Portal, Facebook’s smart speaker arrives in Italy: prices

Facebook brings the Portal smart display also in Italy. Available three different versions: it starts from a price of 129 euros

The Portal family of smart displays created by Facebook, but based on the Amazon Alexa personal assistant, also arrives in Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. It's the second generation of the Portal and Portal+ smart display speakers, as well as the new Portal Mini and Portal TV.

Portal was launched by Facebook in the U.S. in fall 2018, in an attempt to grab a share of the nascent smart speaker and smart display market. It is a somewhat hybrid product: on the one hand, it is the classic smart speaker with artificial intelligence and always connected to the Internet to answer user questions, and on the other hand, it is a display to carry out private and public conversations and video chats via Facebook. The arrival of the Portal range in our country is scheduled for October 15, 2019, and the final prices have already been announced for all models: they start from 149 euros for the basic model.

Facebook Portal, Portal+ and Portal Mini: features and prices

The three models of the Facebook Portal range differ mainly in screen size: 8 inches for the Portal Mini, 10 inches for the Portal and 15.6 inches for the Portal+. The latter also has a higher resolution: 1,920×1,080 pixels, as opposed to 1,280×800 for the other two. The plus version also has a better audio department and a camera that, despite having a 12-megapixel sensor, has a very wide camera angle: 140 degrees (compared to 112 degrees for the Mini and Portal). All three devices have a photo camera enhanced by artificial intelligence: when we make video calls, the software can follow us even if we move around the room, keeping us in focus.

Even the audio, through the Smart Sound function, is optimized to reproduce the human voice at its best. You can also use the Portal to video chat with augmented reality (for example, by adding masks to participants' faces) and to read Story Time stories. On the smart speaker side, instead, the Portal relies totally on Amazon Alexa, without much customization except for the activation phrase: "Hey Portal". The Portal Mini, Portal and Portal+ cost, respectively, 149 euros, 199 euros and 299 euros.

Portal TV: features and prices

Portal TV is basically a Portal without the screen, because it connects to a normal TV via the HDMI port. Basically it's an evolved TV box, with the features already described for the other models. It also adds the feature "Watch Together", which allows you to watch together with a friend Facebook Watch during a video chat. Portal TV in Italy will cost 169 euros.