Facebook Portal Review – Portal-to-Portal Calls, Elegant Design, and More
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Facebook Portal Review
Facebook Portal Review video call with Messenger or WhatsApp. The Facebook Portal tends to divide opinion.
Everyone we asked didn’t like the idea of having one due to various Facebook fiascos in recent years.
Think of Portal as an alternative to the Amazon Echo Show or Google’s various intelligent displays.
With Portal alone, Facebook tries to help you stay connected to more people in your life through video calling through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
But is it worth buying Portal for your home, rather than just using your phone? Here are the ups and downs of Facebook’s intelligent display movement
Elegant design and perfect configuration
Services with Facebook Messenger, Spotify, and Alexa
13 megapixel (720p) camera with a 114-degree field of view
10-inch touchscreen (1280 x 800 resolution)
Facebook Portal is a large, harmless-looking device that fits easily into the home. It is available with a black or white frame and can be set in portrait or landscape orientation.
At a glance, I would easily overlook it as a digital photo frame, only with a bit more volume and a couple of design suggestions about the camera and sensors present.
That convenient experience continues in the rest of the design as well. Once your accounts are signed in, you can easily access all of your contacts from those services.
Of course, you are unlikely to want to video call everyone on your Facebook friends list, so there is also the option to choose certain people as favorites for easy access.
Doing that not only means you can quickly and easily flag them for chat, but you’ll also get pop-up notifications when they’re online, so you know they’re available. Portal-to-portal calls
AR effects, games and Story Time
Shared on-call experiences include listening to Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio:
There are other causes why it would be good if everyone had a Portal as well. You can make video calls to any device that can make or receive video calls from Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
During those calls, you can make use of several different functions.
These include AR effects to add sometimes silly and sometimes entertaining images to your needs, like Snapchat filters or Instagram effects.
However, you can do other nifty things like add extra people to the call and turn it into a group video party with just a few clicks.
That can involve a total of eight people on Fb Messenger or four on WhatsApp.
We have to admit that we enjoy the convenience of calling Portal.
The image and sound quality are excellent, and it is a very convenient device to have around if you find yourself making these types of calls regularly.
A focus on privacy
Physical camera and microphone shutter
On-screen messages to let you know that you are muted
Settings to control voice data stored/sent to Facebook
Some might be wary of having a FB-centric device in their home. Facebook knows this, too, so all the tools in the Portal’s range are building with some physical privacy capabilities.
Facebook says that all conversations are between you and the people you call and that its Smart Camera technology runs locally on the Portal, not on Facebook’s servers:
Supposedly, Portal only sends voice commands to the Facebook servers after saying, “Hello, Portal.” And you can remove Portal voice history in your Fb Activity Log, while your Alexa voice commands can be dragging in the Alexa app.
Using WhatsApp also means that you also get the added benefit of end-to-end encryption. Therefore, we are not too concerned about privacy with the Portal.
No more than any other smart home device, or who we are as users of Messenger and WhatsApp.