Top positive review
Very pleasantly surprised. Highly recommend!
December 19, 2018
I did a LOT of reading about these things before making the decision to purchase 4 of them, and I couldn't be happier. My husband and I wanted to be able to keep in better touch with his parents and grandmother, my parents, and my sister who lives out of state. We wanted something simple that our parents could use, since they always spend half of our video chats unable to get their microphones on their laptops to work, or some other technical issue. It also seemed like having a device specifically made for video calling would cause us to talk more often. We never think to open Skype or other programs up on our devices (or even call them on the phone for that matter), but having a device out in the open with the person's name and face popping up whenever they become "active" on Messenger really makes me excited to hit the call button just to check in and say "hi" and chat.
I was nervous before purchasing because of the number of articles that claimed the idea of them was "creepy" and that they had an "always listening microphone". What they didn't explain is that there is a button on the top of the device that turns both the camera and the microphone off, and the device displays a red light when they're both turned off (pictured). It also comes with a camera cover.
The speakers in this thing are LOUD. I haven't turned it up past 2/3 of its limit. Camera tracking and video calls are perfect. I've been using Spotify on this almost nonstop since we received it, and what also surprised me was that when I started it on the Portal, Spotify popped up on my phone and allowed me to control the Portal volume and change the songs on it from my phone, like a remote.
I am very, very happy with this purchase. It honestly far exceeded my expectations. I'm excited for how easy it suddenly is to stay in touch with our loved ones, and how this device encourages you to call and talk to people. Anyone who says that you can do the same with a tablet, how often are you actually sending video calls from your tablet? This is a video phone, and every time I look at it, it makes me want to reach out to my family. I love it.