Facebook’s main sales center Line of portal devices It always has the ability to video chat. Also, it is the only smart display that works with Messenger and WhatsApp, the two most popular chat platforms in the world (with additional support for platforms like Zoom last year). This year, Facebook is launching a portable version called Portal Go, You can drag around the house to make calls from any house.
With a few software updates, this portability improves the $ 199 portal Go compared to its predecessor, but it still doesn’t have the same expansion of features as Google’s or Amazon’s smart displays. And, like everything else, Facebook, it all comes down to that Whether you trust the company with your data In the first position.
- Smart camera tracking
- Supports Messenger and WhatsApp
- Limited app
- Other smart displays lack features
- Facebook account required
Gallery: Facebook Portal Go Review | 37 pictures
Gallery: Facebook Portal Go Review | 37 pictures
The Portal Go has a softer aesthetic than the previous model, surrounded by a gray fabric that resembles Google’s Nest Hub. It has rounded corners and almost shows that the display is sewn onto a pillow (although it is not very affordable). All of these curves make the goggle pleasurable or hold it in your lap, which is important for a device that is portable.
At the top of the Go is the volume control and a button that disables both the camera and the microphone; When this happens, the status light will turn red. If you want to drop the microphone but not the camera, you can slide a built-in cover over the lens. This way, you can still use voice commands and make calls without worrying about who is watching you.
The front has a 10.1-inch display with the same 1,280 x 800 resolution as the previous portals, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s crisp, colorful and the viewing angles are great. It also has the same adaptive lighting features: automatic screen brightness, color adjustment and a night mode that reduces the amount of blue light in the evening.
The main difference between Portal Go and its predecessors is that it does not need to be plugged in all the time. Thanks to its integrated handle and light weight, easy to throw around with one hand. When charging it, the device also fits nicely into a proprietary 3-pin charging dock.
According to Facebook, Portal Go will get up to five hours of Messenger calls during a charge and up to 14 hours of music playback when the screen is off. But I was able to call it six hours and five minutes before I actually stuck it in the charging dock.
One of the advantages of the Go’s portability is that it is now effectively a portable speaker. The audio quality is also quite decent, thanks to its two full range speakers and subwoofers. The shaft was relatively deep considering its size and the height was clear. It’s certainly not as good as the audio from my Sonos One, but it will do in a pinch.
It should not be said that, like all portal devices, Go needs a Facebook account. (How else to call Messenger?) You can also choose to integrate your WhatsApp account.
Basically, the Go is a smart display that is meant to be carried as easily as a tablet. You can dock it in your office most of the day, for example, but when it comes time to chat with grandma, you can take the kids to any room. I don’t have any kids, but I like being able to set it up for calls where there was the best light at different times of the day.
The Go has a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and AI-powered technology that will automatically pan and zoom in to frame you. Instead of crowding the iPad, for example, you can simply place the go at a coffee table and call the whole family. You can double tap on someone’s face in the “spotlight” and keep the focus on them. I was fascinated by how good it was to keep me in the frame and “follow” me around the room as I walked from my desk to my couch.
This automatic panning and zooming works not only on Messenger and WhatsApp, but also on third party video applications like Zoom and GoToMeeting. I must say that this face-tracking technology also exists here Nest Hub Max And Echo Show 8, And they also have zoom integration. However, only the portals have Messenger and WhatsApp.
I was quite satisfied with the overall video quality. I have noticed the problem of delay from time to time, but it was not so bad. Portal Go was also able to manage different lighting conditions; The colors were great even in relatively dim light. I noticed that calls on WhatsApp were a bit more pixelated than Messenger, but according to Facebook, this could be a bandwidth issue because it’s a separate network.
Facebook Watch has also updated the Together experience so that it can be used not only on portal-to-portal calls, but also with Messenger communication on other devices. It was an explosion to watch a 5 minute craft-like video while calling my friends. My main criticism is that we can only watch clips together on Facebook. The portal device unfortunately lacks support for YouTube, which is a much more diverse source of video content.
Like previous portals, Go has AR features such as Storytime, an AR storytelling experience, and PlayTime, an assortment of AR games. These are fun, but they are also something you try once and never do again.
The whole portal family recently received an update with a new, more personalized home screen. There is a top row of preferred contacts that you can customize and you will also see call notifications here.
Below the preferred contacts is an array of cards that point to different apps, depending on which one you have installed. I found the calendar card particularly useful, which is relevant where zoom does not show upcoming events with easy links to join the chat.
Portal Go can be used by the whole family, but you may not trust everyone to use the device responsibly. That’s why Facebook has introduced Home Mode, which limits what users can do while active. For example, you can set it up so that the portal can only be used to make messenger calls to grandparents. You can disable char mode to regain full control of the device.
By default, the home screen of Portal Go will show stock art, but you can customize it with a digital photo frame app. When you tap the Apps button on the home screen, you’ll find Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Photo Booth, a browser, Facebook Live and Facebook Watch, and more available for download.
Like previous portals, Go supports Alexa and Facebook Assistant, which you call “Hey, the portal”. You can ask Facebook Assistant to call Messenger and WhatsApp, play music, check the weather, create a timer, and launch the app. I have occasionally used it to change voice options for different AR effects.
Alexa, on the other hand, is more for listening to the latest news or sports scores, creating shopping lists, and managing your smart home devices, which portal assistants can’t.
Of course, with any Facebook product, the obvious concern for privacy and security, given the company’s terrible reputation. It states that AI-powered panning and zooming devices are processed locally. Additionally, all WhatsApp calls are encrypted end-to-end by default. Messenger calls, however, no, and you need to specify which contacts or groups you want to enable it with. Even so, encryption is still in the roll-out stage; I don’t have one at the moment.
While Portal Go excels at video calls, it still lags behind Amazon Echo Show 8 And Google Nest Hub Max Basically all the other sections. Facebook does not offer its own streaming video options, which means there is no Hulu, Netflix or YouTube. Also, the features of Smart Home are buried in Portal Go, while they are in front and in the center of other devices.
To make matters worse, Nest Hub Max and Echo Show have portal Go has similar smart camera technology, so it’s not a unique feature for Facebook. And the $ 199 Go is more expensive than the $ 130 Echo Show 8. Inside.
Which is the primary benefit To go Other smart displays include its portability and support for Messenger and WhatsApp. But both Google and Amazon make better devices with more features. Then, Facebook’s poor reputation for privacy pauses us from recommending it. You should choose Portal Go only if you use Messenger and WhatsApp, two video call services.
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