How To Enjoy A Digital Christmas
Image by: Facebook
Facebook Portal aims to bring us together whenever we’re apart. So just how does this smart device do it? Port investigates.
Discover Facebook Portal
It is safe to say at this point that this will be no ordinary Christmas. The usual yuletide packed full of frivolities has been put on hold, with frolicking restricted to the great outdoors and smooches under the mistletoe to be blown from a minimum distance of 2 metres apart. It is now understood that up to three households will be allowed to gather indoors temporarily by law, however the reality is that this won’t be possible for everyone. Unfortunately, where everyone sits in the house all day, eating, drinking and being merry with the windows firmly shut and the gas fire cranked high, it’s a well-mulled recipe for transmission and a disaster for anyone remotely vulnerable. Not exactly a textbook set up for a holly jolly good time, but with highly effective vaccines against Covid-19 potentially just around the corner, it hardly seems worth putting anyone else at risk simply for the sake of sharing some turkey and crackers.
So instead, we are hunting high and low for solutions online, from office parties hosted on Zoom to video calls propped up on the table during Christmas dinner. But it’s important to remember that going digital is no socially-distant walk in the park if you’re not up to speed with the latest technology to get you there. Enter then, Facebook Portal - the tablet device that puts video calling front and centre which, for a Christmas spent dialling in, is a worthy investment.
We have all experienced the trials and tribulations of video-calling these pasts few months, from hourly interruptions from delivery drivers to bad connections, pixelated faces and parents seemingly incapable of keeping their faces within frame. Whilst Facebook Portal is unable to assist with your insatiable online shopping habits, it can more than make good on the rest of your communication woes. Here's how.
We all know the importance of watching a small child slowly open their hundredth present of the day, and this nifty tablet makes it easy even if they don't have Portal thanks to its seamless integration with both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger - two apps that nearly everyone of any age is familiar with. You can also bring up to six other devices into a group call - perfect for that big fat quiz of the year you’ve got booked in. For the closest thing to a real-life encounter this Christmas, you can't beat Portal TV in order to bring your family to the big screen but there's no shame in propping the classic 10" screen up at the table for the toast.
Where Portal really comes into play is with its advanced Smart Camera that pans, widens and adjusts its focus to keep the speaker in frame at all times - accompanied by Smart Sound that cuts background chatter to amplify the speaker's voice. So if parsnips are burning in the oven whilst you're mid conversation with Nana, you won't even need to break your flow. Better still, it will adjust its focus every time a new person enters the room so you can see and hear everyone like they're stood right in front of you.
If you're one of the aunties or uncles who has hated being parted from your sibling's sprogs, Portal's Story Time feature is going to earn some rather impressive brownie points courtesy of its advanced AR feature. Narrate them a bedtime story as one of their favourite fairytale characters, or create birthday and special messages using the Photo Booth feature.
From creating festive family playlists to drown out the chaos to settling disputes between relative (if you're lucky enough to be surrounded by your nearest and dearest this Christmas Day), call out her name with a request and Alexa will surely deliver.
As well as having Alexa built-in as standard, so you can ask questions, set timers, create shopping lists, control your smart home or listen to your favourite Spotify playlist at any moment - there's more. You can also enjoy music, videos, news, games, and more from the likes of Pandora, heart Radio, YouTube, CNN, and the Food Network, and enjoy a host of seamless work calls when you return in the new year with Zoom, Workspace, and more.
Understandably, privacy is something that Facebook has worked tirelessly to improve in recent years. That's why they've gone above and beyond to ensure users feel safe and secure at all times when using their Portal devices. Calls on Portal are encrypted, meaning Facebook doesn’t listen to, access or store the contents of your video calls meaning even your most scandalous conversations stay completely between you and those you're calling. You can also disable the camera with an offline setting and mute the microphone with a single tap, or physically block the camera lens with the camera cover provided for extra peace of mind.
Portal comes in four versions: the classic 10”, 8” Mini or supersize 15.6” Portal+ tablets as well as a no-screen TV webcam fixture, meaning there really is a Portal for every personality. Better still, it means there’s a Portal for every budget too, with prices starting from just £129.
December 07 2020 by Camilla Hunt