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If you buy two devices - either two Portals, two Portal Pluses, or one of each - you can save $100 on your purchase via Facebook. It only sends voice commands to the servers after hearing, "Hey Portal".

With that in mind, the cameras built into Portal are created to intelligently track you as you make your calls.

Both Portals use AI technology to make video chatting better.

In the intervening six months, Facebook has also acknowledged the largest data breach in its history, admitting to regulators that more than 50m accounts were compromised due to a bug that it discovered and fixed in September. Google's smart displays make video calls using the company's Duo chat app.

Analysts reacted cautiously to the announcement, saying Facebook was late to the smart speaker market.

"The first thing consumers are going to wonder is 'how much sensitive data is this collecting about me?'" said John Breyault, vice president of public policy of telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group that has received donations from Facebook and other tech companies.

The device has an emphasis on video conferencing and comes in two versions - the Portal and Portal+.

In In an attempt to reassure users over the firm's record around user privacy, Facebook said the device comes with a camera lens cover and the ability to disable both the camera and the microphone with a single tap.

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Since Echo's release almost four years ago, both Google and Apple have followed Amazon in releasing smart speakers designed for use with their other digital services - some of them, at least. Both models come with screens and cameras, as Facebook wants customers to use them for video calls.

And when you're not on a call, Portal's Superframe can display your favourite photos and videos and important notifications like birthday reminders, so you always feel a little more connected to your closest family and friends.

The company's Portal smart display is a 10.1-inch 720p device with a 12MP front camera.

Facebook says it put a priority on privacy in designing the Portal, and it does appear to have learned some lessons.

Portal is Facebook's answer to the Amazon Echo Show.

Users will also be able to stream audio from Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio-and share it with others on their call-as well as watch videos on the device. Smart Camera helps you read a fun story via a simple teleprompter, perfectly framed, while your loved ones on the other side watch as your face and voice transform into the story's characters.

Most of the Portal's chatting features are opt-in, which means the user is shipped a device that gives them the power and onus to choose what features are enabled and disabled.

Click below to pre-order your Facebook Portal or Facebook Portal Plus today!