Facebook has revealed two new additions to the Portal family; the updated Portal Plus with a huge 14in display, and the portable Portal Go. Measuring in at 10in and boasting an integrated battery and dedicated carry handle to make it easier to take video chats from one room to the other, it’s a handy addition to the otherwise-static Facebook Portal collection.
Here’s all there is to know about the Portal Go, including pre-order and release details, pricing, features and spec.
When will the Portal Go be released?
Facebook has kicked off Portal Go pre-orders today, 21 September 2021, with shipping due to begin a few weeks later on 19 October 2021.
How much does the Portal Go cost?
As confirmed by Facebook, the Portal Go costs £199/$199, putting it in the mid-range of Facebook’s Portal range that starts with the £129/$129 Portal Mini and goes all the way up to the new Portal Plus (announced alongside the Go) at a not-insignificant £349/$349.
Here’s a look at the current Portal family:
- Portal Mini – £129/$129
- Portal TV – £149/$149
- Portal – £169/$169
- Portal Go – £199/$199
- Portal Plus – £349/$349
If you’re interested in pre-ordering the Portal Go ahead of its launch in October, you can head to the Portal website in the UK and US right now.
Though stockists are yet to be confirmed, it’s likely to eventually appear in retailers like Currys PC World in the UK and Best Buy in the US at launch – they do stock the rest of the collection, after all.
Portal Go design & features
We’ve all been in the situation where you’ve answered a call on a Portal (or Echo device) while making a cup of tea in the kitchen, only to be kept in the room for the following 45 minutes. Wouldn’t it be easier to just pick up the smart hub and take it with you?
That’s what Facebook is offering with the Portal Go; as you might’ve already guessed by the branding, the Portal Go is designed to be moved around the home.
Measuring in at the same 10in as the standard Portal and sporting a nice fabric-wrapped design, the Portal Go is essentially a display that sits on a sleek charging dock.
When in its docked mode, it does everything you’d expect from a Portal device, including taking video calls from Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp via the 12Mp ultra-wide camera, watch content from the likes of Netflix and interact with Amazon Alexa, but with the added bonus that it can be lifted off the dock and carried around the house.
You can either prop up the Portal Go in another area, or you can attach it to another dock in another room – though you only get one in the box. There’s even an integrated handle to make it easier to carry from room to room during catch-ups with loved ones.
There’s a combination of two front-facing speakers and a rear-facing woofer that’s great not only for video calls, but listening to music via Spotify or Deezer too.
In fact, Facebook claims that the Portal Go can last a whopping 14 hours when listening to music, and five hours when video calling. The company says that it’s designed for heavy use, suggesting that the Portal Go can last a maximum of 1.5 days away from the dock with average use. That should be more than enough for the vast majority of users, but we’ll have to put that to the test once we get one in to Tech Advisor towers for review.
As well as new hardware, the Portal Go will ship with the redesigned Portal home screen recently released on older Portal devices, sporting a new Contact bar to quickly reconnect with your favourite contacts, a new intelligent card interface showcasing relevant information like missed calls, paused videos and upcoming calendar events.
There’s also a new Household Mode, separate from the multi-user support currently on offer from Portal devices. The new mode makes it easier to share and manage access to Portal features in shared areas like the kitchen. Users can set up specific access to apps, contacts and data, which should negate the possibility of a family member accidentally calling a work colleague on your Portal Go. It’s a communal device, not a personal device, after all.
There are also privacy-focused features on offer, including a button to physically disconnect the mic and camera when not in use, and a physical camera shutter too – both features that can’t be undone via software, and Facebook is also keen to point out that all AR effects used via your Portal Go are powered locally on-device – no data is sent to Facebook’s servers.
Portal Go specs
- 256.7mm x 173.9mm x 78.9mm
- 10.1in display
- 1280 x 800
- Portable form factor
- 12Mp ultra-wide camera
- 4-mic array
- 2x speakers, 1x woofer
- Battery life: 5 hours of video calling, 14 hours of music playback (max 1.5 days of use)