Facebook has announced Portal Go and Portal Plus, the first unreleased while the second represents an evolution of the existing Plus: here's what they look like
Facebook has just made official Portal Go and Portal Plus, two home entertainment devices that are conceptually reminiscent of Amazon's Echo Show, and that Facebook has structured specifically for video calls and online meetings. As a result, the two new Facebook devices feature two large displays, microphones and an integrated camera.
In the same way as similar devices, Facebook's two Portal devices also respond to a voice command for activation: saying Hey, Portal wakes up the Facebook assistant, but alternatively there is, for those who prefer it, Amazon's Alexa. Important is the presence of personal profiles, so that the Portal can be used by a family with each using their own Messenger or WhatsApp account. Communications can take place with any device that supports Messenger, you can disable microphones and camera to protect privacy and there is the possibility of encrypting video calls.
The characteristics of Facebook Portal Go
The most interesting feature of Facebook Portal Go is perhaps its independence from the power grid: the device in fact has an internal rechargeable battery, so, in fact, not to have the need to stay close to an access to electricity. For recharging, there is a small magnetic base that the company provides.
His independence from direct power sources gives Portal Go an inherent flexibility. Facebook, of course, knows this and so has structured the smart screen in such a way as to be as compact as possible and therefore easy to carry around, even equipping it with a handle to simplify the grip.
The 10-inch display has a resolution of 1,200 x 800 pixels, not very high but more than good for what Portal Go aims to do. So is the 12-megapixel camera: the resolution isn't high but it's more than enough for video calls. According to the company, in terms of quality, this is one of the best cameras for devices of this type.
Portal Go is equipped with a feature that manages to adapt the focus very quickly on who is talking. Facebook has optimized it to work best with Facebook, WhatsApp, Zoom, Webex, BlueJeans and GoToMeeting, while specific optimizations for Microsoft Teams will be coming soon.
Facebook Portal Plus features
Portal Plus is nothing but an update of the product that has been on the (non-Italian) market since 2018. Compared to the latter, which has a 15.6-inch display (practically the same diagonal as a laptop), the new Facebook Portal Plus contains the diagonal of the screen to 14 inches, enough to display up to 25 people of a video call on Zoom.
Higher than Go the screen resolution, which on Portal Plus touches 2,160 x 1,440 pixels. Identical to Portal Go is the 12-megapixel front-facing camera and the smart features described above.
Portal Go and Portal Plus, pricing and availability
Availability for Facebook Portal Go and Portal Plus is set for October 19 in the U.S. and Canada, with the former costing $199 and the latter $350. Still no news on a marketing in Europe, but it seems that it is in the intentions of Facebook.