Now YOU can carry a smart display around in your rucksack
Facebook has introduced a new pair of Portal products, the Portal Go and Portal Plus. The two new smart displays – announced inconspicuously in the evening – join a lineup of Portal products that includes the Portal TV, Portal Mini and standard Portal, as well as a 15.6in first-gen Portal Plus that will bow out to make way for the updated model.
Take a quick glance at the headline features and it’s clear that the Portal Go is the more unusual of the two. It has a built-in battery, meaning you can pick it up and take it with you when you leave the room (or the house). Mark Zuckerberg explained in the reveal livestream that the portable design is meant to prevent customers from draping cables all over the house. The Portal Plus, meanwhile, has a large 14in display that tilts forwards and backwards on its base like a PC monitor – a downgrade, interestingly, on the rotating display of the 15.6in Portal Plus, which followed you around the room.
Both products have benefited from a redesign that officially condemns the cuboid plastic frame of the original Portal in favour of fabric speaker housing, like the 15.6in Portal Plus announced in 2019. Curiously, both displays now have a 12MP front-facing camera, where the original Portal has a 13MP unit; as if to compensate, however, both now support a wider field of view to keep more subjects in the frame at once. As before, the camera can follow its subject, so that you don’t have to sit still in one place while you chat.
These displays are also well-specced in the audio department. Inside that new fabric housing, you’ll find two 5W full-range speakers and one 20W woofer for low registers. Facebook’s marketing materials place emphasis on these speakers, so it will be interesting to see how they shape up compared to competitors such as the Echo Show 10 and Google Nest Hub Max. Both also contain the same four-mic array as their siblings to pick up your voice from a distance.
You can use the Portal Go and new Portal Plus to communicate with friends and family over WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Zoom (video call or message). The entire Portal range comes with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in, so you can bark commands at the displays or interact with them via the Gorilla Glass-topped touchscreen. This also means the Portal devices are compatible with other Alexa-enabled smart home products, such as Ring doorbells and the like.
On the subject of displays: it’s not clear just yet, but it seems that the new Portal Plus has a 2,160 x 1,440 panel, which is an unusually high resolution for a smart screen. Facebook vaguely describes both the 10in and 14in panels found on Portal Go and Portal Plus as “HD”, so we’ll update this page as we learn more.
Both products are available to preorder right now. The Portal Go costs £199, and the Portal Plus comes in at an eye-watering £349, which means that both products outstrip the Portal TV, Portal Mini and Portal on the price front. They are only available in white and you can find out more using the link below.