You can buy Facebook's Portal smart displays starting today

Facebook's Portal video-calling smart displays hit stores.

Megan Wollerton Former Senior Writer/Editor
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The $199 Portal and the $349 Portal Plus smart displays by Facebook are now available to purchase. 

James Martin/CNET

Facebook on Wednesday announced retail availability for its Portal Plus and Portal smart displays on the Portal online store, Amazon and Best Buy. 

The Facebook Portal Plus is a $349 camera-equipped smart display. It has 1080p HD resolution and a 15.6-inch screen you can move from landscape to portrait view. The $199 Portal has a smaller, 720p, 10.1-inch screen that's fixed in landscape mode. Both devices double as Alexa speakers and offer Facebook's own "Hey, Portal" voice service. Get 100 bucks off if you buy two Portals together -- for a total of $298.

The Alexa software handles typical Alexa commands -- the weather, setting reminders, controlling your smart home gadgets . "Hey, Portal" handles video calling and basic controls like adjusting the volume and opening Portal apps like Spotify and Food Network. 

Facebook's smart displays emphasize video calling via their "smart cameras" that follow you around the room so you don't have to constantly reposition it while you're talking. 

Competitors like the Amazon Echo Show and the Google Home Hub aren't actually all that similar to the Portal displays because of the Portal's strong focus on video calling -- and their auto-tracking cameras.

Keep an eye out for the forthcoming review of the Portal Plus and Portal for my full impressions of Facebook's Portal displays. If you're interested in buying one, or a bundled set now, check out Facebook's online store for more information. 

Watch this: Facebook’s pricey Portal Plus brings loved ones closer