to its smaller size compared to the larger Portal+. And to no surprise, you can use the device’s screen to showcase photos and memories from Instagram and Facebook when not actively using it.
You can take advantage of the same Smart Camera feature found in its larger sibling so you’ll always be seen, even if you move around the room. It also has the Smart Sound feature as well.
Unlike the larger Portal+, you can use the Portal in either portrait or landscape orientation.
Just like all of the other devices in the lineup, the Portal sports some fun AR features to use during video calls. Callers can take advantage of masks and backgrounds from Disney, Marvel, and others.
The Portal is also a great way to use the Story Time feature that allows a caller to read children’s stories to another person.
If you’re looking for a device that fits into any smaller space in your home but still sports all of the features of the lineup, the Portal can’t be beat.
Portal Go: Video Chat Anywhere in Your Home
Our life at home isn't stationary. And the $199 Portal Go is made to take anywhere around the house thanks to a built-in rechargeable battery and carrying handle.
When not taking the device around a home, you can simply place it on the charging dock.
It offers the same 10-inch screen and other features of the non-portable Portal.
Just like all of the other Portal devices, the Portal Go offers a number of privacy features. You can disable the camera and microphone on the Portal with a single switch. A red light next to the lens indicates that the mode has been activated.
Alternatively, if you still want to receive incoming calls and notifications and use voice interactions, but not be seen, there is an integrated camera shutter or included camera cover.
You can listen and delete all of your interactions when using the "Hey Facebook" or "Hey Portal" wake words that can interact with the device.
Even if you won't use the built-in battery to take the Portal Go around your home, the small premium over the regular Portal makes it a good choice, especially if you have children who want to video call.
Portal TV: Turn Your Television Into a Portal Device
There's no need to worry about another screen in your house when you buy the Portal TV.
Unlike all the other options in the Portal line, the $149 device doesn't feature a screen. Instead, the Portal TV connects to the largest screen already in your home—a television via an HDMI input.
Think of the Portal TV as a streaming device, like a Roku, with more. It offers the same camera as other Portal devices, a 12-megapixel shooter with the Smart Camera and Smart Sound feature. Instead of a touchscreen, you'll do most of your interaction with the included remote control. Some voice control features are available, including Alexa.
With front and back clips, you can secure it to the top of a TV. It also can be used below a television.
This Portal option is perfect if you need a way to watch video from popular streaming sites Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. A unique feature not on any other Portal devices is the Watch Together feature that lets you and another person view Facebook Watch original videos together.
Finding the Perfect Facebook Portal For You
Despite initial skepticism, Facebook has continued to improve and expand its Portal family to offers a device for many types of situations and price ranges.
No matter what Portal you choose, expect a full-featured way to video chat, interact with Amazon Alexa, and much more.