Family Home Reviews

Hey Portal, Call the Grandparents

Portal from Facebook

I love adding new technology into my house. So, when I was gifted the new Portal+ from Facebook, I was super excited! I’ve seen the Portal from Facebook commercials, but never realized how much I would love it until I actually started using it. What’s better than a device that makes it so easy to see loved ones and brings family and friends closer no matter where in the world we are. And that’s exactly what this Portal does!

As soon as I opened the box I couldn’t believe the size of the screen – it was much larger than I expected and I love the way it stands up on it’s own and also allows the screen to swivel from a vertical to horizontal orientation. It has a sleek yet sturdy feeling to it. Portal from Facebook is so easy to use with the large touch screen or you can do things like start or answer a video call with “Hey Portal”! It also comes with Alexa built-in so you can start off your commands with “Alexa…” as well. Obviously, the coolest feature is definitely using Portal to make video calls by utilizing your Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp contacts and allowing you to have instant face to face calls with them, hands-free.

It’s so amazing…you don’t even have to stop doing what you’re doing in the house because you can initiate the calls with voice commands, and then the camera will actually keep you centered in frame as you move around the room. If there’s more than one person in the room, it will widen the lens to include everyone or zoom in and focus on the person speaking. With the size and quality of the screen it really almost makes it seem like the person you’re video calling is actually in the room with you!

Portal From Facebook

Besides the video-calling feature, Nate is also able to watch his favorite Youtube videos on it, we’re able to stream music with different apps, and it also has a digital picture frame feature, which I’ve actually always wanted for our house! You can display photos from your Facebook and Instagram, or upload photos to your Portal devices directly from your smartphone’s camera roll.  We have so many pictures that just sit on our phones, that it’s nice to finally be able to see them featured somewhere in our house. The speaker quality of Portal really surprised us. It’s really clear and goes louder than you would think a device like this would be able to. We love it so much and love having it in our kitchen. We always seem to find ourselves saying “Hey Portal, play some Christmas music” and dancing or spinning around in the kitchen – so it’s perfect.

Portal from Facebook

Portal from Facebook is available in Portal+ (the device we went with!), Portal, Portal Mini, and then Portal TV. Portal offers a 10″ HD display and Portal Mini offers a 8″ HD display video calling experience and both offer the built-in Alexa as well. Portal TV allows video calling on the biggest screen in your home! The smart camera hooks up to your TV and instantly makes it feel like the ones you’re speaking to are right there in your home with you. We felt like our GG’s were with us on the Portal+, so I can’t even imagine what it must feel like if their loving faces were up there on our 60″! Portal TV is a great way for families to stay connected. When speaking with a loved one through the phone, with no visual connection you still feel like you’re miles apart, but as soon as you see those faces come through, the call no longer feels distant and instead it feels like they’re right there with you.

Portal from Facebook

This is such an awesome gift idea for a relative or friend who you don’t get to normally see as much as you’d like. We love being able to video call Nate’s great-grandparents in Arizona and my sister in Maryland. Before Portal from Facebook, I feel like I’d catch myself saying “Wow, I haven’t seen the grandparents in months” Now, even though it may not be in person, I don’t have that same feeling of not seeing them in a while. It’s just a different kind of closer feeling and connection you get when actually seeing the person you’re speaking to, rather than just talking on the phone. The fact that you don’t even need to be near the device or touch it and still be able to make your call and see the person you’re calling, has me already making the switch from my regular smart phone to the Portal from Facebook. This household loves it!

This post is in collaboration with @PortalfromFacebook. #PortalPartner #PortalFromFacebook #FeelThere #Portal

All images were created by, me.

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