Portal from Facebook is smart video calling with Alexa Built-in. Easily video call friends and family on their smartphones and tablets with Messenger or WhatsApp, even if they don’t have Portal. Enjoy an effortless video calling experience for large groups with Messenger Rooms, which lets you start or join calls of up to 50 people. Smart Camera pans and zooms to keep up with the action, and automatically adjusts to keep everyone in view. Smart Sound enhances the voice of whoever is talking, while minimizing background noise. Portal is private by design and all calls are encrypted. You can easily disable the camera and microphone, or block the camera lens with a single switch. Experience even more together with the ever-growing AR experiences library on Portal. Become some of your children’s favorite storybook characters with Story Time, where well-loved tales come to life with music, animation and immersive effects. Display your Instagram and Facebook photos directly to your Portal with the mobile app. You can even share photos during calls. With Alexa Built-in, you can ask a question, set a timer, add items to your shopping list, control your smart home and more. Facebook Live makes it easy to broadcast hands-free to family, friends and fans. With additional account activations, you can enjoy music, videos, news, games and more from our growing list of partners including Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and the Food Network. You can also work smarter from home with partners like Zoom and Workplace from Facebook. Portal needs a wireless internet connection and AC power. Screen images simulated. User experience may vary. Additional registration, terms and fees may apply. WhatsApp is not available on tablets.
Video call with Messenger and WhatsApp
Easily video call with friends and family using your Messenger or WhatsApp account, even if they don't have Portal.
Keep up with the action
Smart Camera automatically pans and zooms, keeping everyone in frame while you move and talk freely.
Hear and be heard
Smart Sound enhances your voice while minimizing unwanted background noise.
Private by design
Easily disable the camera and microphone, or block the camera lens with a single switch. All Portal video calls are encrypted.
Do more with Alexa Built-in
Control your smart home, listen to your favorite music, watch the news, get the weather, set a timer and more.
Connect in Messenger Rooms
Experience even more together. Join or host a group call of up to 50 people with Messenger Rooms.
Bring stories to life
Become some of your children's favorite storybook characters as you read along to well-loved tales with music, animation and immersive AR effects.
More of what you love
Listen to music and streaming apps like Spotify or Pandora, display your photos from Instagram and Facebook, broadcast with Facebook Live, and more.
Work smarter from home
With partners like Zoom and Workplace from Facebook, you can connect with co-workers even if they’re remote.
Quick Start Guide
Safety & Warranty Guide
Number of Microphones
Amazon Alexa, Hue, Nest, SmartThings, Wink
Portal Smart Video Calling 10" Display with Alexa
Number Of Woofers Included
Voice Assistant Built-in
Number of Microphones
Messenger and WhatsApp video calls
Wireless A, Wireless AC, Wireless B, Wireless G, Wireless N
Warning: this is a sad review, but I feel it expresses how important this purchase was for me and my family.
My grandfather unexpectedly went into hospice and passed away while my region was locked down due to Covid19 at age 87. When he came home from the hospital, my wife and I were able to get he and my grandmother set up with this 10" Portal from Facebook. He had 5 daughters, 19 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren, many of whom were only able to see him a final time over this blessing of a device. My grandmother was able to work it with zero technical ability and the image and audio were clear and never gave her any issues. This product gave my family something you normally can't buy... time with your loved ones before they pass. I personally was able to spend time with him the day before he passed over this device with my family. I will be forever grateful.
Portal works great at connecting people. Video features make Portal easy to recommend, but some features don’t feel fully realized and some bugs keep Portal from currently realizing its potential.
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the Facebook Portal. I knew it was a video conferencing device, but I just figured I could use my phone for video calls. But, having used the Portal for a week, I’ve come to appreciate what Portal is and what it could be a lot more than I thought I would. Somewhere between watching my parents laugh at my brother’s attempt to tell the story of the “Three Little Pigs” and my girlfriend’s ability to easily video conference with her family on the other side of the country, I realized how great the Portal is at bringing people together.
It works as described at making video calls convenient and simple. It’s incredibly freeing to have the ability to talk with someone hands free at a clarity that makes it sound like the other person is almost in the room with you. It’s nice to be able to say “hey portal, call ______” and then see and hear the person within seconds. Portal supports up to 8 people on a call, and, as I discovered, they don’t all have to be using a Portal. Any phone or tablet user with Facebook Messenger can video chat with you. However, only Portal users will have access to certain features and having non portal users on the chat can eliminate features such as music sharing.
During the call, the camera did a good job at panning out to show groups. And, with a screen click, you can tell Portal who you want to spotlight and follow with the camera. I had some difficulties with Portal wanting to crop off the top of heads from time to time, but usually walking around fixed the problem.
I can’t really talk about Portal without addressing the 800lb elephant in the room, namely privacy. The Portal has more security than I expected. It includes a physical toggle that can turn off just the camera or the camera and the mic. You can see a cover go over the camera lens if you flip the toggle. It’s nice knowing that no one can see or hear me if that toggle is moved in the right position. Facebook has provided tools for people to access, review, and delete all voice interactions with the device.
