Facebook's home video chat devices, Portal and Portal Plus are now available one month after the first announcement.
Products are almost exclusively focused on video chat. When viewing photos, playing music, and supporting a small number of video networks, feature sets are initially very limited. You can't even browse them on Facebook.
First, you used them to chat with people via Facebook Messenger, and Facebook worked on some smart camera tricks to make it easier. Both devices have a single, fixed camera at the top, but the camera will zoom you in and follow you so you won't have to hold a phone to your face while you chat. You can then move through a room and engage with a call.
The story of this product, however, is not something they can and can't do – whether people are willing to bring a microphone and camera to their homes at all. Facebook has emphasized the built-in privacy features (there's an off button that completely disables the camera), but this may not be enough to ease the company's already skeptical besieged by recent privacy scandals.
Both Portal and Portal Plus are sending out today. They will be able to benefit from Best Buy and Amazon, which will also have Facebook's web site and devices in stores. The smaller Portal sells for $ 199, and the larger Portal Plus is $ 349. At its launch, if you buy it twice at the same time, you can get a $ 100 discount. This is another logical user, because you can probably ask another Portal user to chat.