Facebook's home video chat devices, Portal and Portal Plus, are on sale today, a month after they are originally released.
The products are almost exclusively focused on video chat. While also displaying photos, playing music, and supporting a small number of video networks, their set of features is very limited at launch – you can not even search Facebook on them.
You should primarily use it to chat with people via Facebook Messenger, and Facebook has built some smart tricks for the camera to make it easier. Both devices have one fixed camera at the top, but the camera will zoom and monitor you so you do not have to hold the phone to the face while you talk. That way, you can move around the room and stay on call.
But the story of this product is not just what it can and can not do – it is whether people will be willing to bring Facebook connected microphones and cameras to their home at all. Facebook has emphasized privacy-embedded features (there's a switch-off feature that turns off the camera completely), but this may not be enough for the comfort of those who are already skeptical of a company that has been exposed by recent privacy scandals.
Portal and Portal Plus are now delivered. It will be available on Facebook's website, as well as through Best Buy and Amazon, which will also have devices in stores. Smaller sales portal for $ 199 and bigger portal plus worth $ 349. At startup you will get a $ 100 discount if you buy two at a time – which makes sense because you probably want another user to talk to.