Facebook’s Alexa-powered smart displays are now shipping to those in Canada.
There are two versions of the social network’s smart displays with the 10-inch Portal (with a 1280 x 800 resolution screen) and the 15-inch Portal+ (with a 1920 x 1080 resolution display).
One of the standout features of the Portal devices is Smart Camera which can automatically detect you and keep you in frame and pans and zooms while Smart Sound minimizing background noises.
Both Smart Camera and Smart Sound are using AI technology that runs locally on the device.
As mentioned earlier, the Portal and Portal+ come with Amazon Alexa, so you can say “Hey Portal” to initiate a call and ask Alexa almost anything.
In the coming months, you’ll be able to see Flash Briefings (via Alexa), better smart home control, the Prime Video app and more Alexa skills on Portal and Portal+.
WhatsApps calls will also soon be added for Portal for end-to-end encryption audio and video calls to your friends and family.
The devices come with a button to completely disable the camera and microphones with the press of a button plus a camera cover.
The Portal lets you call your Facebook friends on Messenger either Portal to Portal or to smartphones & tablets with the Messenger app.
The Portal and Portal+ are available from the company’s website, BestBuy.ca and Amazon.ca. They come in two colours, Black and White.
The standard Portal costs $269 CAD ($199 USD) and Portal+ costs $469 CAD ($349 USD). But right now, both are discounted to around $169 CAD for Portal and $369 CAD for Portal+.