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Facebook Portal TV

Facebook Portal TV

from  $149+
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78 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
78

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Facebook’s Portal TV is a camera that turns your television into a giant video chat display. It’s compatible with both Messenger and WhatsApp, and features an AI-powered camera that automatically pans and zooms to keep you in frame. The large TV screen and wide field-of-view make for a great video chat experience. If both parties have a Portal TV, they can watch videos together, though it only works with Facebook Watch for now. But you can’t share songs like you can on the standalone Portals, it lacks a few core apps and it takes up an HDMI port. Facebook’s poor reputation with privacy and security isn’t encouraging either.

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Pros
  • Immersive video chat experience
  • Supports Messenger and WhatsApp
  • Smart camera tracking
  • Ability to watch videos together
Cons
  • Can’t share songs together
  • Doesn’t have a browser
  • Takes up an HDMI port
  • Facebook’s sketchy reputation
78 Engadget Score
A good product that falls short of greatness.
78

A good product that falls short of greatness.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

78
 

Users

Not yet scored
 

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Score Breakdown

 
69
Average Critic Score
 
80
CNBC
It comes down to whether or not you trust Facebook. If you do, and you’re one of the more than 2 billion people using the service, then you’ll love it. If you don’t, then don’t buy the Facebook Portal TV. Spoiler to my family members, though: you may find one of these under the tree at Christmas.
 
70
Bloomberg
The device lacks support for popular video streaming platforms including Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, many TV networks, or popular games... Still, it’s the only TV box from a major player with video conferencing capabilities, and for some users, that will be enough. Just don’t forget to buy an HDMI cable.
 
60
CNET
The Facebook Portal TV works just fine, but in light of the various issues surrounding the company lately, it isn't a product I can recommend. Don't buy the Facebook Portal TV. I don't know what else to say, y'all. Ask Mark Zuckerberg.
 
70
USA Today
Oh, if only Apple, without all this privacy baggage, had created the product instead.
 
50
TechRadar
For home video calls through your TV – something with quite limited support elsewhere, especially after Skype shuttered its smart TV app – there’s certainly a reason to get the Portal TV into your living room. Low camera quality and shoddy zooming, though, holds it back from greatness; not to mention its association with an increasingly scrutinised Facebook brand.
 
60
PC Mag
The Facebook Portal TV makes it easy to do large-screen video calling on your television, but it is less successful as a media streamer.
 
80
Tech Advisor
It is not flawless, and hailing from Facebook there are inevitably some privacy concerns, but in the most part it has one main job and does that job well. We expect Portal TV to improve over time as more apps are added and the Portal voice assistant becomes available in more languages.
 
80
Pocket-Lint
Out of all three available Portal devices, we think TV makes the most sense of the lot, as it augments your existing hardware rather than demanding a dedicated screen purchase. If you want to make Facebook/Messenger/WhatsApp calls from your living room then this is a great way to do that - if, that is, you are still a dedicated Facebook user.