As die-hard Alexians, we obviously use Alexa through the different Pregnant Amazon Echo, but our favorite assistant is also available on other devices like the Facebook connected screens Portal. The social network created by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 indeed offers a rather attractive range of products, very focused on videoconferencing and the use of Whatsapp as Messenger, with original formats such as Facebook Portal Mini that we will present to you today ...
Facebook Portal Mini: a photo frame connected to Alexa
Comes in a nice box covered with a sleeve iced with turquoise colors, the Facebook Portal Mini is presented in landscape mode with the indication « Alexa integrated ". We also note the presence of application logos WhatsApp and Messenger which video calls are compatible with. On the back, the device that looks like a Digital Photo Frame is presented in portrait mode.
By sliding the outer casing, we discover a box made of thick cardboard with the simple inscription " portal mini from facebook ”.
Once opened, the product is finally revealed: the connected screen Facebook Portal Mini in its black finish - it is also available in white. Housed in a white box with sound AC adapter, an installation guide and a flyer indicating that an account Facebook is required, the device has salient angles that break with the curves of our Echo devices.
With a total diagonal of over 26 cm, the actual surface of the HD LCD color touchscreen with a definition of 1280 x 720 is only 8 inches or about 20 cm and is protected by a plexiglass edge to edge. the Portal Mini can be placed in either landscape or portrait mode, the rotation of the screen follows the movement of the hand, but it will be necessary to choose its place of installation because the reflections returned are not always the most pleasant ...
In the upper left corner (in landscape mode), the 13 Mpix camera is positioned on a wide border explaining the reduction in screen size. There are two LEDs: one for microphone and camera mute, the other for voice and / or video calls. Four microphones and a built-in speaker complete the package. The casing which surrounds the device is in matt plastic while the back side is shiny.
On the back, the woofer emerges with a slight bulge. There is also a mains plug and a microphone.
On the top we find the buttons intended for confidentiality: microphone mute and / or camera as well as two microphones.
On the left side, two buttons allow the sound adjustment. Adjustment that it is also possible to do in touch on the screen by sliding the screen from bottom to top, but we will come back to this.
The AC adapter also serves as a support to hold the device horizontally as well as vertically, like a photo frame, it's ingenious.
Facebook Portal Mini: a connected screen focused on communication
Let's move on to the installation of the Portal Mini from Facebook. Just like a device Amazon Echo, it turns out to be very simple to achieve. Indeed, the screen displays each step of the connection to the pairing to the account. Amazon and even beyond with the management of the address book.
Once the AC adapter is attached to the back of the device and connected to the mains, the screen will light up and display a " portal ”Right in the middle of a blue target quite close to the blue that is traditionally found on the boxes of devices in the Echo range. After a few seconds of starting up, we are invited to choose the language of use.
Then the device performs a search for available Wi-Fi networks near. Note that the Portal Mini can indifferently be connected on the band of 2.4 GHz or 5GHz.
One click to select the network to which we want to connect the device and the configuration starts.
An invitation to read the terms of service and the data use policy of Portal must be validated before going further in the installation. The next step is to give our device a little name. Presets are offered with the names of rooms in the house, but it is perfectly possible to give a personified one at your convenience.
To do this, simply select "Custom name" then enter the desired name on the virtual keyboard that appears and it then appears at the top of the list with a check mark next to it.
The next step will be to link their Facebook and Whatsapp accounts to the device (but no obligation for the second…). We advise you to opt for both because you can then use Messenger or Whatsapp indifferently to reach your contacts your interlocutor.
When the accounts are chosen, we are asked to enter a link code on our Facebook account from an Internet browser via the dedicated url. This process is not any easier and faster to carry out, it must be recognized. But, fortunately, we are offered another technique. In fact, at the bottom of the screen, you can simply do the procedure by indicating your only Faceebook password.
Note that it is possible, and we advise you, to tick "No longer ask us for confirmation of a connection". Checking this box will prevent you from re-entering your username regularly, but not doing so may allow visitors to use your Facebook Portal Mini.
