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Facebook just announced its own version of a smart display, the Portal and Portal+

Facebook just announced its own version of a smart display, the Portal and Portal+

Here’s a look at Facebook’s new smart display devices, the Portal and Portal+

It looks like both Facebook and Amazon are in a race to take a lead on the smart display market. Shortly after Amazon announced its Echo Show, Facebook quickly followed suit with the Portal and Portal+ smart displays early Monday. Both devices come equipped with voice-controlled speakers, a touchscreen, video chat via Facebook Messenger and are also capable of using face filters, similar to what you would find on Instagram or Snapchat.

 Interactive stories with Story Time. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Interactive stories with Story Time. Photo courtesy of Facebook

The $199 Portal is the smaller of the two devices and has a 10-inch, 1280×800 touchscreen, while the larger and more expensive $349 Portal+ comes with a massive 15-inch, 1920×1080 display that can be used in both landscape and portrait modes. Although both units feature a four-mic array that enables users to be heard no matter where they are in the room, the more expensive Portal+ has a more powerful speaker, which sits on the bottom of the display.

 Portal. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Portal. Photo courtesy of Facebook

 Portal+. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Portal+. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Users are able to call people who also have a Portal, as well as friends via Facebook Messenger. And similar to an Echo, both Portals also respond to a variety of voice commands that begin with "Hey Portal." Also similar to Amazon’s Echo line, the Portal will be able to tell you things like the weather, and what’s happening in the news via its Alexa integration. However, it’s still unclear how many of Alexa’s 50,000 skills will be available on the new devices.

 Photo courtesy of Facebook

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Although the new Portal displays are another way Facebook aims to connect its users, many people may be wary of letting a physical Facebook smart device into their homes. Technically speaking, both Portal options are capable of listening in on your living room conversations and Facebook’s security is definitely a concern - especially since 50 million user accounts were hacked last month. Regardless, the Portal and Portal+ are set to release November 12.

For more information on the new line of devices be sure to check out the Portal homepage and let us know what you think about them in the comments section below.

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