All of sudden, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, revealed the announcement of a new product in a live stream set for 10 PM pt. Mark also asked his followers on Facebook to guess what the new product would be. A few hours later, we can confirm that the company has unleashed a set of new Portal products. The new lineup focuses on video online meetings and video-calling. The company unveiled Portal Go and Portal Plus screens to compete against the likes of the Amazon Echo Show. They come with improved cameras and are more convenient to transport.
Portal Go probably is the most unique device when we take other brands in consideration. One of its main highlights is on its internal battery. As a result, the device does not need to be connected to an electrical source all the time. The product can also be charged through a small magnetic stand that comes with the package.
The smart screen has a design that wants to deliver a practical experience. It can be easily transported to any place and comes with a handle to make the process easier. The display has 10-inches and has a resolution of 1,200 x 800 pixels. The front-facing camera comes with 12 MP resolution. That is a very good resolution considering that this will mostly be used for video calling and meetings. It is also one of the best cameras in the market for smart displays.
To enhance video meetings, Portal Go’s system can quickly adjust the image to the person on focus. It can move the screen horizontally, vertically and also boasts multiple levels of zoom. There are a set of optimizations for Facebook, WhatsApp, Zoom, Webex, BlueJeans, and GoToMeeting. Microsoft Teams will join the party in the coming months.
The device also comes with a calendar app that can be synchronized with Outlook or Google Calendar.
Portal Plus is an update for the very first product launched in 2018. It brings a slightly smaller screen with 14-inches, it’s down from the 15.6-inch of its predecessor. It allows users to view up to 25 people in a Zoom meeting, for example. The device comes with a higher resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 pixels. Moreover, the 12 MP camera is present in this package two. The smart features from Portal Go are also present here.
Facebook provides smart Features and a Security-centric approach
Both Portal Plus and Go can perform actions based on commands like “Hey, Portal”. Furthermore, it offers full compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa. There is a Profile Share mode that allows the entire family to use the very same product. It will provide separate access to each family member’s contact on WhatsApp or Messenger.
The new products don’t require the calls to happen between Portal screens. Now, it’s possible to communicate with any device supporting Facebook’s Messenger. Furthermore, security has been enhanced with the new smart displays. The new Portal devices come with a password system for protecting your info. It also allows you to disable cameras and internal microphones. They also come with a physical cover for the front-facing screen. Facebook is doing the best it can to reconquer users’ trust.
Another security-related feature is the possibility to encrypt video calls. However, this feature is not available as a standard. Users need to activate it for specific contacts or groups. Moreover, it’s also possible to disable the story of “Hey, Portal” interactions.
Pricing and Availability
The new Portal Go and Portal Plus will be available on October 19 in the US and Canada. The first will cost $199, whereas the second will cost $350. The availability will likely be expanded to other Facebook key markets in the coming months.