The Differences Between Facebook Portal & Amazon Echo Show Will Help Make Up Your Mind
Facebook Portal/Amazon

Don't get me wrong — I'm all about a built-in computer web cam for the occasional Skype call. However, if you heavily rely on video chatting as one of your main forms of communication, an external video-chatting device can be a highly advantageous purchase. Whether you're in a long-distance friendship or have family living across the country, a video call is sometimes the only way to connect. Thankfully, there are a couple new video-calling devices on the market right now to choose from. To help you find what's best for your needs, take a look at the Facebook Portal versus the Amazon Echo Show.

The Facebook Portal and the Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation) are both really solid devices to have in your home, if making quality video calls is a priority for you. The Facebook Portal is also available as Facebook Portal +, which is a larger version of the Portal with a 90-degree rotating display. These new devices were both announced in early October 2018, but they have some key differences you'll want to check out before you buy. Between their sizes, streaming capabilities, cost, and camera quality, you'll have plenty of features to consider before you buy. When it comes to deciding which one you want, it all depends on what you want to get out of it. So sit back, relax, and review what each device offers to see what looks good to you.

Camera Quality
Facebook on YouTube

The Echo Show has a 5-megapixel camera, and a regular focal-length lens, according to Amazon. It can make video calls through the Alexa app, an Echo Spot, or Echo Show. Per Amazon's Echo Show description, Skype is coming soon, though, so stay tuned. If you're not camera-ready, you can also "voice call or message almost anyone."

The Facebook Portal has a 12-megapixel camera and wide angle lens, according to the Portal website. The Portal's Smart Camera also uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to follow everyone in frame, so nobody gets cut out of the shot. Seriously, as long as you can see the camera, it will follow you wherever you go, so you won't be tied to staying in a typical webcam frame. Portal can call anyone over Facebook Portal or Messenger, and it can even make voice calls to your Messenger contacts.

Streaming Capabilities

The Echo Show 2 is has the ability to stream high quality videos, movies, books, and TV shows with either Hulu or Prime Video, according to Amazon. In that regard, it's almost similar to an iPad or tablet. Of course, the Amazon device also comes with Alexa, so you can ask for weather updates or ask Alexa to play your favorite music.

With the Facebook Portal, you can watch videos and shows on Facebook Watch and the Food Network via the apps on the device. When it comes to music, you can stream Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio. Also, when you're not making video calls, you can turn off the camera but leave the microphone on to utilize Portal's built-in Alexa capability.

Size & Color
Amazon/Facebook Portal

The Echo Show 2 comes in two colors: charcoal and sandstone, according to Amazon. With a 10.1-inch display, and at a little less than 4 pounds, it's extremely portable, so you can put it wherever you use it most in your house. It's also the perfect size for streaming all your favorite shows.

The Portal also has a 10.1-inch display and weighs a little less than three pounds, per the Portal website, so finding a spot in your home for this device shouldn't be an issue. The larger Portal+ has a 15.6-inch display, and weighs in at almost 7.5 pounds. Both are available in either black or white.


The Amazon Echo Show 2 costs $229.99 on Amazon as opposed to the Facebook Portal, which costs $199 and the Portal+ that costs $349, according to the Facebook Portal website.

If you buy two Portals, though, you'll get $100 off, so if you want one for you and a friend, the Portal might be the way to go.

Both the Echo Show and the Facebook Portal are super solid devices, it just depends on what you want to get out of it. If you're more interested in video chatting, the Portal's Smart Camera could be big selling point for you. But if you like streaming content from, say, your Prime Video account, you might lean more toward an Echo Show. Heck, you can even buy both of them if that's what you're feeling. It can be a tough decision to decide between similar devices, but you're sure to get everything you need from whatever choice you make. Happy shopping!