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In this article, I compare the Amazon Echo Show 2 vs Facebook Portal Plus vs Google Nest Hub Max. Read on to find out which one these displays should sit atop your kitchen counter or home office desk.
So which smart display is best overall?
Facebook Portal Plus is the best overall smart display. It has the largest [15.6-inch] screen with the highest resolution [1920 x 1080] and can rotate from landscape to portrait mode. During video calls, the camera “frames” and follows subjects around the room, plus the microphone volume adjusts depending on a caller’s proximity to the device.
For these reasons, even with the slightly higher price tag, the Facebook Portal Plus gets my pick for the best smart display so far in 2020. I’m in good company apparently as it currently has stellar ratings on Amazon. You can read the latest ratings and check the price here. But let’s take a closer look at all four options.
Comparison Chart: Echo Show 2 vs Facebook Portal Plus vs Hub Max
The following chart compares key features of the Echo Show vs Portal vs Portal Plus vs Hub Max. For a more detailed features comparison, check out the table near the end of this post.
What is a Smart Display?Smart displays are all the rage right now, and in the past year, we have seen some amazing new larger displays including the 2nd Gen Amazon Echo Show and Google’s new Nest Hub Max. More recently, Facebook has gotten in on the act, introducing its new Portal and Portal Plus displays. However, with all the options you can now to choose from, it can be confusing to figure out the best one for you.
A smart display is a digital assistant with a screen. They include features like the ability to:
- Initiate and receive video calls
- View guided step-by-step recipes in the kitchen
- Controls thousands of smart home devices
- Display song lyrics to accompany music that plays from the device
- Display weather, news, live sports, and stock quotes
- Act as a very fancy clock/alarm clock
- Display YouTube, Hulu, Prime and videos from other services right on the screen
You can also hook the screen up to a security camera and use it as a security monitor for your front door, baby’s room, nanny cam, pet cam, or whatever.
Amazon Echo Show
My Rating (Out of 100)
While the original Echo Show had a few mistakes that made it difficult to use, Amazon stepped up their game with the Echo Show 2nd Generation. This second-generation smart display is an incredible option for anyone who wants clear and bright sound, as it boasts two huge speakers in the back that are powerful. These rear-facing speakers also mean that the Echo Show 2 takes up a lot less space than some other smart displays, which is ideal for a minimalist home.
This is Tech Today does a nice job with this video over of the Echo Show 2nd Generation.
Facebook Portal Standard [with Alexa]
My Rating (Out of 100)
This powerful smart display allows users to connect to Facebook so that they can easily connect with each other, control apps, and even use third-party services. It’s a practical option due to its smaller size, and really is a great choice for any Facebook fan. It features great Facebook connectivity and allows users to interact with their account without frustration. I do think the Echo Show is a better choice for owners of other Amazon devices and it looks more elegant in general, but this device costs less though.
CNET has a nice review comparing the Portal with the Portal plus. I’ll embed it below.
Facebook Portal Plus [with Alexa]
My Rating (Out of 100)
While I love my Echo Show and have recently tested and compared it to the Nest Hub, the Facebook Portal Plus is tempting me big time to hit that buy button after seeing an in-depth demo at my local Best Buy. Why?
Bigger is better, and the Portal Plus proves it. Not only does it boast Facebook connectivity, but it features an impressive 1920 x 1080 resolution, great speakers, and powerful Bluetooth 4.2 It’s the Facebook Portal, but improved, and does an exceptional job allowing users to access third-party services, such as Spotify, Food Network, Alexa, and even Pandora. Best of all, it’s smart crisp 12MP camera follows video call subjects around the room and its fisheye wide-angle lens shows even a large room of people.
When comparing the Echo Show 2 vs Facebook Portal Plus vs Nest Hub Max, this is my favorite choice.
Engadget also does a nice job with this video overview of the Portal and Portal Plus [although I could certainly get used to the design with that huge screen!]:
Google Nest Hub Max vs Echo Show 2 vs Facebook Portal Plus
My Rating (Out of 100)
Debuting in September, Google Nest Hub Max is Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo Show. And Google’s answer to the Facebook portal to a point The screen size is 10” about the size of the Show and regular-sized Facebook Portal screen. Unlike the previous, smaller version of the Nest Hub, the Max adds a camera to address what was probably the biggest complaint about its standard Nest Hub device.
The Verge gives us a sneak peak at the Google Nest Hub Max before it comes out in September.
