Facebook's Portal makes video calls SO easy — and it's 55 percent off right now!

·5-min read

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Portal from Facebook is more than half price right now, but only if you order it on the official manufacturer's site! (Photo: Portal from Facebook)
Portal from Facebook is more than half price right now, but only if you order it on the official manufacturer's site! (Photo: Portal from Facebook)

We've been all about that Zoom and Facetime life this past year and a half, but here’s really nothing like sharing space with someone you love. Live, in-person interactions with eye contact, hugs and all. That said, Portal from Facebook, a new series of cutting-edge video-calling devices, comes pretty darn close to the real thing.

On the outside, it looks like your average 10-inch tablet — but Portal from Facebook uses Augmented Reality to take virtual interactions to another level entirely, bridging the gap between video calls and in-person visits. It achieves the kind of “Beam me up, Scotty”–style teleportation you’ve only dreamed of, especially during lockdown.

Now is the perfect time to give Portal from Facebook a whirl, because the 10-inch Gen 1 device is an incredible $110 off, but only on the official Portal from Facebook site. That’s 55 percent slashed from the original retail price of $199 — just use code PORTALSUMMER when you check out to score this amazing discount. But hurry...the deal expires July 31, and you can't find it anywhere else on the internet.

Shop it: Portal from Facebook 10.1-inch (Gen 1), $89 (was $199), portal.facebook.com

Portal uses Augmented Reality so it's as close as possible to actually being there. (Photo: Portal from Facebook)
Portal uses augmented reality so it's as close as possible to actually being there. (Photo: Portal from Facebook)

Up until now, augmented reality (AR) has been used mainly for entertainment purposes, tricking your eyes and ears into thinking you’re experiencing a zombie apocalypse or sailing through outer space, for instance. But Portal by Facebook makes this technology tangible and practical. It virtually invites loved ones into your home and uses a smart camera to keep you in the frame as you move around. It even widens the scope to include others as they enter the room.

Imagine being able to bake cookies with your grandchildren when they can’t be there to visit you. By placing your lightweight Portal device on your kitchen counter — an ideal spot, as it’s safe, secure and allows for a generous view of the room — you can move around, fetch ingredients from the fridge, turn on the oven and grease the pan, all while the smart camera keeps up with the action — it’ll even capture the dog sneaking in to sniff for crumbs!

Portal from Facebook works via messaging apps you’re already familiar with — Messenger and Whatsapp — and they’re all Alexa-enabled. So they require barely any learning curve to use! It’s just the technology itself that’ll blow your mind.

Portal from Facebook 10.1-inch (Gen 1)

Story Time on Portal lets you become the characters in their favorite books — talk about a bedtime story! (Photo: Portal from Facebook)
Story Time on Portal lets you become the characters in their favorite books — talk about a bedtime story! (Photo: Portal from Facebook)

Shop it: Portal from Facebook 10.1-inch (Gen 1), $89 (was $199), portal.facebook.com

And then there’s Story Time, a genius feature that lets you read bedtime stories to curious little eyes and ears when you can’t be there to tuck them in yourself. This interactive tool lets you practically become the characters in the story thanks to AR masks and effects that are bound to elicit giggles. You can choose to have only the storyteller (that’s you!) on display — or, if you want the kids to see themselves smiling and joining in, their faces can grace the screen, too!

In addition to a smart camera, Portal from Facebook has smart sound, so the noise of the washing machine or a vacuum in the background won’t drown out your voice or theirs. Kids playing in the background won’t interrupt an important conversation you’re having with their parents: imagine that! Life can be as rambunctious on your video as it is in person — you can watch kids reenact an entire dance recital or challenge each other to a wrestling match — and Portal from Facebook will broadcast in real time.

And no, the people on the receiving end do not have to also be using a Portal from Facebook device to interact with you; you can simply call their smartphone or tablet via Messenger or Whatsapp, and they’ll be able to experience all the benefits of being there without actually being there. And if you need to disappear for a second, it’s all good: just disable the camera and microphone with the touch of a button.

Portal from Facebook lets you disable the camera and microphone with a single tap, or block the camera lens with the included camera cover.
Portal from Facebook lets you disable the camera and microphone with a single tap, or block the camera lens with the included camera cover.

Shop it: Portal from Facebook 10.1-inch (Gen 1), $89 (was $199), portal.facebook.com

Portal from Facebook syncs up smoothly with your smart-home system, too, so even when you’re not using it to spend quality time with loved ones, you can count on it for solo fun. Stream music, listen to the news, get traffic and weather updates or even control other smart-home devices from your Portal from Facebook device. It counts Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, CNN and the Food Network as some of its partner apps.

And there’s this cool feature called Superframe that lets you display your friends’ Facebook and Instagram photos and videos, plus see things like birthday reminders — all the things you love about using social media — when you’re not on an interactive video call. This thing works overtime to keep you connected and entertained.

Grab your Portal from Facebook device right now for less than 50 percent off and prepare to be wowed beyond belief.

Shop it: Portal from Facebook 10.1-inch (Gen 1), $89 (was $199), portal.facebook.com

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