Facebook Portal vs Echo Show for Elderly

Connection is made easier with video calls. Especially for long distances between loved ones

The newest video chatting technologies, including the Facebook Portal and Amazon’s Echo Show, have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to the elderly using them as a means to connect.

Facebook Portal vs Echo Show for Elderly

Here, we are diving into the pros and cons of each device, to outline which one is best suited for senior’s capability.

So, what ones better? The Facebook Portal is more suited for the elderly than Echo Show because there are fewer features for easy navigation.

Despite some of its cons, including software issues, the elderly would appreciate the simple usage the most.

Facebook portal

Made by Facebook. The portal requires a Facebook login for it to connect. You can call any of your Facebook friends on Facebook messenger. Built-in Alexa skill for voice command


  • Less features make it easier for the elderly to navigate.
  • Slideshow. Upload photos from Facebook to create a moving slideshow
  • Four microphones. High-quality hearing and speaking
  • Efficient. Can add recent calls to Favourites on Portal home screen


  • Lower quality. It auto-updates out of ones’ control.
  • Bugs in the software may interrupt features.

Echo show

Amazon Echo show is a smart speaker display screen. An upgrade to the original Echo speaker. Line Includes 2nd generation Echo Show.

Also has an Alexa speaker built-in for voice command.


  • Excellent audio. An important factor in making or receiving video calls
  • Quality screen. Bright and lively screen.
  • Portable and sleek design. Smaller version and modern version of Alexa smart display
  • Sunrise alarm. Including a snooze button and an ambient light sensor.


  • Confusing. It has many features the elderly may not need
  • Plugin. Isn’t equipped with wireless so it has to be plugged in at all times.

Features Face to Face


Facebook portal is originally $299. They also have a larger device in the $300-400 price range. In comparison to the Amazon Echo Show, the portal more expensive. The Echo Show comes to $129-179.

However, the Facebook Portal is on sale on Amazon for $149

The Amazon Echo Show 8 HD smart display is on sale for $79.99

Therefore, the Echo Show is the cheaper option, however you have to weigh the pros and cons to decide if the Facebook Portal is worth it.

Sale Facebook Portal - Smart Video...
Echo Show 8 (1st Gen, 2019...

Last update 2021-06-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Facebook portal has the quickest set up ever, the elderly can easily use it. When unlocked, it shows your Facebook friends and says who’s online so you can request to video call. Set up is also easy with the Echo as you use the screen to do it.

In comparison, the easiest set up is the Facebook portal ideal for the elderly. Plus, since many elderly people have Facebook (more for older generations) all they have to do is log in to connect.


High-quality screen perfect for video calls. The Echo device screen isn’t as large as the Facebook Portal as it’s an older piece of technology than the Portal. However, the Echo Video chat is great, as it can send texts to your friends’ phones.

Tablet Screen


Since Amazon carries other smart devices in the same line, the echo shows apps work to connect to other smart devices (i.e., smart light bulbs) so it could turn on the lights from the apps.

In contrast, the Facebook portals apps are weaker because they can glitch in terms of voice recognition, thus diminishing the app’s function.

Since these devices are more designed for video calls, apps aren’t much of a dealbreaker.


The amazon echo show 8 is equipped with a smart security camera, which allows you to monitor the inside of your home at any time of the day. When you’re away from the tablet, see your family or pets in the frame so home isn’t so far away.

However, the Facebook Portal wins in the most advanced technology feature on the screen. This is because the screen can track you with facial recognition – to the extent it will zoom into a photo if you’re not in the frame.

Better yet, when you move around it follows you, making it easy for multitasking when on video calls.

You can also flip the screen horizontally or vertically where the Echo stays stagnant.

In this video, it shows you the main features and contrasts each device for what’s more beneficial for a certain function.

