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Whether you’ve heard of Facebook Portal or not, almost everyone knows video calling pretty well. That is, if you haven’t lived under a rock in the past two years. Getting together with friends and family, or dating while everyone is working from home, has become a popular way to communicate when a more personal touch is required.
Video calling is by no means a new way to talk to people. Apple’s Skype, FaceTime and Zoom have been around for 18, 11 and 10 years. But with the launch of Facebook Portal two years ago, this version of the social media group aims to make video calls easier, smoother, and generally a more enjoyable experience. .
What is the Facebook Portal and how does it work?
Buy it now: Facebook Portal Go, £149, Amazon
In short, Facebook Portal is a video call center with Alexa smart assistant built in. Since Facebook, aka Meta, owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, all of which can be accessed in different ways through the portal, but you need a Facebook or WhatsApp account to use it.
There are four different devices to choose from, each with different advantages to suit your needs. Portal allows you to make calls using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Zoom and your calls will appear on your phone, tablet or Portal (if available).
And the Facebook Portal doesn’t just end with a blank black screen when you’re not using it to call someone. It can be used as a digital photo frame to display your favorite albums from your Facebook or Instagram account.
What is the Facebook portal for?
Today, most video calls are made on a smartphone or tablet. In addition to keeping the phone in a position that is always viewed from the most awkward angle during a call, call quality on mobile devices is often compromised by the view from the ceiling, and even contact occurs when chasing young children. room so they can say hello to their grandparents.
Portal takes your hands off the screen while you chat with your loved ones. It also has a nifty wide-angle AI camera that automatically zooms in or pans to keep everything in the picture. If you move during a call, the camera automatically follows you and can even pan to ensure everything is captured and no features are missed.
It will also be very helpful if you are working from home more after the pandemic. Using Portal for work video calls frees up your laptop or desktop and lets you talk to colleagues without having to switch between endless tabs.
Buy it now: Facebook Portal TV, £79, Amazon
What types of Facebook portals exist?
Portals are presented in four formats: Portal, TV Portal, Electronic Portal and Portal+. The first two devices were originally launched in 2019, while the latter two were added to the range this year. The standard Facebook Portal device runs on AC power and looks like a digital photo frame with a 10-inch screen. Portal Go is a wireless version with another 10-inch screen that you can move from room to room. Portal TV is a small device, not a webcam, that sits above or below the TV screen, plugs into the TV and turns it into a large video screen. Finally, Portal+ is a large standalone device with a larger 14-inch tilting display.
All four have the same connection, so you can call anyone with your Facebook or WhatsApp account. Prices range from £79 for Portal TV to £299 for Portal+, but are usually up to 50% off, so keep an eye out for discounts if you’re interested in getting one. (or more).
What about security issues?
Facebook is no stranger to people’s physical safety, so the company has carefully integrated a number of security features to ensure peace of mind when using the portal at home.
First, flipping a switch turns off the microphone and camera, and all four have built-in camera covers so you know you’re safe out of sight. A red light next to the lens clearly indicates that both are off. Also, like WhatsApp, all calls have access to end-to-end encryption, meaning they cannot be listened to, recorded or hacked.
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Buy it now: Facebook Portal, £79, Amazon
Is there a monthly fee for the Facebook Portal?
Fortunately not. After purchasing the device, Portal is completely free if you have a Facebook or WhatsApp account (but those are also free).
Can you watch TV and Netflix on the Facebook portal?
yes and no. Portal TV is the only device available for streaming content. With Portal TV, you can watch shows and video content through Facebook Watch, the company’s video-on-demand service. You can view them while you’re on a call so you and the person you’re talking to can discuss them. Other streaming apps like Netflix and Prime Video are available on Portal TV, as are music streaming services like Spotify and Deezer.
With Portal TV, you can also watch movies, TV shows or videos with friends and family and see their reactions in real time. If for some reason two people can’t be together, that’s the next best thing.
Buy it now: Facebook Portal+, £299, Amazon
What are the other benefits?
Like Messenger and Instagram, Portal has many augmented reality effects that you can take advantage of with the Photo Booth feature. You can be a kitten, a rabbit, play games… all through Messenger. The Smart Storytime feature is perfect when you want to read evening stories to your kids in a different way. Choose what to tell from the story and watch it come to life as it is told around you. With built-in Alexa, you can play your favorite music, check the weather, set timers, and control other smart devices in your home.
Facebook Portal is now available from Amazon and Currys for £149.
Source : idealhome.co.uk