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Facebook brings Echo Show rivals and Portal TV to UK
Facebook's new device want to watch you watching TV
Facebook’s own smart display - called Portal - was launched in the US last October, but now it’s finally coming to the UK with an upgrade.
The 10-inch HD home smart display has been updated and joined by two new models: the Portal Mini and Portal TV.
Portal is designed to allow you to video-call your friends and family, act as a digital photo frame, and can be laid portrait or landscape.
The other device - Portal TV - is not a smart display itself, but rather is designed to turn the largest screen in your house (your TV) into a device you can video-call from. The Portal TV device simply sits on top of or below your TV.
And after security concerns, Facebook has upped its privacy settings, too. You can disable the camera and microphone with a single tap and a red light next to the camera lens will show they are both switched off. If that doesn’t feel enough, there’s also an additional integrated camera cover so you can physically block the lens.
In terms of the camera itself, the AI-powered Smart Camera “intelligently pans and zooms” to help you stay in frame, and the Smart Sound feature hopes to minimise unwanted background noise.
You can even wake it up the same way you do with your Google or Alexa assistant. Simply say the words ‘Hey Portal’ and you can control your smart home from the display, check the news or put on music.
It’s also compatible with apps including WhatsApp, Spotify and Amazon Prime Video, and with Portal TV you also get to watch ‘Facebook Watch’ shows such as Red Table Talk.
The standard Portal model will set you back £169, with the 8-inch Portal Mini priced at £129 and Portal TV at £149.
Portal is available to pre-order now from the Portal website, with the Portal and Portal Mini shipping from October 15.
The Portal TV will be a little later on November 5, and if you're really keen on the range, Facebook is currently offering a decent £50 off if you buy any two Portal devices.
- Looking to make your home smarter? Take a look at our best smart displays to see what’s on offer