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Facebook’s Portal Video Chat Devices Are Now Available

Dave LeClair 08-11-2018

Just about a month ago Facebook announced the Portal and Portal Plus video chat devices, and now they’re officially on sale for $199 and $349 respectively. The devices are available directly from Facebook, Best Buy, and Amazon.


What Is the Facebook Portal?

The main purpose of the Facebook Portal and Portal Plus is video chatting with friends and loved ones using Facebook Messenger. The single camera on each device is able to zoom and track the user’s movements, so he or she can comfortably walk around their room without breaking the conversation.

Like Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home, Portal also lets users play music, videos, and look at photos on the device.

The Portal vs. Portal Plus

There’s a $150 difference between the Portal and Portal Plus, so let’s take a quick look at the specs of the two devices to see the difference.


  • 10.1-inch display
  • 720p resolution
  • Fixed display
  • Amazon Alexa support
  • 12MP camera
  • 140° FOV
  • 10w speakers (2 full-range drivers)
  • 4-mic array (2 front, 2 rear)
  • Bluetooth 4.2 technology

Portal Plus

  • 15.6-inch display
  • 1080p resolution
  • Rotates between portrait and landscape mode
  • Amazon Alexa support
  • 12MP camera
  • 140° FOV
  • 20w speakers (2 tweeters, single 4” bass)
  • 4-mic array (2 front, 2 rear)
  • Bluetooth 4.2 technology

Essentially, the more expensive camera comes with better speakers, a bigger, higher resolution display, and the ability to rotate between landscape and portrait modes.

Do You Want Facebook in Your Home?

Obviously, one of the major issues with this device, or any one like it, is privacy. Ultimately, it’ll be up to each person to decide whether they’re comfortable with a device like this, but for its part, Facebook says that you can completely disable the camera and microphone with a single tap, preventing anyone from listening in.


As for calls, the company says:

“Facebook doesn’t listen to, view or keep the contents of your Portal video calls. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you’re calling.”

Additionally, the AI technology runs on the device itself, not on Facebook servers, which should make users feel a little safer. If you want to know more, Facebook has entire page dedicated to breaking down the privacy aspects of the device, which you can see here.

Are You Interested in the Facebook Portal?

With the device now on the market, are you interested in owning one? We reviewed the Echo Show and found it to be a pretty solid device, though it comes without the Facebook name (and for many users, lack of trust) attached.

Would you let Facebook into your home, or do you prefer to keep things a little more secure?

Facebook Portal Plus Smart Video Calling 15.6” Touch Display with Alexa Black (899-00048-02) Facebook Portal Plus Smart Video Calling 15.6” Touch Display with Alexa Black (899-00048-02) Buy Now On Amazon $269.00

Related topics: Facebook, Video Chat.

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  1. Robert Hopgood
    November 15, 2018 at 9:17 pm

    Why the hell would anyone by hardware from facecrap