Facebook Unveils New Portal Video Chat Devices Including Portal TV

Posted: Sep 18 2019, 8:16am CDT | by , in Technology News


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Facebook unveils new Portal video chat devices including Portal TV

Facebook is making video calling more immersive at home.

After months of speculation, Facebook has officially released its new line of Portal devices, this time making it available to more countries than ever before.

Facebook’s announcement confirms the statement made by Facebook’s Vice President of AR/VR Andrew “Boz” Bosworth at the Code Conference in Phoenix.

Facebook’s previous line of Portal tablet-sized video chatting devices offered the best hands-free video chatting experience for family members at home. There were only two variants to choose from previously: the Portal (black or white) and the Portal+ (black or white).

Most recently, Facebook is launching not just one or two new devices. The Portal lineup’s new additions include the Portal Mini, Portal and Portal TV. Previously, the early Portal products were only available in the U.S. and Canada. Now, Facebook is also launching them in the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

The new Portal is an upgrade from the previous model. It’s interesting to note that Facebook did not follow the branding and product labeling that other companies like Apple do when they release updates of their products.

The latest Portal device is still called Portal, not Portal 2 or second-generation Portal. This year, Facebook is adding a Portal Mini, a Portal but smaller, just like the iPad Mini. Both the Portal and Portal Mini will feature smart video calling, AR games, an adaptive display that matches the lighting and color of a room, front-porting stereo speakers and a rear woofer. However, they vary in size because the Portal Mini only measures 8 inches, smaller than the 10-inch Portal.

The third device that Facebook is adding to its hardware lineup is the Portal TV, which looks like a TV box, but it’s solely intended for smart video-calling directly through your TV. Simply place the Portal TV at the top of your TV or below to allow you to experience immersive video calling. No need to get near the TV because it can capture voices clearly.

The new Portal devices are now available to pre-order in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The new $179 Portal and $129 Portal Mini will start shipping on October 15, while the $149 Portal TV begins shipping November 5. Notably, Facebook did not kill off the Portal+, which has a landscape orientation. It now retails at $279, down from its previous list price of around $349.

The Portal, Portal Mini and the older Portal+ are all available in black and white, while the Portal TV is only available in black.

All of them come with Alexa built-in, so you can simply say, “Hey Portal.” It also comes with Amazon Prime Video and more. Apart from all these new announcements, Facebook revealed that the new Portal devices now support WhatsApp. Users can now make calls using WhatsApp, in addition to calling via Messenger.

There’s no word yet on when these devices will arrive on retail outlets like Amazon.com, but you can download The Tracker app to get notified when it finally becomes available for pre-order from websites other than Facebook’s shop.

Here's a quick look into the new devices' comparison:

We scan the online shops to bring you the newest releases and pre-orders. Our free Tracker app notifies you on your smartphone when the hottest toys and the newest consumer electronics including the new Nintendo Switch Lite are in stock online. You can also receive all in stock and deals alert on Twitter following @TheTrackerApp. If you can't find a hot product in stock, let us know and we consider adding it to the Tracker App.

To stay up to date on the hottest releases and deals during Holiday 2019 Shopping season with the Black Friday 2019 and Cyber Monday 2019 sales events make sure to follow I4U News on Twitter or Google News.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/81" rel="author">Mandy Jean</a>
Mandy covers the latest news in Tech and Business.




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