Choosing between theand the can be a tough call. With both tablets utilizing Alexa and boasting 10-inch displays, the similarities don’t stop there. Looking closer, though, there are a few key features that set both devices apart. In this side-by-side of the Portal and Show, we weigh in on key criteria like design, sound, displays, and price. Read on to see which of the two smart displays we prefer.
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. Available in white and black frame options, the Portal measures in at 10.25 inches wide and 7.06 inches tall. The Echo Show looks more like a tablet with a big speaker stuck on the back. Available in sandstone and charcoal backings (black frame on both), the Amazon speaker is 9.7 inches wide and 6.9 inches tall. In terms of overall aesthetic, neither display 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 the Portal. This is probably due to the Show’s more extensive speaker system which features a passive bass radiator, dual 10-watt two-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 the Show is your best bet.
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. The 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 the 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. The Echo Show allows you to make calls with anyone that has Skype, the Alexa app, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show. The 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. In terms of flexibility and who you can get in touch with, the Show’s a little easier to work with.
The Echo Show was originally $230, and we’ve seen some price cuts at Best Buy for as low as $149. With the upcoming release of the, Amazon no longer offers the second-gen model. The Portal retails for $170 as well but is currently on Amazon for $99 for the Mini 8-inch and $129 for the 10-inch. Price cut or not, the Facebook Portal is a better buy.
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 by 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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