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The Right Video Calling Device for You, Based on Your Personality

Lindsey Lanquist
The Right Video Calling Device for You, Based on Your Personality
Photo: Portal.

This post was created by STYLECASTER for Portal from Facebook.

The last few months have basically been a crash course in video calling with everyone from our boss to our mom (love ya!) clamoring for face-to-face time on our devices. And thanks to those go-to video call devices, we can feel like we’re in the same room with friends and loved ones.

These days, video calls aren’t just popular—they’re straight-up omnipresent. And many of us are searching for ways to level up our weekly chats. We’ve found the best-lit spots in our homes. We’ve figured out how to get dressed from the waist up. And we’ve mastered the art of selectively hitting the mute button. But we need more. We want hands-free devices that make us feel like our loved ones are in the room with us. We want cameras that keep up with all of our actions. And we want fun features that allow us to connect with our loved ones in new and exciting ways.

We want a video call device that does it all—and with Portal from Facebook, that’s exactly what we get. It’s hands-free, so you don’t have to worry about your arm getting tired on hourlong video calls. It boasts a Smart Camera that automatically adjusts to keep you in frame, no matter what’s going on on your end. (No more toting around your laptop as you cook or clean a room.) And through fun features, like AR effects, Portal from Facebook invites you to enhance your video calls with music, animation, and more.

portal suite of products

Image: Portal.

We all have cell phones, and TVs, and computers—sometimes, more than one. And most of us have a handful of other gadgets lying around, too. Adding anything to the mix requires careful deliberation—if we’re investing in something, we want to know we’ll get real use out of it. Thankfully, Portal from Facebook suite includes four different devices. Portal from Facebook is a great starting point for those looking to level up their video calls.

Obviously, committing to any new technological device is a BFD. (A big freaking deal.) But let’s be real—if you’re video calling with any regularity, you might actually need to.

Portal from Facebook device

1. For the Video Chatter Who Just Wants to Level Up

If you’re intrigued by the thought of a device for video calling, but you’re not sure where to begin: Start with Portal from Facebook. The device offers a range of features that promise to make your life as a video caller much, much easier.

For starters, it boasts a Smart Camera that automatically zooms to keep you in frame. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning, or just generally running around, the camera will pan and zoom to keep you centered—moving with you—so you don’t have to worry about adjusting the camera every time you move. And if someone new walks into the room, the Smart Camera will widen the frame to accommodate them, making group video calls much easier to manage.

portal smart camera

Image: Portal.

Those who want to level up can play with Alexa Built-in and with the AR experiences. And when you’re done taking advantage of Portal’s video calling features, you can simply disable the Smart Camera and Smart Sound system. And if you want to, you can use the Portal as a digital picture frame. (This last feature is one family members are sure to appreciate; you can offer them an endless stream of photos and an easier way to reach you in a single product.)

Portal from Facebook TV device

2. For the Video Chatter Who Wants Their Loved Ones on Their TV Screen

Do you love an uncluttered space? Simply setup your Portal TV with the television you already own, and (almost) like magic, your TV will be equipped with all kinds of video calling capabilities.

Portal TV’s smart video calling capabilities will let you call any of your Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp contacts; you’ll see them on your TV screen and hear them through your TV’s sound system, and they’ll see you on whatever device they’re using. Portal TV boasts the same Smart Camera feature as the other Portal devices, so you can take full advantage of the automatic panning and zooming—a feature you’ll be grateful to have the next time you’re moving around a ton during a video call.

portal story time

Image: Portal.

Portal TV impressively uses your television screen for AR experiences that feel seriously amplified. Using the Portal’s Story Time feature, you can bring a story to life (with music, animations, and effects) as you’re recounting it to your favorite niece or nephew. And while all the Portal devices seamlessly integrate the new Messenger Rooms feature, this is one feature where Portal TV really shines. Rooms lets you add up to 49 of your closest friends to the call. And since Portal TV is connected to your TV screen, groups of more than six are best suited to calls on this particular Portal device.

Larger Portal from Facebook device

3. For the Video Chatter Who Wants a Seriously Luxe Experience

Those who really want to kick their video calling up a notch will undoubtedly love the Portal+, a device that boasts a rotating 15.6-inch screen and robust speaker system. Portal+ offers the widest field of view of any Portal device, making it even easier for you to capture everything that’s taking place on your end of the call. Just as vitally, Portal+ has a large, rotating screen that keeps you up-to-date on everything that’s happening on the video call, even if you’re running around your kitchen or living room (or wherever else you’ve placed your Portal+).

portal music

Image: Portal.

And of course, the Portal+ fills your room with deep bass and rich sound. This is a great option for those who want to turn their next video call into a truly immersive experience, and it can just as easily serve those who find standard devices too quiet.

Mini Portal by Facebook device

4. For the Video Chatter Who Wants Something a Little Simpler

Those who’d prefer a smaller product, but doesn’t want to sacrifice on the bells and whistles, may find exactly what they’re looking for in the Portal Mini. This Portal device may have a smaller profile, but don’t let it’s size fool you—it still offers all of the same features: the Smart Camera, the Smart Sound system, the powerful speaker, the HD touchscreen. The mic and camera are just as easy to disable, and the device still boasts high-tech capabilities, like Alexa built-in and AR effects. And of course, the Portal Mini can easily double as a digital picture frame when not in use.

portal photos

Image: Portal.

The only major difference? It’s two inches smaller—which may matter to some and be absolutely unnoticeable to others. If you’re looking for a low-cost way into the world of video call devices, you’ve likely found it in this product. And if you don’t end up loving the device (or any other Portal devices), you have a full 30 days to return it when you buy through the Portal site.