Facebook Portal
31 May, 2024
2 minute read

Facebook Portal

Video-chatting has become an increasingly popular way of keeping in touch with family and friends. 

Facebook Portal is one such video-calling device, available in four different varieties and promising “a new way to spend more time with friends and family”. Here's everything you need to know about the device. 


What is Facebook Portal?

Facebook Portal, Portal Mini and Portal+ are tablet-like devices with built-in smart cameras, while the Portal TV is essentially a smart camera that uses your TV as the screen. The functionality is mostly the same whichever type you’re using.

They all use Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to make the video call, with the display and camera combining to give you a better view of the person or people you’re calling. 

The smart camera gives you a wide-angle view, ranging from a 114-degree field-of-view with the Portal Mini and Portal to 140 degrees with Portal+. It means you get to see the whole room, with the camera also panning in and out, depending on where people are in the room.

The Portal TV uses your TV as the display and you need to buy an HDMI cable to connect it (not included in the price). It costs £149. Of the standalone devices, the Portal Mini consists of an 8in screen with built-in smart camera and speakers and is currently £79, while the Portal has a 10in display with the same features as the Mini (£119).

The Portal+, meanwhile, has a hefty 15.6in display with 140-degree field-of-view on the smart camera, plus tweeters and woofers for richer sound quality. It’s the most expensive Portal of all, with a price tag of £239.

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Why is it so popular?

The sound quality is good and it offers easy, comfortable viewing. It’s particularly useful for larger groups of people because of its wide viewing option. 

Listen to Parent Zone's podcast, Tech Shock. 

What do parents need to be aware of?

Chat options

As Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are needed to use the Portal, the same safety rules apply for children using it as they would to using these services.

If a child is using a Portal alone rather than alongside family, make sure that they understand how to report and block people on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. 

Spot something that doesn't look quite right? You can email librarian@parentzone.org.uk to submit comments and feedback.


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