Facebook to Sell Portal Video Devices

Facebook has unveiled Portal and Portal+, two new video communication devices for the home that help users keep in touch with friends and family via video. Thanks to AI technology, Facebook says Portal makes video calling easier and more like hanging out, while a widescreen display lets you enjoy every moment together.

With a 10-inch 1280 x 800 resolution display, Portal from Facebook improves video calling and lets you enjoy quality time with family and friends — hands and distraction free. You can also select a larger 15-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution pivoting display called the Portal+.

Portal and Portal+ are available now for pre-order in the US – from Facebook at portal.facebook.com, as well as Amazon and Best Buy – and will begin shipping in November.

Portal is priced at $199 and Portal+ for $349. You can also receive $100 off if you buy any two devices — this means a bundle of two Portal devices will be priced at $298.

You can call Facebook friends and connections on Messenger even if they don’t have Portal. Calls can be made to and from Messenger-enabled smartphones and tablets. Portal supports group calls of up to seven people at the same time.

Portal offers hands-free voice control powered by Amazon Alexa. You can start a video call simply by saying “Hey Portal” and noting who you’d like to call. With Alexa, you can ask for sports scores, check the weather, control smart home devices, order groceries, and more.

For security concerns, Facebook will allow you to turn off the camera and microphone with a single tap. A camera cover will also be provided to block the camera at anytime along with a passcode to prevent unauthorized use.