I watching with fascination as a kid when predictions showed we could make video calls at some point in the not too distant future. It didn’t happen as quickly as predicted, but the reality is that I made video calls on nearly a daily basis. I suspect many of you do as well. Today I’ll talk about a relatively new entrant to the video calling arena. Yes, I get a small commission if you buy using my links. No, I haven’t gotten anything for free.

So let’s talk about the Facebook Portal. Due to the constant stream of privacy violations, I know some of you will simply avoid it. I understand that position and certainly won’t try to change your mind. I’m already using a variety of Amazon Alexa devices and already placing voice and video calls via Facebook Messenger. So if my privacy is comprised, the Facebook Portal won’t make it any worse for me.

As I look at the Facebook Portal, I see two potential uses for me. First, the built-in Alexa would give me things I already have while adding a screen for output of some of the answers. One thing I really like when I first got my Amazon Fire TV Cube was that song lyrics are provided on screen when listening to music. This is just one example of what you can get with the screen.

The area that is most promoted is the video calling. This is already possible on phones, tablets and computers via Facebook Messenger. So it doesn’t do anything that I can’t do already. I have to admit it seems very convenient to have a device designed specifically for that task. Given that the price is now cut in half (at least for the time being), it is an even more tempting product. While I haven’t ordered one yet for myself, it is quite possible that changes before much longer.

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