Facebook is, here again, to take the world by storm, and to stay on top of their game, the social media giant has released its first battery-powered smart display, the Portal Go. What’s peculiar about Facebook Portal Go is that it’s designed to bring people together. But how does this hands-free video calling device stand up high against other titans like Amazon’s Echo Show or Google Home Hub? Our Facebook Portal Go review covers everything you need to know about this exciting new release and why you should consider buying it! Without further ado, let’s get into it.
But First, What Is Facebook Portal Go?
The Portal Go is a chunky smart display designed for video calling so you can freely move around your home. It dons a 10-1-inch screen and sits on a charging mount when not in use. The portability of the Portal Go is what makes a world of difference. You may use it to make short or long video calls as it sits on the coffee table, the kitchen counter or hopefully a spot where you can comfortably multitask. Our other favorite thing about Portal Go is that it rarely runs out of juice. There’s a lot more that we discovered during the Portal Go review so let’s get to the basics.
The Facebook Portal Go is a relatively close-packed smart display measuring 10.1 x 6.84 x 3.1 inches. Its design quality features a wedge-shaped architecture enclosed in a beautiful soft grey fabric while complementing home or office setups. We’re particularly in love with Facebook’s design execution since releasing its first Portal lineup in 2018. Since then, the social media giant has introduced a slew of smart displays that look like cutesy picture frames. Unlike other smart displays, the Portal Go can be moved around and it works perfectly fine without being plugged into a wall.
The new Facebook Portal Go is battery-enhanced and the company claims the battery power lasts up to five hours before recharging. The charging dock is inserted on the display base, which ensures the stability of the device when taking up juice. There’s also a coherent grip behind the intelligent display that makes it trouble-free to pick up as you are on the go. The Portal Go portability is also assisted because the device weighs just 3lb/1.4kg. According to Facebook, the lasting power of the Portal Go will be up to five hours for video calling, while if you’re listening to music, you get to enjoy the battery life for up to 14 hours.
Thanks to the intelligent display rear design, it sits comfortably when connected to the charger, maintaining its stability on any surface. Getting the battery to full power takes around 3 hours.
Screen Display Quality
This 10.1-inch HD screen feature takes up most of the device anterior with a 1280 x 800 resolution. Another thing we loved during the review that Portal Go makes video calls that are crystal clear! You can clearly see and hear whoever you are calling no matter where you are in the room.
The bright Portal Go display also comes with a 12MP equipped camera for video calls, plus a 125-degree view. On the device top are the physical control options for volume and a mute for the microphone and power- cut to the camera; there’s also a non-public shield for the camera, which can be manually run if the button option doesn’t offer enough solace.
Thanks to its in-built speakers and rechargeable battery, the Facebook Portal Go also doubles as a compact speaker; you can listen to popular music streaming services, including Spotify, Pandora, etc. The Portal Go hasn’t left out the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, so as well as enjoying your music over a streaming service through the Portal Go, you can also listen to stored music on your smartphone through its excellent speakers. The speakers have been improved over those on the original Facebook Portal and offer a well-fitting sound, and the 20W woofer also ensures you can pick out the bass frequencies. How exciting! They’re not particularly powerful. The intelligent display audio quality will suffice if you play background music while you engage in other activities.
Smart Voice Assistants
The Facebook Portal Go comes with dual voice assistants; Facebook’s voice assistant or Amazon’s Alexa.
Alexa works in the usual way as with another smart device, enabling you to be in charge of your music plays, turning your smart home devices on or off, and providing you with needed information. However, the Alexa app on this new innovative device also lets you enjoy every feature it possesses.
Facebook Portal Go Review: Our Verdict
When compared to Alexa, Facebook’s voice assistant has limited abilities; while it could set a timer, it can’t control music plays or turn on smart home devices. However, you can also use Facebook’s voice assistant to adjust the bright display’s screen brightness and put in some of the camera’s AR effects.
There’s one hiccup that inhibits us from giving 5 stars to Facebook’s latest smart display and that’s the social media giant’s frequent run-ins with regulators worldwide over its lack of transparency and negligence for user privacy. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a big, bad list of lawsuits against Facebook. So it’s 3/5 for us in this Portal Go review, sorry Facebook.