Echo Show 2 vs FaceBook Portal Plus vs Nest Hub Max: Interactive Specifications Table
Use the Previous and Next buttons at the bottom of the table to page through all of the specifications. You can also enter a term in the Search field to filter the results for just that term. For example, entering “Alexa” will only display those table rows that contain the word Alexa. Try it! It’s fun!
|Amazon Echo Show||Facebook Portal||Portal Plus||Nest Hub Max|
|Resolution||1280 x 800||720p HD Video (1200 x 800)||1080p HD Video (1920 x 1080)||280x800|
|Dimensions||9.70" W x 6.90" H x 4.20" D||9.84" W x 8.20" H x 3.68" D||8.78" W x 17.1" H x 5.73" D||9.85" W X 7.19" H|
|Weight||62.2 oz. (1765 grams)||1,250g||2.68 pounds||2.91 lb (1.32 kg)|
|Colors||Charcoal or Sandstone||Black or White||Black or White||Chalk or Charcoal|
|Microphones||4-mic front array||2 front, 2 rear 360-degree array||2 front, 2 rear 360-degree array||Far-field microphones|
|Camera||5MP||12MP 140-degree field of view||12MP 140-degree field of view||6.5MP with 127-degree field of view|
|Voice Recognition||Yes [after training]||No||No||Yes|
|Speakers||Dual 2” neodymium drivers & passive bass radiator.||2 full-range 10W drivers||2 20W tweeters + 4” bass||Stereo speaker system (2x 18mm 10W tweeters, 1x 75mm 30W subwoofer).|
|Voice Assistant||Alexa||Facebook for Video Calls and many popular Alexa commands||Facebook for Video Calling and many popular Alexa commands||Google Assistant|
|YouTube||Via web browser||via YouTube.com, an optional install in the “Portal Apps” catalog.||via YouTube.com, an optional install in the “Portal Apps” catalog.||via Google’s own built-in YouTube app|
|Power||30 watt power adapter||30 watt power adapter||30 watt power adapter||30 watt power adapter|
|Connectivity||Wifi and Bluetooth||Wifi and Bluetooth||Wifi and Bluetooth||Wifi and Bluetooth®|
|Security Features||Mic and camera on/off,camera cover purchased separately||Mic and camera on/off, camera cover included||Mic and camera on/off, camera cover included||Single switch on device turns off both mic and camera; you can turn off just camera using touchscreen|
|Drop in calls||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Battery||None||1 CR5 batteries required.||1 CR5 batteries required.||None|
The Bottom Line
With the premium smart display market just a little over a year old it will be exciting to see where this technology takes us.
Final Word on a Portal Plus
Facebook Portal Plus is the closet thing that we have come to the Jetsons version of video calling yet. However, the premium video calling features and the larger rotatable screen come at a higher price tag.
Maybe one of these companies will invent the “morning mask” next!
Final Word on the Echo Show
I absolutely love my Echo Show. It is my favorite Echo device and possibly my favorite smart home device. Amazon’s upgrade to the Echo Show last September turned the previous version from an “expensive plastic toy” to an elegant smart screen that fits in nicely on your kitchen counter with all of the benefits of Alexa.
You can read my review of the Echo Show 2nd Generation vs 1st Gen here.
I think this remains a great choice for anyone looking for a high-end smart screen to integrate with Amazon’s ecosystem or does not want to pay Facebook’s price tag.
Final Word on the Google Nest Hub Max
Full disclosure, I’m not really a fan of the Google ecosystem at all [just a strong personal preference for Amazon] and for that reason, I’m going to withhold my opinion about Google’s newly re-branded Nest Hub here. There are many other bloggers and vloggers who have already gone there, so if you want a 2nd option it won’t be hard to find.
So What Smart Screen Should You Buy?
While I am also not really a fan of Facebook [at all], I’m super-impressed by the Facebook Portal Plus. Its immersive experience for video calling makes it a step up from the Amazon Echo Show for that feature. If you are looking for the best video calling experience, this is it bar none. I also like the larger sized screen and how you can rotate it. You can see the latest Facebook Portal Plus pricing on Amazon here.
It will be interesting to see if the next version of the Echo Show matches Facebook Portal Plus’s functionality. Regardless, the battle between Echo Show vs Facebook Portal vs Nest Home Hub will be in interesting one to watch in the coming months for sure. I look forwarding to being with you every step of the way.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like some of our other posts about smart screens. Here are some recent ones.
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About the Author
Tim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger
Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.