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If you've ever used your phone for a video call, you know that a small screen isn't ideal. That's especially true for Zoom and other multi-person calls, which can shrink everyone into even smaller windows.
Then there's the issue of having to stay firmly planted in front of the camera — not ideal if you want to, say, move around the kitchen or office while on your call.
The Facebook Portal is a smart display designed with video calls in mind, though it can do a lot more. It originally sold for $179 (and more recently $149), but right now Amazon has the Facebook Portal for $79. That ties the lowest price on record.
Available in black or white, the Portal resembles a digital photo frame (and of course that's one of its capabilities), one that can work in both portrait and landscape orientations. Needless to say, it requires a Facebook account.
If you have one, you can easily video-call others via Facebook Messenger. The Portal also supports the popular messaging tool Whatsapp, and it lets you participate in Zoom calls as well. Although it incorporates a fixed-frame camera, it uses digital panning and zooming to help you stay "in the frame" as you move around.
Speaking of which, you might be wondering if you'd be better off with Amazon's Echo Show 10, which can actually rotate on its base to follow you all around a room. Perhaps: It offers much better sound quality (important if you plan to listen to a lot of music) and some home-security features courtesy of Alexa Guard Plus. However, it costs $250. As the holidays get closer, you might see it on sale for $200 or even $180, but probably no lower than that.
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