Some major competitors in the smart display category are the and . Choosing between the two can be tricky. They both use Alexa, have wide, 10-inch screens, and offer up great sound. To help you make an informed decision, we compared the Facebook Portal and the Echo Show to find out which one is the better buy.
These two smart displays couldn’t look more different. The Portal looks like a picture frame, which is great if you’ll be using it to display photos. The Echo Show looks more like a tablet with a big speaker stuck on the back. Neither is particularly attractive, so this one’s a toss-up.
When it comes to listening to your favorite tunes, you probably won’t be disappointed with either of these displays. They both offer rich bass and clear sound that carries throughout a room. With the Echo Show, though, music doesn’t sound strained or warped at higher volumes like with Portal. This is probably due to the Show’s more extensive speaker system which features a passive bass radiator, dual 10W 2-inch neodymium drivers, and Dolby processing. So, if you’re going to put your smart display in a larger room, or you just like to crank your tunes, then Show is the better option.
Overall, we really love both screens on these smart displays. They are large, crystal-clear, and display lifelike colors. The Echo has a 10.1-inch HD screen with 1,280 x 800 resolution, while the Portal has a 10.2-inch screen with 1,280 x 800 HD resolution. So, the Portal is slightly bigger but really takes the win with its adaptive display technology. Its screen adjusts to match the light in your room to make anything on the display look more realistic. The screen is so good, in fact, you may feel like you’re looking at a professionally printed photo inside of a picture frame.
A good camera is important if you’re going to do video calls with family and friends. You want them to be able to see you clearly, after all. The Echo has a 5MP camera, which isn’t terrible, but it’s nothing compared to what the Portal is packing. Portal’s camera has more than twice the megapixels, at a whopping 13MP. Plus, it has AR capabilities that allow you to add fun filters to your face when you video chat and you can even tell on-screen stories that incorporate your face and animations.
While Portal seems to be coming out on top so far, how each smart display makes video calls will probably be what sways you in one way or the other. Echo Show allows you to make calls with anyone that has Skype, the Alexa app, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show. Portal, on the other hand, only lets you connect with people who you are connected with through Facebook and WhatsApp. So, if you’re not a big Facebook or WhatsApp user, this could be a big deal-breaker for you. Even if you’re a die-hard Facebook addict, your favorite people may not be.
For example, my mom hates Facebook for moral reasons and refuses to use anything they offer, so I can’t contact her using the Portal. She does use Skype, though. More than likely, you’ll run into the same problem with some of your friends and family. Show just gives you more flexibility on who you can contact.
Echo Show was originally $230, and we’ve seen some price cuts on Amazon for as low as $170. The Portal retails for $170 as well, but we’ve seen sale placing it at $129 for the Mini 8-inch and $149 for the 10-inch. Obviously, price cut or not, the Facebook Portal is a better buy.
Facebook Portal 10-inch:
While Facebook Portal won in more categories, which one you buy really comes down to what your needs are. If you’re looking for a smart display that you can rock out with and lets you call the most people, then Show is the best pick. If you want a display that has advanced screen capabilities, a great camera, and a lower price, then Portal is the one for you.
Since both are also powered Alexa, neither one has the upper hand when it comes to what they can do in terms of controlling the smart home. Although, the Echo Show can act as a hub for various smart home gadgets, allowing you to control certain things, like your connected smart lights, using on-screen controls directly on the Echo Show — and that’s in addition to voice commands with Alexa.
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