Facebook has expanded its Portal family of home-video devices with three new models. These include the Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV. According to the report, the Portal and Portal Mini have completely new designs that resemble a photo frame. While Portal has a vertical design, similar to the Portal+ from last year, Portal Mini has a landscape orientation. Notably, Portal now supports video calls using WhatsApp apart from Facebook Messenger. They have also included a feature called Story Time for children along with three new, award-winning children's books Llama Llama, Pete the Cat and Otto. The Portal family now also enables users to include shows like Red Table Talk with the Portal TV within the Facebook Watch content.
A report further reveals that the Portal devices also double up as photo frames displaying moments (including photos and videos) from birthday reminds from the Facebook library. They have also included the Amazon Prime Video app where one can download apps such as SHOWTIME, CBS All Access, Starz, Redbull TV, Neverthink and Pluto TV. Apart from these, for music, they have included Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora.
The report further reveals that one can control the Portal device using the "Hey Portal" voice command which works in US/Canada English. Thanks to built-in Alexa, it also provides the full range of Alexa skills. The Portal also has smart video calling feature thanks to an AI-powered Smart Camera that intelligently pans and zooms to stay with the action as a person moves while being in the frame. Facebook prioritizes privacy by claiming that one can turn off the camera and microphone with a sliding switch and a cover that physically covers the camera. Furthermore, video and voice calls are also said to be end-to-end encrypted.
As for pricing, the new models have a price tag of $179 US Dollars for the Portal, $129 US Dollars for the Portal Mini and $ 149 US Dollars for the Portal TV. The models, except Portal TV, are available in black and white, and as of now are available in UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand along with the US and Canada. One can pre-order them from portal.facebook.com and select retail locations as well.