AR effects have been nice. The effects work well and map to the subject with ease. As a Bluetooth speaker, the Portal sounds great. I had some problems with the device appearing on my Samsung devices, but my iPad and Google phone had no difficulties. If you struggle with finding the speaker on your phone, I suggest pairing from the Portal itself as that was a pretty simple alternative.
Currently, there are 14 apps for the Portal and many other websites that the Portal doubles as an app. However, there is no native Facebook app. My brother and I thought that was a huge missed opportunity. Why can’t I have a custom feed of stories from Facebook that constantly scrolls across the device? As is, I can tell Facebook to show photos from my Facebook and Instagram profile along with some recent photos of my Facebook favorites, but I feel like the features here are a bit lacking. It could be so much better.
Also, the included apps feel like stripped down tablet apps. They don’t feel fully featured or like they were designed to specifically take advantage of the portal. Imagine how great it would be to have the food network walk you through a recipe step by step and, when ready, you could simply say “hey portal, next step”.
Along those lines, I wish there was a battery so you could easily pick portal up and move it to a different room. As is, Portal kind of feels like the old landlines. You are stuck using them wherever they are wired at the time. Everyone I know with a Portal has put them close to their kitchen.
Unfortunately, the Portal hasn’t been as headache free as I would like. I must restart my internet router every couple of days or the Portal doesn’t want to work right. I’m not sure if that is a problem with Portal or AT&T, but I only notice the problem on the Portal. I had a problem when trying to add another Facebook user to my portal that forced me to restart the Portal before that user’s contacts would appear.
I had to turn off Alexa features as the mic was too sensitive and seemed to assume I said “Alexa” more often than I had. It became annoying when I would be having a conversation and Portal would interrupt with a fact or answer to a question I hadn’t asked. I mentioned the weird Bluetooth bugs above. Most of these bugs have been relatively minor, but they were enough to make me feel like maybe this device isn’t quite finished.
I like and recommend Portal. I know plenty of friends and family who now want a Portal for Christmas, but I hope the above-mentioned bugs get fixed soon.
My 95 year old dad has computer and cell phone but was not doing so well to do video calls due to so many options. Tried the Portal and now he loves to call people all the time.
Strongly recommend for elderly people. Just to be clear, only your parent needs the Portal, the other people can communicate with mobile device or computer as long as they have Facebook MESSENGER app.
The portal is excellent it allows you to visit family and friends and bring them close close, you can cooked with your love ones from across state you can visit your grandchildren’s it has a cool section where you can tell your grand children stories and actually become the characters in the story plays music it will follow you around the room the portal has a built-in Video Eye Also acts like Alexa you can ask him recipes time a day whether you can train her to do all kinds of things
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
I would recommend this to a friend
Ease of use, Picture quality, Set up
Rating 3 out of 5 stars with 1 review
The Facebook Portal Doesn't Need to Exist
Ease of use, Picture quality, Set up
My parents are constantly asking me to call them more and so I figured that the Facebook Portal would be a good way to keep in touch and act as a simple way for my 5 year old son to video chat with his grandparents. We were all excited to try out the Portal, but the moment we had the box in our hands we all had the same question - “Where the heck do we put this thing?” Where would you put a digital picture frame that you talk to? You want it to be out of the way, but also in a location where it can see multiple members of your family at one time. It has to be plugged into the wall - so it can’t sit in the middle of our Kitchen island - and most counters and shelves are too far out of the way. Even at 10 inches it is too small to have sitting all the way across the room - as you actually want to be able to see the person who you are talking to.
...My parents put the Portal on a shelf below their TV. I could see them sitting on their couch - but the shelf above the portal blocked the top half of the screen. And, because the frame was too far away from the couch for them to easily see their grandson, my parents ended up sitting on the floor in front of the Portal.
We put our Portal on a bar style table. But, because the Portal tips back (just like a picture frame leaning on its kickstand) the camera has a hard time seeing our son because he is too close and also too short when sitting on the bar stool. If the Portal was portable with a battery built in - this wouldn’t be nearly as much of a problem. If it were portable, the Portal could sit in a charging dock on a shelf while it is acting as a digital picture frame - then when the user receives a Facebook Messenger Call, they could simply pick up the frame and move it to a coffee table, the kitchen counter, a desk, or the dining room table - depending on what activity the user and their family happen to be doing at the time of the call.
The Portal works well for video calls, but it is not as convenient as it advertises. Both my parents and I were left wondering why the Portal exists when there are so many other ways to use Facebook Messenger. We can already make these video calls on our Smartphones, our Tablets, our Laptops, and our All-In-One PCs. The Portal feels like moving backwards from the technology of a Tablet (which is portable and can be used in any situation or location).
