Amazon is currently trying to give the Facebook Portal hardware away with a deal that brings the video-based smart screen camera hybrid down to just $99. This deal will directly appeal to anyone looking for an afford hands-free video calling solution with intelligence as standard.

Portal was announced by Facebook at a time when the company was literally being torn to shreds in the global media for violation of user trust, privacy invasions, and internal practices and culture deemed to be extremely toxic. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was even pulled before Congress to answer some extremely important questions. These things have likely all contributed to ensuring that Portal hasn’t been as globally successful as it perhaps could have been but, for this money, it’s still a great product with some really interesting features.

Let’s take a deep dive into what Portal by Facebook can actually offer you:

  • It is essentially a smart, hands-free video calling station with a stunning display and built-in Amazon Alexa digital assistant
  • Created with privacy in mind; as hard as that may be to believe from a company like Facebook. Portal offers secure calling which isn’t stored by Facebook and which offers a comprehensive set of preferences to make it function exactly as you desire
  • Control over Portal’s voice command history. The hardware starts listening with the “Hey, Portal” voice command and users are able to delete their command history extremely easily
  • Integrated localized AI technology that runs locally on the Portal device to control the smart camera. There is no facial recognition at play and nothing is communicated back to Facebook’s servers
  • Access to Amazon Alexa, allowing users to ask a question, set a timer, and even control smart home hardware
  • Access to an intelligent camera offering 12-megapixels and 720p HD video

If music quality and sound is something that is extremely important to you, then it may be worth looking at Amazon’s second-generation Echo Show but if the video-calling and playful interaction appeals, then Facebook’s Portal is actually a really brilliant and fun product that can be used and enjoyed by all of the family.

Buy: Portal from Facebook with Smart, Hands-Free Video Calling with Alexa Built-in from Amazon: $99 | Original price: $199

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