United Kingdom

Facebook launches its first PORTABLE video-calling device

Facebook has launched two new Portal devices, including the first portable version, that can be lifted from its charging block and carried around wirelessly.

The social media giant said the Portal Go will come with a 10 inch screen and a 12 megapixel camera, allowing users to call family and friends from more places. .

It is to be joined by the new Portal+ which also has a 12-megapixel camera, but houses a larger 14in display. Both devices will go on sale on October 19.

Facebook started selling their video-calling devices in the UK in 2019 to help families stay in touch using apps like Zoom, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. 

Facebook has confirmed that the new Portal Go will be priced at £199 ($199) and the Portal+ will cost £349 ($349), with both available on October 19. 

Facebook has launched two new Portal devices, including the first portable version, that can be lifted from its charging block and carried around wirelessly

The social media giant said the Portal Go will come with a 10 inch screen and a 12 megapixel camera, allowing users to call family and friends from more places

FACEBOOK PORTAL GO and + PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS 

Portal Go 

Display: 10.1" (1280 x 800)

Camera: 12MP Resolution

Field of View: Ultra-Wide

Microphone: 4-Mic Tetrahedral Array

Speaker: 2 Full-Range Speakers + Woofer 

Size: 256.7mm x 78.9mm x 173.9mm 

Portal+

Display: 14" (2160 x 1440)

Camera: 12MP Resolution

Field of View: Ultra-Wide

Microphone: 4-Mic Tetrahedral Array

Speaker: 2 Full Range Speakers + Woofer, and 2 Passive Radiators

Size: 312.6mm x 98.1mm x 250.7mm  

It also has Alexa built in and a range of privacy controls, designed to ease any concerns over device and data security from its users. 

Both the Portal Go and Portal+ devices can be protected with a screen lock and passcode, include controls to disable the microphone as needed and have an integrated lens cover to physically block the camera. 

'Portal was created with privacy, safety and security in mind,' Facebook said in a statement, adding it has clear and simple settings so users can stay in control.

It also features end-to-end encryption through WhatsApp calls and coming soon to Messenger for contacts and groups. 

The social media firm also announced a number of updates to the Portal software, including support for Microsoft Teams from December. 

The new WhatsApp multi-device support tool, which is currently being tested and enables people to use WhatsApp on their phone and up to four other smart devices simultaneously, is also being introduced to Portal.

The devices will also feature a new Household Mode, which allows the owner to designate the different apps and contacts which can be accessed by anyone who wishes to use the Portal and what should be out of reach for communal use.

The firm is also starting to pitch the device at people working from home, as a way to stay in touch with co-workers without using your laptop or phone.

This is bolstered by the introduction of Microsoft Teams to the device for the first time.

'Portal frees up people’s primary screen to maximize meeting productivity and also make switching between work documents and video calling easier,' the firm said.

Other 'work' features include the ability to screen share, join video meetings, manage schedules and includes support for popular apps like Teams. 

It also has Alexa built in and a range of privacy controls, designed to ease any concerns over device and data security from its users

Both the Portal Go and Portal+ devices can be protected with a screen lock and passcode, include controls to disable the microphone as needed and have an integrated lens cover to physically block the camera

'Join work videocalls with whatever conferencing app your company uses from your Portal,' including BlueJeans, Teams, GoToMeeting, Workplace, Webex and Zoom.

Facebook has also developed a new service for industry, to deploy and manage Portal devices for homeworkers, although it is only available in the US on a beta. 

According to Facebook Portal Go is 'designed to let conversations move from room to room, with an integrated handle and long-lasting battery.'

It also doubles as a portable speaker, including support for Amazon Alexa's smart assistant and apps for listening to steaming music. 

Facebook has also developed a new service for industry, to deploy and manage Portal devices for homeworkers, although it is only available in the US on a beta

The firm is also starting to pitch the device at people working from home, as a way to stay in touch with co-workers without using your laptop or phone

The Portal+ is a larger version of the current Portal, with a 14-inch display, 12 megapixel smart camera and an 'ultrawide field of view'.

'With the rise of remote and hybrid work models, Portal+ makes a perfect dedicated screen for work calls, freeing up your computer to take notes, view a presentation, or multitask. Thanks to the large screen, you can see up to 25 people in gallery.' 

WHAT IS FACEBOOK PORTAL?  

Facebook announced two video chat devices, the Portal and Portal+. 

Portal and Portal+ are equipped with Amazon's Alexa, so they respond to voice commands.

Facebook Messenger powers the devices' video calling features, but it also provides access to WhatsApp, Zoom and others. 

Here's what they can do: 

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