The Portal is easy to set up and easy to use - and the camera does a great job at zooming in or out and following you as you walk around the room, but the Portal just doesn’t need to exist. If you don’t have a Laptop, a Tablet, or a Smartphone - then you probably aren’t using Facebook Messenger anyways. And while you can add multiple Facebook Profiles into the Portal - it is not realistic to assume that you are going to switch back and forth when making calls. Basically I have had to tell all of my Facebook friends that my son has access to my account and that he may call them at any moment of any day (or night).
There are also other frustrations about the portal:
- It is easy to control which facebook photos appear on the portal, but there does not appear to be any way to control the videos that are displayed. Every video that you have viewed on Facebook shows up in the Watch app. ...Along with all of the videos from your profile.
- The Portal can recognize your voice, but voice commands cannot control Spotify. The Spotify app also has no search feature. You can only see your playlists or recently played songs/albums.
- The companion Portal app on your smartphone doesn’t allow you to control settings. All it can do is edit the photos that appear on the portal and can also call the portal.
- The virtual books don’t allow the person on the other end of your call to see the book. They only allow the person who is reading to see their environment added into the book. This means I cannot call my son from a different location and read the virtual book to him.
I appreciate that Facebook has acknowledged privacy concerns by providing a switch that physically covers the camera lense and also shuts off the internal microphone, but the technology simply feels as though it is lagging behind all of the other tech that is common in households today. The price is similar to a Digital Picture Frame - which makes it a decent value, but the Digital Picture Frame fad is long over.
Kids will enjoy the portal, but once they grow tired of using AR Masks on video calls, they will stop caring about the system and it will end up being used as an Amazon Alexa Device. Hopefully Facebook will simply sell the camera tracking technology to laptop companies and move on to other more interesting and innovative products.
The Facebook Portal provided me with an excellent experience while video chatting. The set-up was easy and tutorials guided me through. Once I had it set-up I was making and receiving video calls with ease. I talked to my sister who also owned a Facebook Portal and the quality was amazing! We even shared documents and notes and it was a crystal clear picture. I even was able to tap what i wanted the camera to focus on which follows that person as they move. I got to video chat with friends that i haven't seen in a long time because they live in other countries. I used both WhatsApp and Messenger flawlessly. For privacy, there is a switch that closes the camera and turns off the microphone. I was obsessed and so was everyone else in the household. It became a hub for everyone in the house because of all the features packed in. Alexa allows you to do a number of different actions and my favorite is getting my news briefings for the day. There is different types of apps and there is also a browser for browsing websites. The kids really loved the story-time and playing their Spotify through the speaker because it automatically detects it through the Spotify app. This is a great gift for an entire family and really does keep everybody connected. This is the new home phone of the future!!!
My wife worked with our daughter to test this.
Setup was exceptionally easy to do, just join your wireless network, enter your facebook logon info, do a few other optional things (like adding your WhatsApp logon, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon logon for Alexa). and start calling!
Picture quality is fantastic and audio is crystal clear. It's nice how the camera follows you as you move within frame to keep you centered. We also tested calling a few friends on their Facebook Messenger.
An absolute pleasure to use and to listen to for music. A great product to have!
A:AnswerMy mother is in a nursing home and I use Portal to video call. You just need one Portal, but you both need Facebook accounts and need to be “Friends.” I had to create Mom an account for the purpose. I call her using Facebook Messenger from my iPhone. It is voice controlled so she just has to say “Hey Portal Answer.” I wrote the instructions on a white board. Since you can’t visit the staff will have to set it up. They will need his Facebook account login info. It is also Alexa-enabled, but you can’t “drop in” like you can with the Amazon devices. The quality is good.
A:AnswerWifi yes.. and also they need a Facebook account to receive a Facebook video call. If they have facebook .. u can do a "shared" picture album where u invite them to a closed group and u both can upload pics from your phone and then it gets shown on yout portal..its pretty neat to display all those pics u taken on your phone and now u can see them on this device
A:AnswerIt’s VERY simple. You have messenger with Facebook. Once the portal is setup.... your mom world be able to talk with anyone that has a Facebook messenger account. She would say, “Hey Portal....call (name) and it calls the person. To answer she e would just touch the button on the screen. Very simple. We bought it for our aunt that has dementia. We just made a sign that says, “Hey portal call .....(list of names). Easy!
A:AnswerYes there has to be a facebook account. We created an email and then a FB account and then sent friend requests to family only. Then added them on the portal. When it is in sleep mode one touch to bring up contacts, one touch on the person they want to call and one touch on the video icon to start the call. We have had pretty good success with it. He loves it because he can see his great grandchildren and his son.
A:Answeryes..... you do have to have a Facebook account.... but to my understanding, if you have both parties have the "Whats app" account you should chat and videos chat... i guess it is like the MSN messenger idea... i have not tested this to know for sure.... give it a try, it could be a lot less hassle in doing with a Facebook account in setting up... I hope this helped.. OH ya it does say this on the box of the Portal box that it will work with Whats app.