Facebook Portal Plus VS Amazon Echo Show
The new video-calling device from Facebook takes on Amazon's second-generation Echo Show in this smart display showdown.Affiliate Disclosure: CNET may get a commission from retail offers.
The cameras in Facebook's $349 Portal Plus and $199 smart displays skillfully track people around a room, making you feel like you're actually there with them.
They're expensive and don't have any standout features beyond their autotracking cameras. You can't use a Portal if you aren't a Facebook user -- or don't use the Facebook Messenger service. Facebook could target the ads you see based on the length and frequency of your Portal video calls.
Facebook's Portal Plus and Portal displays make video calling much more immersive, but high prices, a slightly awkward design (for the Plus version specifically) and some lingering privacy questions make them a tough sell for most.
The second generation of the Echo Show brings a better and bigger display, fuller sound and YouTube via Firefox or Amazon Silk browsers.
There still aren't many useful or entertaining animations in common Alexa interactions.
If you like the idea of a smart display for cooking, calling or watching videos, the newest Echo Show is a great option. But don't expect any extras.