The cheaper Portal has a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display that's fixed in landscape mode, while the Portal+ has a 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 screen that can pivot between portrait and landscape modes.
Along with video chatting through Facebook Messenger, both Portal devices have built-in Amazon Alexa. This means two vanilla Portal devices will cost you $298. One of the top features of the Portal and Portal+ is their smart camera - or may be some will find it creepy - that will follow people around in a room while they are on a video call.
Facebook's Portal looks like it will be great for video chats with other friends on Facebook, but will that be enough? And best of all, there's a camera cover provided that lets you completely block out the camera of the devices with a physical cover if you still don't trust Facebook - and frankly, I wouldn't blame you. Plus, to manage Portal access within your home, you can set a four- to 12-digit passcode to keep the screen locked. Its primary goal is to make video calls - the thing any smartphone, tablet, or computer can do - but Amazon Alexa is built-in so it can be your assistant, too.
Portal will not display Facebook ads "at this time", the company said, although it noted that third-party services such as music streaming might embed their own ads the same way they do on other devices. Facebook also says that cameras in the Portal and Portal+ come with a cover that should give an assurance to people that Facebook is not watching their moves. When you are not video chatting, the display will scroll through your Facebook photos as well as photos you have been tagged in.
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I have discussed it with him, it does not really attract him. Undoubtedly, that is a trend that needs to stop. I can cope with it, and I can live with it.
The larger Portal+ device boasts a rotatable 15.6-inch 1080p display with 20W speakers and a price tag of $349. Lastly, Portal only sends those voice commands to Facebook servers which are said after the "Hey Portal" keyword.
I'm not saying we should all be paranoid about our data but it's a good idea to think about who we are handing it over to, and Facebook has ran out of strikes on this one. Users can delete voice history whenever they wish by going into their Facebook Activity Log as well. If you don't want to use Alexa, either, you can flick a switch that disables the camera and microphone altogether. And to start the call, all it takes is: "Hey Portal".
Portal is powered by an AI camera that "stays with the action" and automatically zooms to keep people in the frame.
Earlier in the year, it was forced to admit the personal data of tens of millions of users had been hijacked by Cambridge Analytica (CA), a British firm working for Donald Trump in 2016. In addition, video calls on Portal are encrypted, so your calls are always secure.
While the long-anticipated product could eventually open up fresh display advertising revenue streams for Facebook, its launch comes in the aftermath of the social network's biggest ever data breach and amid growing concerns around user privacy. Facebook partnered with Spotify Premium, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Food Network, and Newsy - and it promised to add more soon.