Are the new Facebook Portal devices any better for video calling?

Facebook is known for its powerful social media platform and creating ways for people to connect. Those ways include the latest Facebook Portal lineup. So are the new devices any good for video calling? Read on to find out what we think about the Facebook Portal Plus and more.

Are the new Facebook Portal devices any better for video calling?
The Facebook Portal Plus on display

Facebook Portal has certainly gone through a bit of evolution since its debut. The device is a hub that makes perfect sense coming from a social media giant like Facebook. The platform is geared toward connecting friends and family, and Facebook Portal is meant to embrace that social connectivity. Of course, it wasn’t exactly at the top of the competition when it first arrived. So has anything changed with the latest models? Let’s explore and find out!

Are the new Facebook Portal devices any better for video calling?
The Facebook Portal Plus used for video calling

What does Facebook Portal do, exactly?

Facebook Portal is a series of devices meant to help people connect with friends and loved ones. They’re digital displays that are somewhat comparable to the Google Nest Hub or Amazon Echo Show, although not quite as efficacious at performing tasks outside of social features.

Portal devices aim to be, well, portals, acting as a conduit between you and whoever you wish to chat with. They have one or more cameras to capture video and displays so you can see who you’re talking to on the other end. While the products come with Alexa support and can control a variety of smart home devices, this functionality is fairly limited compared to competitors.

It’s worth noting that you can also view photos and listen to music on the Portals as well. That’s something that helps expand their usefulness beyond just video calling.

Previewing the Portal Plus and Portal Go w/ CNET

Are they any better for video calling?

As with most technology, the Facebook Portal lineup has grown over the past few years. There are a few different options to choose from, which you’re sure to appreciate if you’re considering buying one.

The standard Portal comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen with 1200 x 800 WXGA resolution. The Portal Plus comes with a 15.6-inch display with 1920 x 1080 FHD resolution. Both are capable of being set to portrait or landscape mode, but the Portal Plus packs better sound quality with a more robust speaker and woofer combo.

The Portal features a 13 MP camera with a 114-degree field of view. The Plus model features a 12.5 MP camera with a 140-degree field of view. Both have 4-mic arrays and automatic tracking and zooming capabilities. There’s also the new Facebook Portal Go, which brings a whole other angle to the Portal experience.

So are they any better for video calling? They’re honestly not bad. Consumer product reviews in general seem to be positive regarding call quality and video clarity. The cameras might not be the best on the market, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do a great job. On the contrary, they make for a perfectly acceptable and enjoyable video chatting session. We wouldn’t overlook it.

Are the new Facebook Portal devices any better for video calling?
The all-new Facebook Portal Go

Should you buy a Facebook Portal device?

If you’re interested in a Facebook Portal device, you really need to evaluate your needs and expectations. Seeking something that does everything, like controlling your smart home and offering lots of virtual assistant functionality? You might be better off looking elsewhere.

If you’re looking for a device for primarily video calls, the Facebook Portal could be for you, especially if you’re a fan of Facebook and want something simple. Check out the newest line of Portal devices to learn more.

You can preorder the Facebook Portal Plus here for $349 or the Facebook Portal Go here for $199.

Meet Mark Gulino

Mark is a writer and podcaster who loves technology. When not writing for Gadget Flow, he enjoys passionately working on storytelling projects and exploring the outdoors.
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