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Facebook Introduces New Home Video-calling Devices

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Facebook expanded the Portal family of home video-calling devices almost one year after their launch by introducing three new models - Portal, Portal Mini and Portal TV.

While the Facebook Portal and the Facebook Portal Mini are the successors to last year's Portal and Portal+ smart cameras-cum-displays, the Facebook Portal TV is a new device that can convert a smart TV into a giant video-calling screen.

The Portal Mini has an 8-inch HD display and the new Portal has a larger 10-inch HD display for video calls, displaying photos and watching videos. The devices have adaptive display that adjusts brightness and color to a user's surroundings.

Both Portal and Portal Mini have built-in speakers and Smart Sound feature that enhances voice quality, while minimizing unwanted background noise automatically.

Portal's AI-powered Smart Camera automatically pans and zooms to stay with the user, enabling him to move and talk freely while always being in frame.

In addition to offering video-calling facility via Facebook Messenger, the Portal devices have WhatsApp calling facility. According to Facebook, all WhatsApp calls on Portal are end-to-end encrypted.

With the Amazon Prime Video app on Portal TV, users can stream shows and movies, including Amazon Originals. Other apps like Showtime and CBS All Access can also be downloaded.

In addition, users can stream music from Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio as well as iHeartRadio Family on the new devices.

Facebook has also taken care of users' privacy in the second-generation devices. Users can disable the camera and microphone with a single tap or a sliding switch, while an integrated camera cover has been included to physically block the camera lens.

The Portal devices offer hands-free voice control. They can be controlled by using the "Hey Portal" wake word and they also feature support for Amazon Alexa.

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, the Portal devices will be available in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Portal is now available to pre-order in the U.S., Canada and Europe from portal.facebook.com and select retail locations. Portal and Portal Mini will begin shipping from October 15, while the Portal TV starts shipping from November 5.

The Portal Mini is priced at $129 and the Portal is priced at $179. The Portal TV is available for $149. Any two Portal devices can be bundled for $50 off.

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