Portal from Facebook is a video-call game-changer — and it’s up to $80 off!

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This is not your ordinary video calling device. It's more like teleporting than anything you've experienced before. (Photo: Facebook / Getty portal)
As the past year has made clear, there is no substitute for being in the same room with someone you love. We all spent a lot of time leaning over phones and laptops and zooming in as close as technology would allow. And even if we slowly gather together again in person, we do not let go of video chats. They're a huge step up from a simple old phone call and a great way to keep in touch with friends and family far away.
So it's time to take it seriously and find the right device for the right job. The Facebook portal you may have heard of is a next level experience that we all got used to during the quarantine. Facebook uses Augmented Reality (AR) to bring digital interactions to life in a whole new way. You really feel like your friends and family are in the room with you.
Think "Beam me up Scotty." It's really like visiting with your peeps. And Facebook Portal is incredibly easy to use - it looks like your everyday 10-inch tablet. Better still, it's on sale now at an amazing price - $ 99 versus $ 179 - that's $ 80 off Portal!
Shop it: Portal from Facebook, $ 99 (previously $ 179), portal.facebook.com
The Facebook portal has Alexa built in and works through messaging apps you are already familiar with - Messenger and WhatsApp. It hardly takes any time to study; It's the technology itself that is going to blow your mind.
So far, AR has mainly been used for entertainment purposes - for example in virtual reality glasses that make your eyes and ears believe that you are in a circus or on a spaceship. But Portal by Facebook applies the technology to socializing. It essentially invites loved ones into your home with a smart camera to keep you in frame while walking around. It even expands the scope to include others as they walk into the room.
The smart camera stays with you when you change positions. (Photo: Facebook portal)
Shop it: Portal from Facebook, 10 inches, $ 99 (previously $ 179), portal.facebook.com
Imagine being able to remotely bake cookies with your grandchildren. If you place your portal device on a kitchen counter with a good view of the room, you can act as if the children were with you. The intelligent camera keeps you visible when you are moving, fetching ingredients, switching on the oven, greasing the pan and much more. And when the dog slips into the room in search of crumbs, the Facebook portal captures the action so that the children can greet the puppy. If you have to disappear for a second, all is well: just deactivate the camera and microphone with the push of a button.
Do you prefer a larger view? You can get $ 50 off Facebook's Portal TV (down from $ 149 to just $ 99), a smart camera that connects to your TV and makes the action larger than life.
Portal TV from Facebook rests on your media console or snaps directly onto your flat screen TV. (Photo: Portal TV from Facebook)
Shop it: Facebook's Portal TV, $ 99 (was $ 149), portal.facebook.com
And no, the people on the receiving end don't have to use the portal to interact with you; They just connect by calling them on Messenger or WhatsApp.
The Facebook portal also syncs smoothly with your smart home system. Even if you aren't using it to spend time with loved ones, you can use it. Stream music, listen to the news, get traffic and weather information, and more. Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, CNN and the Food Network are just a few of the partner apps. You can even use it to control other smart home devices such as B. Front door security cameras and your Amazon Echo Dot.
And if you're looking for something smaller or larger than Facebook's 10-inch portal, there's the 8-inch Mini ($ 129) and 15.6-inch + ($ 279) portal.
The 15.6-inch Portal + is the largest display in the Portal family. (Photo: Portal TV from Facebook)
Shop it: Portal + from Facebook, 15.6 inches, $ 279, portal.facebook.com
In addition to an intelligent camera, Portal from Facebook has intelligent sound so that the noise of the washing machine or vacuum cleaner in the background does not drown out your or her voice. The wide angle allows you to watch children re-enact their dance evening or challenge each other to a wrestling match - the Facebook portal shows the action like nothing else.
The Mini can be set up almost anywhere - on a side table, the kitchen counter, your bedside table ... (Photo: Portal TV from Facebook)
Shop it: Portal Mini from Facebook, 8 inches, $ 129, portal.facebook.com
The Facebook portal comes with all sorts of cool features. We especially love Story Time, an interactive tool that lets you add AR effects and masks while reading bedtime stories to someone in the distance. Giggles will follow.
Most of all, we're crazy about the fact that Facebook portal can video chat you throughout your life (since you don't have to lock yourself in a seat and lean against a screen). You can fold while doing the laundry or catch up on dinner, because the person you are talking to is practically with you in the room.
Facebook's portal greatly improves the online socializing experience, whether you're doing handicrafts together, practicing yoga together, or just chatting. It really is the next best thing to be there. Grab a device now while it's on sale. You won't believe the difference.
Shop it: Portal from Facebook, 10 inches, $ 99 (previously $ 179), portal.facebook.com
Shop it: Facebook's Portal TV, $ 99 (was $ 149), portal.facebook.com
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