The Unbelievable Facebook Portal Plus
- Easily video call with friends and family using your Messenger, WhatsApp, or Zoom account, even if they don’t have Portal.
- Smart Camera automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in frame, so you can catch up hands-free.
- Hear and be heard. Smart Sound enhances your voice while minimizing unwanted background noise.
- Experience even more together. Join or host a group call of up to 50 people with Messenger Rooms.
- Become some of your children’s favorite storybook characters as you read along to well-loved tales with music, animation, and immersive AR effects.
- Listen to your favorite music and streaming apps like Spotify or Pandora, display your photos from Instagram and Facebook, broadcast with Facebook Live, and more
- Work smarter from home with partners like Zoom and Workplace from Facebook. Connect with co-workers even if they’re remote.
- See and do more with Alexa Built-in. Control your smart home, listen to your favorite music, watch the news, get the weather, set a timer, and more.
- Easily disable the camera and microphone, or block the camera lens with a single switch. All Portal video calls are encrypted.
As a digital picture frame, the Facebook Portal Plus can show your Facebook photos, your Instagram photos, Facebook photos from your favorite contacts, and photos you upload directly through a smartphone app. You don’t have to use all, or any, of these categories. It can also get a little nudgey about pushing you to talk to people it identifies as currently online, another option you can turn off. As of October 2020, Facebook has also added Zoom and expects to add more web-conferencing apps (BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, WebEx) to the Portal at some point. Find details in Facebook Portal Plus Smart Video Calling 15.6 touch display review 2021.
The Portal+ is the larger sibling of the Portal. However, the ‘Plus’ is the most futuristic-looking of the pair, with its bright and responsive 15.6-inch touchscreen which comes connected to a backward L-shaped base made of smooth, quality plastic materials. With just a light touch, the tablet-like screen can gracefully rotate 90 degrees, from portrait to landscape orientation.
The stand comes in minimalist white or black color options and houses a large loudspeaker at the bottom and a camera at the top. Both the Facebook Portal Plus and Facebook Portal actually share the same camera: a 12-megapixel sensor with a 140-degree field of view and up to 8x digital zoom. They have an identical four-mic array, too, with 360-degree beamforming input. All that effectively means is both Portal devices can follow you and your voice around a room.
Once you pick out a spot in your home, plug your Portal+ in with the included power cord and tuck the cable away so that people and pets won’t trip over. Once powered on, follow the on-screen instructions to connect to your Wi-Fi network and log into your Facebook account. The setup process lets you add up to four different Facebook accounts to a single Portal device.
With its two speakers and rear-facing subwoofer, the Portal turned out pretty good audio for its size. The Beatles’ I Want to Hold You Hand streamed from Spotify was reproduced accurately with strong bass. However, t higher tones, such as Ringo’s cymbal work, felt a little compressed. Audio during video calls was equally strong. Thanks to the Portal’s four microphones, callers were able to hear us easily, even if we were ten feet away from the display.