The Big Three: Facebook Portal, Amazon Echo, Google Hub. Best Choice

Stand Out Features

Facebook Portal

  • Smart Camera: keeps every conversation at the center of the screen. It automatically pans and zooms, so you can move around and talk wherever you are to always stick inside the frame. It widens to keep everyone in the view frame.
  • Privacy webpage: its own private webpage is titled “Private by Design” including a camera and microphone off switch, a camera cover, and a screen lock. The webpage also includes videos describing features to ensure users are comfortable with the device.
  • Limited access to Facebook servers. By saying “Hey Portal,” the device gets triggered where interactions are only sent to Facebook servers after the greeting is said.
Facebook Portal - Smart Video...
8,477 Reviews
Facebook Portal - Smart Video...
  • Easily video call with friends and family using your Messenger or WhatsApp account, even if they don't have Portal.
  • Keep up with the action. Smart Camera automatically pans and zooms, keeping everyone in frame while you move and talk freely.
  • Hear and be heard. Smart Sound enhances your voice while minimizing unwanted background noise.
  • Easily disable the camera and microphone, or block the camera lens with a single switch. All Portal video calls are encrypted.
  • See and do more with Alexa Built-in. Control your smart home, listen to your favorite music, watch the news, get the weather, set a timer and more.

Last update 2021-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amazon Echo

Home screen features. When the echo show home screen is not in use, it will show beautiful background photos, with useful information such as the weather, news, recipes, or other useful tips using your device.

Device grouping. You can connect the device with other smart devices (i.e., smart lights) when you log in to where the device is located. The same grouping will connect all smart devices together under “Your groups”

Bluetooth. Can connect any phone’s Bluetooth to the Echo Show to play music. The older version of an echo was a speaker, so the makers included the high-quality sound in this device but with a screen – and it gets very loud.

Echo Show 8 (1st Gen, 2019...
218,532 Reviews
Echo Show 8 (1st Gen, 2019...
  • Alexa can show you more - With an 8" HD screen and stereo sound, Alexa can help manage your day at a glance.
  • Connect with video calling and messaging - Call friends and family who have the Alexa app or an Echo device with a screen. Make announcements to other devices in your home.
  • Be entertained - Ask Alexa to show you movie trailers, TV shows, movies, or the news. Or listen to radio stations, podcasts, and audiobooks.
  • Control your smart home - Voice control compatible devices or manage them on the easy-to-use display. Ask Alexa to show you security cameras, control lights, and adjust thermostats. Create morning routines to start your day.
  • Made to fit your life - Cook along to step-by-step recipes with Food Network Kitchen. Easily update to-do lists and calendars. Glance at weather and traffic on your way out.

Last update 2021-06-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In Conclusion

Use Facebook Portal if:

  • You (or elderly persons) have Facebook
  • You want the quickest setup
  • You want a large screen
  • You want a high-quality camera and speaker

Use Amazon Echo Show if:

  • You (or elderly persons) have other smart devices to connect
  • You like a loud speaker for music
  • You want other features (alarm clock, apps)
  • You want high-quality audio

In conclusion, each product has great features and not so great features, depending on what the elderly person is looking for.

Video calling is better with a designed tablet that is quick and efficient. In our opinion, the Facebook Portal does just this – and is the best option for elderly people to use, especially if they live alone and need to set it up.

You might also like to read about: 8 Efficient Ways to Set Up Tablet for Elderly

About Estephanie Jill

Estephanie Jill (EJBP, BSPT, PTRP) is a licensed physiotherapist. She is a home health care provider, laboratory technician for physical therapy students, medical transcriptionist, and an advocate of the physiotherapy profession. Apart from that, she loves writing. Playing to her strengths, she mainly writes around health and fitness, She has been commended for her writing in the past. Her other passions include commenting on societal changes and writing life reflective pieces. She enjoys meaningful conversations, and detaching from the digital world to do yoga and meditation. She is a self-confessed foodie who enjoys eating for the experience and then burning it all off through exercise.