Our choice having been made to proceed with the pairing by using our Facebook password, we must enter our login details. If you do not have a Facebook account, it is possible to create it.
Tadam… here we are connected on Facebook, Messenger and Whatsapp!
A quick reminder of the management of information contained on Whatsapp which is not transmitted to Facebook… except in the event of a problem. Of which act. A QR is to be scanned from our application on smartphone to link the two devices.
Our account is linked. On the next page our contacts appear in two different tabs depending on whether they are Whatsapp or Messenger users.
At this point, the configuration of Portal Mini is done and Facebook offers to customize the display. Thus the choice to hide certain contacts which are occasional is possible in order not to burden the display of the home page, then the device shows us the operation of the camera. Equipped with a 114 ° capture angle, it will indeed follow us into the room without having to stay in front of the screen. It's great !
Regarding streaming music, Spotify is offered by default. If you have an account on this music service, all you have to do is enter your username, but fortunately other services are part of the game and in particular Amazon Music once our account is linked. Deezer and TuneIn are also available. We are almost there. Still a little patience…
Before that, we are offered to upload photos from our FB account or from our smartphone.
Finally, here we are, the moment we were waiting for! Link our account Amazon Alexa to Facebook Portal Mini to use our favorite voice assistant.
Here too the procedure is the same. Namely to connect via the browser or with his account Amazon. It is again this process that we have favored.
We arrive on the page where our username and password are to be entered. And There you go, Amazon Alexa is on Portal Mini and we can now use it on our new equipment.
Finally, Facebook gives us a little detailed presentation of the different areas and their use. As indicated previously, it is possible to load your favorite photos to have them in the photo gallery of Portal Mini. Pressing the screen when in "gallery" mode switches to "home" mode and access a list of pre-installed applications.
Clicking on the application folder opens a choice of new applications or websites to add.
Now that we have covered the essentials of the functionalities, we leave you free to discover the others ...
Use of Facebook Portal Mini
Let's start with what matters most to us: Alexa.
No worries of understanding Not to mention, the microphones are excellent. Home automation commands are therefore perfectly understood and executed. the Portal Mini even seemed more responsive to us at times than the Echo Show 2nd generation and Echo Show 8 devices. A question, a request and the Portal responds instantly to your request. It's appreciated !
Music side, we found our playlists ofAmazon Music as well as Deezer, Spotify and TuneIn services. The sound is pretty good, but we did notice a slight lack of bass on Mark Zuckerberg's device, this one being more focused on the highs than that of Jeff Bezos. We compared them with their default settings, but it is still possible to make slight changes with four possible presets: default, lower, louder vocals, or less bass. These presets are to be defined by a check mark and not equalizer as on the devices Amazon Echo which allows you to better modulate at your convenience
Du video on demand side, even if Alexa is on-board, this is not the case with Prime Video or Molotov applications, which are popular with users. It is also not possible to associate a Fire TV Stick 4K. Pity.
The video calls and videoconferencing are undeniably the strong point of Portal Mini. Be able to make audio or video calls with loved ones using Whatsapp, Messenger and soon Zoom is a real plus, even if these are completely independent ofAlexa. Indeed, the Drop-ins are not supported and when trying to launch one, Portal Mini invites us to use an application instead. Note also that the calls are made manually, it is a shame because you will have to come and select the contact (s) and start the communication yourself. Alexa could have allowed it, regrettable. Nevertheless, after many tests, we can say that the quality is quite good. Our interlocutors received us correctly without pixelation or frozen images.
The preinstalled applications facilitate immediate use. A simple click on Deezer or Spotify allows them to be added to an immediate access list. It is also possible to have a list of favorites for websites, Portal integrating a web browser. Note thatAmazon is indicated as a shortcut site, but it is the US site Amazon.com, not Amazon.fr, it's a shame because quite useless. To gain access to the hexagonal e-commerce giant, it will be necessary to access it from
Our opinion on Facebook Portal Mini