Can Facebook's smart display earn a place in your lounge room?

Social media giant's Portal device has a renewed focus on privacy and is designed to make video calls easier.


Facebook's 'Portal' is coming. Interestingly, the versions that will be available in Australia on Wednesday, feature physical camera covers and mic mute switches.

Social media giant's Portal device has a renewed focus on privacy and is designed to make video calls easier.

The Portal Mini is slightly smaller. Both models can display images of friends and family from Facebook or Instagram when not in use.

As with other Facebook apps, the Portal has AR software features so users can add filters, masks and animations for use in video calls or to share via Facebook, Messenger or Instagram. There's also an AR story time mode designed for parents telling stories to their children.

Though the Messenger and Facebook integration arguably gives portal an advantage over Google and Amazon's devices (which use the Duo and Alexa apps for video calls respectively), other aspects of Facebook's offering don't seem as robust. You can stream music through Spotify, Pandora and iHeart Radio, meaning you miss out on Amazon Music and Apple Music (which you get on Echo devices) or YouTube Music and Google Play (on Nest Hub).

Read more: The Sydney Morning Herald

No chance. Um ....... Not in a million years Mark Zuckerberg can stay out of my lounge room thanks

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15 October 2019, Tuesday News

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