My Christmas present this year from my wife was the new Facebook Portal. I’ve used it several times to connect to friends and have video conversations. We do the same thing with the Alexa Vision product, but the Facebook product uses Facebook, where the vast majority of the folks I connect with all the time, are anyway. I have to say the convenience of literally clicking on a picture to connect with a person is nice. But let’s start this review with setup first. The box as is often the case was larger than the device. When the box arrived, I wasn’t sure where the device would fit. I finally (with permission) devised to put the new Portal in the living room.
Now, one of the things you have to consider when placing video devices that are connected outside the house is placed. In the case of Alexa Vision, we keep it in the kitchen. In the case of the Portal, we are keeping that in the Living Room. The portal has a “flip-able screen. You see in the cover photo that the s reen is in the up position. You can also, for a wide view, flip the screen tot eh side. You can watch several facebook video offerings via the Portal. You can, as said above make video calls to people as well. Setup is very straight forward. First, you plug the unit into the wall outlet. We plugged it into a power strip, but that is more because I get nervous about power surges and electronics.
The next thing is walking through the on-screen setup. You cannot go to your home WiFi network. You then log into your Facebook account. The system will download the update (they always ship devices one revision below). Once it is updated, it will restart and load the screen you see in the cover picture. The device is fully operational at that point. Although, you do have to connect the video accounts to use it as a presentation device. Overall setup took me about 20 minutes. The quality of the video and audio is first, dependent on the quality of your home network. The more devices you have on your network, the less likely your video calls will be pristine.
Overall my rating of this product is a 7 out of 10.
Do you trust facebook?