Facebook Portal Go vs Facebook Portal Plus: which smart screen to buy?

Love it or hate it, Facebook (sorry, Meta to use the brand’s new nickname) just won’t stop doing smart screens.

The Facebook portal’s line of video calling devices are storming a tough market with the popularity of Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s line of Nest smart speakers with built-in displays, all while carrying at the same time the difficult history of Facebook when it comes to privacy issues.

That still hasn’t deterred the brand from launching even more video calling devices; the end of last year saw the arrival of the Facebook portal Go and the Facebook Plus Portal.

The Facebook Portal Go is a battery-powered version of the brand’s original 10-inch smart display, while the Facebook Portal Plus is a new version of its larger 14-inch device.

The new Portal Plus is more compact than the original, but it doesn’t have many other upgrades, and unlike the Portal Go, it’s still mains powered.

As with previous portals, the two smart displays stand out when it comes to video calling – they’re the only ones on the market that let you make WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger video calls.

But other than their screen sizes and the way they’re powered, you’re probably wondering what exactly the differences are between these two new Facebook portal devices and whether they’re both worth the investment, or if just one. will suffice. So we pitted the Facebook Go portal against the Facebook Plus portal to help you decide.

The Facebook Go portal used for a video call on a wooden table

(Image credit: Facebook)

Best offers Facebook Portal Go and Facebook Portal Plus

Read on to find out how these smart displays stack up – or, if you know which Facebook portal you want, check out the best prices right now for both products below:

Price

The Facebook Go portal will take you back $ 199 / £ 199 / AU $ 279 while the Facebook Plus portal is considerably more expensive at $ 349 / £ 349 / AU $ 519. However, a larger screen naturally increases the cost, so we’re not surprised at the price difference.

The Facebook Portal Go is slightly more affordable than its similar-sized competitors – the Amazon Echo Show 10 costs $ 249.99 / £ 239.99 / A $ 399.99 while the Google Nest Hub Max is priced at $ 229 / £ 219 / $ 349.

While Google doesn’t offer a smart display with a screen larger than 10 inches, Amazon’s closest rival is the Echo Show 15, which unsurprisingly has a 15-inch display. The Show 15 is also slightly more affordable, costing $ 249 / £ 239.99 / AU $ 399

You might think these two are similar due to the size of the screen, but in reality the Echo Show 15 is initially designed to be a wall-mounted device, although it can be used on its own if you purchase the additional mount. for $ 29.99 / £ 29.99 / AU $ 49.99 – although in total it is still cheaper than Portal Plus. Portal Plus, on the other hand, cannot be wall mounted at all.

Facebook Portal Plus in a living room

(Image credit: Facebook)

Design

The Facebook Portal Go and the Facebook Portal Plus certainly differ when it comes to their appearance. The wedge-shaped Facebook Portal Go has a 10-inch 1200×800 HD display on the front of the device, while the Portal Plus has a 14-inch 2160×1440 14-inch display that appears to float on a base of elliptical shape.

The Portal Plus screen can also be tilted to ensure it is at the optimum angle to be viewed.

Both smart displays are wrapped in understated gray mesh fabric that will complement any home decor. Considering the larger screen, it’s no surprise that the Facebook Portal Plus has a slightly larger footprint than the Portal Go, measuring 9.87 x 12.31 x 3.86 inches compared to the plus size. Compact 10.1 x 6.84 x 3.1 inch GB.

The Portal Plus is mains powered and, in addition to the power outlet, it also has a USB-C port on the back designed to charge your smartphone. However, the Portal Go is battery powered – on the base there is an insert for the charging station, so that the smart screen remains stable when charged – although nothing prevents you from leaving it on this station. all the time, so it’s always fully charged when you want to move it. There’s also a built-in handle on the back, making it easy to move between rooms.

Both smart displays have the same 12MP camera for video calling, although the Portal Plus has a slightly wider field of view at 131 degrees, compared to the 125 degree field of view of the Portal Go. Both smart displays feature Also in the same audio configuration, with two 5W full range speakers and one 20W woofer, as well as an array of four microphones to ensure your voice is picked up clearly when you are on a call.

Facebook Portal Go smart screen is used to make a video call in a kitchen

(Image credit: Facebook)

Characteristics

When it comes to the most basic tasks that you would use a smart display for, the two Portal devices are the same. Each allows you to make video calls using Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp as well as conferencing apps like Zoom, WebEx, and GoTo Meeting.

The cameras are identical and both have the ability to pan and zoom automatically to ensure you’re always in the center of the frame during a video call, even if you get up and move around the room.

In testing, we found this feature to be extremely smooth when panning and zooming, and we were impressed that for small movements, like moving around in our seat, the camera wasn’t trying to reposition the frame.

As you might expect, both Portal devices come with access to voice assistants; you have Amazon Alexa and “Hey Portal” – Facebook’s own offering.

While Alexa can set timers, adjust music playback, and control your smart home devices, as well as deliver the latest sports headlines or scores, “Hey Portal” is more limited. We found out that it could only start video calls, adjust screen brightness, and set timers.

If you’re privacy-conscious, the fact that Facebook records and transcribes everything it hears after the “Hey Portal” slogan stores it on its servers for three years may not be right for you. Amazon, on the other hand, offers the ability to delete these recordings instantly from the Alexa app.

To find information on the web, there is also a built-in web browser on the two smart screens which also allows watching some video streaming services like Prime Video and YouTube on the smart screen.

However, it is not possible to watch Netflix on either portals. We asked Facebook why, but it hasn’t been worked out yet.

Essentially the only real difference is in screen size and resolution, with Portal Plus being sharper than Portal Go, and Portal Go’s ability to be transported from room to room, without the need for to be plugged into a power outlet – making moving the unit during a video call a possibility. This battery will also last up to five hours between charges.

The Portal Go looks a bit sleeker than the Portal Plus to us, as the camera is integrated into the screen to create a flush design. On the Portal plus, the camera unit sits on top of the thin and delicate display, spoiling the minimalist style somewhat.

The Facebook Portal Plus in an office with a missed video call on the screen

(Image credit: Facebook)

Verdict

When it comes to choosing between Facebook Portal Go and Facebook Portal Plus, how you plan to use the smart display will affect which model you choose.

If you plan to regularly move the device between rooms, even during video calls, or want a more sleek and stylish device, you should go for Facebook Portal Go. It is also a better option on a budget. , because it is also more affordable.

However, for those who plan to use the smart screen only for video calls and want the screen as big as possible, the Facebook Plus portal will be a better choice. This smart display is also ideal if you plan to watch a lot of YouTube videos or make a lot of video calls with multiple participants. It would, for example, be well suited as a second screen only for calls for those who work from home.


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