Home Magazine Want better video calls with friends and family? The Facebook Portal is on sale for the lowest price ever: $79

Want better video calls with friends and family? The Facebook Portal is on sale for the lowest price ever: $79

Want better video calls with friends and family? The Facebook Portal is on sale for the lowest price ever: $79


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The Facebook Portal makes a great standalone station for Zoom calls, but also works with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. It’s a full-featured smart display as well. Splendid deal at $79. (Photo: Facebook)

If you’ve ever used your phone for a video call, you know that a small screen isn’t ideal. That’s especially true for Zoom and other multi-person calls, which can shrink everyone into even smaller windows.

Then there’s the issue of having to stay firmly planted in front of the camera — not ideal if you want to, say, move around the kitchen or office while on your call.

The Facebook Portal is a smart display designed with video calls in mind, though it can do a lot more. It originally sold for $179 (and more recently $149), but right now Amazon has the Facebook Portal for $79. That’s the lowest price on record.

$79 $149 at Amazon

Available in black or white, the Portal resembles a digital photo frame (and of course that’s one of its capabilities), one that can work in both portrait and landscape orientations. Needless to say, it requires a Facebook account.

If you have one, you can easily video-call others via Facebook Messenger. The Portal also supports the popular messaging tool Whatsapp, and it lets you participate in Zoom calls as well. Although it incorporates a fixed-frame camera, it uses digital panning and zooming to help you stay “in the frame” as you move around.

This is no single-purpose device, though; the Portal is a full-fledged smart display, one that incorporates Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and can do nearly all the same things as an Amazon Echo Show.

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Speaking of which, you might be wondering if you’d be better off with Amazon’s Echo Show 10, which can actually rotate on its base to follow you all around a room. Perhaps: It offers much better sound quality (important if you plan to listen to a lot of music) and some home-security features courtesy of Alexa Guard Plus. However, it costs $250. As the holidays get closer, you might see it on sale for $200 or even $180, but probably no lower than that.

At $79, the Portal is a pretty sweet deal — provided you don’t have privacy– and/or politics-related objections to Facebook.

What do you think? Share your Portal opinions below.

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