In October 2018, Facebook first released Portal devices, which were smart speakers with displays built especially for making Messenger video calls from the comfort of your own home. Finally, there’s a new generation that comes two years later with the Portal Go. It eliminates the wires to make it more portable and enable you to move it from room to room in your house.
Despite the fact that everyone believed Facebook’s Portal would fail, it has spectacularly succeeded in recent years, especially owing to international restrictions. They were also distributed worldwide a few years later. Taking advantage of this popularity, Facebook seems to continue betting on this line of hardware with not one but two new devices. The first is the lightweight Portal Go, while the second is a next-generation Portal+.
Battery-powered and without the need for a continuous plug-in
The new Facebook Portal Go is similar in appearance to previous versions. We’re looking at a tablet with a massive speaker, all encased in a fabric cover. Unlike the previous versions, this one has a handle on the back that makes it easier to transport from location to place. The coupling to the base is magnetic and wireless, making connecting and disconnecting simple.
The screen itself is a 10-inch panel with a resolution of just 1,280 x 800 pixels. However, beyond making video calls, this device does not really require a much higher resolution screen. This handset is intended to be used for things like listening to music or making calls, rather than watching videos or surfing the web.
Facebook has placed a 12-megapixel front-facing camera with an ultra-wide lens. It has the same functions as other models, such as tracking the user around the room and continuously focusing/framing them even if they move. The sound, for example, adapts to maintain a consistent volume regardless of the distance. This front camera may also be covered with a physical switch to give the user’s privacy.
Being portable means that it has a battery inside. A battery that in this case, Facebook has not specified its exact capacity, however, it has given some autonomy figures. The Facebook Portal Go is expected to offer around 5 hours of calls or up to 14 hours of music playback with the screen off.
New Facebook Portal+
In addition to the Portal Go, Facebook has unveiled an updated Portal+. This is the larger model, with up to 14 inches on its screen. A larger screen also means higher resolution, in this case, up to 2,140 x 1,440 pixels. This is not portable, but at least it allows the screen to be tilted to adjust to the height of each user. The base that supports it is the speaker itself.
The camera is exactly the same as in the Facebook Portal Go and with exactly the same intelligent functions. That’s 12 megapixels of resolution for an intelligent camera that will use the user pro software to enhance the video call experience..
Facebook updated both software and hardware
Facebook has not only updated the hardware of the Portal, but also the software inside. One of the most relevant changes is the arrival of Home Mode. Because it’s a product intended for common usage at home, the new model gives access to a collection of shared applications rather than accessing the user’s personal information. It means that anybody at home may use your Messenger account to make video calls with family members and individuals you’ve given access to.
According to Facebook, they will be offering multi-device support in WhatsApp soon as well. This means being able to use WhatsApp in Portal to make video calls regardless of the cell phone where the user has the app installed. Another app that will arrive is Facebook Teams for professional users. Support for Microsoft’s service will be added in December. It currently offers Zoom, WebEx, BlueJeans, and GotoMeeting.
All Facebook Portal models, prices, and availability
With the introduction of these new Facebook Portals and the retirement of previous versions, Facebook currently offers four models in some countries. TAlthough there are a number of changes, the feature list is largely consistent across these four versions. The two new models will be available in early July, but may currently be reserved, while the previous versions are available for immediate purchase. These are their prices:
- Portal TV: Available to buy for $198 at the exchange rate.
- Portal: Available to buy for $233 at the exchange rate.
- Portal Go: Available for pre-order for $268 at the exchange rate.
- Portal+: Available to buy for $432 at the exchange rate.