Last year, Facebook released its Portal flagship smart cameras (Portal and Portal +) and was in a big controversy for privacy issues. Now, after a year, Facebook is back with the second generation Portal devices. Facebook came up with three Portal devices this time. Two of them, Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Mini are successors of last year’s Portal and Portal+ while the last device, Facebook Portal TV is totally a brand new device.
Facebook Portal sports a 10 inches HD screen and is tagged with a price tag of $179 (approximately Rs. 12,750) while Facebook Portal Mini sports an 8 inches HD screen and is tagged with a price tag of $129 (approximately Rs. 9,200). On the other hand, Facebook Portal TV comes in two size variants: 8 inches and 10 inches and its price starts from $149 (approximately Rs. 10,600).
Portal and Portal Mini are integrated with an adaptive display that adjusts the brightness and color of the device to your surroundings. They feature automatic intelligence technology-based Smart Camera which is capable of automatic panning and zooming. Apart from it, they also sport a built-in speaker and a Smart Sound feature that enhances the overall audio experience by reducing background noise.
With this generation of Portal devices, Facebook has taken care of the privacy issues by adding some cool features. A switch is added which can disable both the camera and the microphone through a single tap. In its blog, Facebook mentioned the switch as “A red light next to the lens indicates the camera and microphone are off.”
Apart from Facebook Messenger video calling feature, all the new Portal devices offer WhatsApp calling facility. According to the company, this WhatsApp video calling will be end to end encrypted. Key features include Amazon Prime, SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Starz, Pluto TV, Red Bull TV, Neverthink, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and iHeartRadio Family support.
‘Hey Portal’ functionality is also integrated into the new Portal devices. This feature allows users to use the devices in a hands-free manner. If you turn on this feature for the phrase “Hey Portal” and a voice saying the same is detected, a short audio recording and transcript of the voice interaction are sent to Facebook, which then gets reviewed by a trained team to make Facebook voice services more accurate and smart for every user. The best part is, the user of the device will be able to listen to and delete any of his/her “Hey Portal” voice interactions via Facebook Activity Log.
As of now, the three Portal devices will be available in the US, UK, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. Users of the US, Canada, and Europe can pre-order a Portal device now.
The company will start shipping the Facebook Portal and Facebook Portal Mini from 15th October onwards. Facebook Portal TV will be shipped from 5th November onwards.