Facebook presents Portal Go, its new device for video calls gets rid of cables to be more tablet than smart speaker
In October 2018, Facebook introduced Facebook Portal devices for the first time. It was a series of smart speakers with screen specially designed to make video calls via Messenger from home. Two years later, a new generation arrives with the Portal Go, which gets rid of cables to be more portable and take it from one place to another in the home.
Against all odds, Facebook Portals have boomed in the past two years, especially due to global lockdowns. They also arrived in Spain a year 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 aforementioned portable Portal Go, the second is a new generation Portal +.
With battery and if the need for a continuous plug
The new Facebook Go Portal follows the style lines of previous generations. Essentially this is a tablet with a gigantic speaker, all wrapped in a cloth covering for the speakers. Unlike the other models, this It has a handle on the back that allows it to be carried from one place to another more comfortably. The dock to the base is magnetic and wireless, so it is easy to connect and disconnect.
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. The idea is to use it for example to listen to music or call other people, but not so much to watch movies or surf the Internet.
Focusing on the camera and the image capture itself, Facebook has placed a 12 megapixel front camera with an ultra-wide lens. It has the functions that we have already seen in other models, such as following the user around the room and focusing / framing them continuously even if they move. Something similar happens with sound, which adapts to maintain a similar volume regardless of distance. As we saw from the first model, this front camera can also be covered with a switch physical to respect user 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. It is expected that the Facebook Portal Go offer around 5 hours of calls or up to 14 hours of music playback with the screen off.
New Facebook Portal +
In addition to Portal Go, Facebook has presented an update of the Portal +. It is the largest model, with up to 14 inches on its screen. A larger screen also implies a higher resolution, in this case it reaches 2,140 x 1,440 pixels. This is not portable, but at least it allows you to tilt the screen to adjust to the height of each user. The base that supports it is the speaker itself.
The camera is exactly the same as on the Facebook Portal Go and with exactly the same smart features. That is to say, 12 megapixel resolution for an intelligent camera that will follow the pro software user in order to improve the video calling experience.
A matter of hardware, and also software
Facebook has not only updated the hardware of the Portal but also the software that they bring inside. One of the most relevant changes is the arrival of Home Mode. Being a product designed to be shared at home, this new mode offers access to a set of shared applications without accessing the user’s personal data. An example of what this means: anyone in the home can make video calls via Messenger from your account, but only to family members and people you give access.
According to Facebook, will offer multi-device support also on WhatsApp shortly. This implies being able to use WhatsApp in the Portal to make video calls regardless of the mobile phone where the user has the app installed. Another app that will arrive is Facebook Teams for professional users. Starting in December, support will be added to the Microsoft service. It currently offers Zoom, WebEx, BlueJeans, and GotoMeeting.
All models, prices and availability in Spain of the Facebook Portal
With the presentation of these new Facebook Portal and the discontinuity of previous models, Facebook has currently for sale a total of four models in Spain. These four models differ essentially by size and some extra features. The two new models will arrive next month, but can already be reserved, while the old ones can be purchased directly. These are their prices:
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