Facebook is expanding the Portal family of home video-calling devices with three new models: Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV. The company also introducing a new way to make calls using WhatsApp and bringing Portal to more countries.
In addition to the US and Canada, the Portal lineup is coming to the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Portal is now available to pre-order in the US, Canada and Europe from portal.facebook.com and select retail locations. Portal and Portal Mini begin shipping October 15 and Portal TV begins shipping November 5. Portal Mini is $129 USD, Portal is $179 USD and Portal TV is $149 USD or bundle any two Portal devices for $50 off.
The new, redesigned Portal and all-new Portal Mini feature a sleek picture frame design to fit seamlessly into any home. Portal Mini has an 8-inch HD display and Portal has larger 10-inch HD display for video calls, displaying photos and watching videos in either portrait or landscape orientations. An adaptive display adjusts brightness and colour to your surroundings so that video calls as well as photos and videos on Superframe look natural. Both Portal and Portal Mini also have a powerful built-in speaker for listening to music when you are not on a call.
Portal TV brings smart video-calling to the largest screen in your home. It sits discreetly on top of or below your television for immersive video calling, giving you the freedom to move around during calls and still be seen and heard.
Portal’s AI-powered Smart Camera intelligently pans and zooms to stay with the action so you can move and talk freely while always being in frame. And Smart Sound enhances the voice of whoever is speaking while minimizing unwanted background noise.
Portal has clear and simple settings for privacy and security. You can disable the camera and microphone with a single tap or a sliding switch. A red light next to the lens indicates the camera and microphone are off and there’s an integrated camera cover if you want to physically block the camera lens.
For added security, Smart Camera and Smart Sound use AI technology that runs locally on Portal, not on Facebook servers.
If you have “Hey Portal” enabled, Portal listens for the phrase “Hey Portal.” If it’s detected, Portal sends a short audio recording and transcript of the “Hey Portal” voice interaction to Facebook. A trained team may review a sample to make voice services smarter and more accurate for everyone. You can view, hear and delete any of your “Hey Portal” voice interactions in your Facebook Activity Log. You can also turn off voice storage in Settings anytime, which means that your voice interactions are not stored or reviewed.
The company is also adding a new way to connect with your friends on Portal through WhatsApp, in addition to Messenger calling. All WhatsApp calls on Portal are end-to-end encrypted.
In addition, Story Time on Portal brings stories to life with animation, music and AR effects.
Portal TV also lets you watch shows like “Red Table Talk” and other Facebook Watch content together with friends or family who aren’t there with you.
When you’re not on a call, Portal works as a digital photo frame. Portal’s Superframe can display your favourite photos, videos and birthday reminders so you always feel a little more connected to your family and friends.
With the Amazon Prime Video app on Portal TV, you can stream your favourite shows and movies, including Amazon Originals. You can also download other apps like SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Starz, Pluto TV, Red Bull TV and Neverthink with more apps coming soon. Portal also has a great speaker so you can listen to your favorite music from Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio and iHeartRadio Family.
Portal offers hands-free voice control. Today, “Hey Portal” is available in US/Canada English with more languages coming. All Portal devices have Alexa built in, and you now have access to Alexa skills on Portal. Listen to music, check the news, get local search results, control your smart home and view the results on screen.