It has been a busy couple of weeks for smart monitors, an emerging category of voice-enabled touch screens that search somewhere in the living room or kitchen. First, Amazon introduced us to its new and improved,. Then, with the surprise campaign of with cameras that can automatically track you while moving on video calls. The very next day: Google rolled out the smart home-centric .
There are three, counting them, three titans of technology that fight to get you into their smart shows this holiday season (not to mention those fromand which has already been released earlier this year, or from and which does not yet come.
So how do these new images stack up against each other? Let's start the best way I know how: With a large, unlimited interface full of specifications:
|Amazon Echo Show (2018)||Facebook Portal / Portal Plus||Google Home Hub  Screen Size||10.1 inch (256.5 mm)||10.1 inch (256.5 mm) / 15.6 inches (396.2 mm)||7 inches (177.8 mm)|
|Resolution  720p||720p (1920 x 1080)||Not Listed|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||9.7 x 6.9 x 4.2 inches (246.4 x 175 , 3 x 106 , 7 mm)||9.8 x 8.2 x 3.7 inches (249.9 x 208.3 x 94 mm) / 8.8 x 17.7 x 5.7 inches (223.5 x 449) , 6 x 144.8 mm)||7.02 x 4.65 x 2.65 inches (178.5 x 118 x 67.3 mm) 19659020] Weight||62.2 oz. (1,765 grams)||not listed||16.9 oz. (480 grams)|
|Wireless connection||Wi-Fi (802.11b / g / n / ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), Bluetooth speakers that require PINs are not supported||Wi-Fi (802.11a / b / g / n / ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.2||Wi-Fi (802.11b / g / n / ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0||Tale Assistant||Alexa||Alexa||Google Assistant|
|Calling and Messaging||Alexa Messages, Skype, Direct Calls (USA and Mexico)||Facebook Messenger||Direct Dial , UK and Canada, Outgoing Calls Only)  Smart Kitchen Features||Step-by-Step Recipe Assistance; Integration with Amazon Meal Kits||Limited Alexa Recipe Assistance||Supported Recording Assistance with YouTube Tutorial Videos|
|Smart Home Controls on Screen||Yes||No||Yes|
|Built-in Camera||Yes||Yes (12 MP)||No|
|Privacy Shutter||No||Yes||n / a|
|Microphones||2-mic array||] 2-mic array|
|Loudspeakers||Dual 10W, 2-inch Neodymium Drivers with Dolby and Passive Bass Radiator||10W (2 Full-Range Drivers) / 20W (2 Disks, Single 4-inch) bass)||"Full Range Speaker" (80dB SPL @ 1KHz, @ 1m)|
|Streaming Music Services||Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn||iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify||iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube Music|
|Streaming Video Services||Amazon Prime Video, DailyMotion, Hulu, NBC, Vimeo ] Facebook Watch, Food Network||YouTube|
|Compatible smart home cameras||Amazon Cloud Cam, Amcrest, August Door Camera, Flash, Canary Islands, D-Link, EZVIZ, Logitech Circle, MeShare, Nest Cam, Netgear Arlo T-Link Kasa Cam, Wyoming Cam, Zmodo||TBD||D-Link, EZVIZ, Nest Cam, Netgear Arlo, Skybell Video Doorbell, Smartcam, Swann, TP-Link Kasa Cam, Vivitar|
|Other noteworthy features||Built-in Zigbee smart home hub; Integrated with Fire TV Recast to display live TV and DVR recordings; YouTube Access via Silk or Firefox browsers||Automatic AI camera framing; Videochattfiltereffekter; "Home and away" location tracking; Facebook photo albums and birthday reminders; Interactive "Story Time" History Books; 90-degree rotating display (plus plus)||Ambient EQ automatic adaptive display brightness; Digital Photo Frame via Google Photo with Live Albums;  Color||Color, Color||Color, Color||Color, Color||Black, White||Coal, Lime, Sand|
|Availability||USA, United Kingdom, Australia  USA Only at the launch||USA, UK, Australia|
|Expected delivery date||Nov. 1||1 Year|
|Cost||$ 230||$ 199 / $ 349||1||1 Year||1 Year||$ 150|
What breaks them down
] There is no clearly defined recipe for success in the smart display category yet – we have not had aor ] type breakout that is really linked to the masses. This means that the companies that make these smart monitors are still trying to figure out how to sell people in this category – and none of them take the same approach.
For camera or not for camera?
The most obvious differential is the way these cameras are displayed. Amazon and Facebook include both cameras in front of the camera for voice-enabled video chat, and the Cameras in the Facebook portal show the use of AI to automatically follow you during conversations so you do not move around the room without worrying about framing.
Meanwhile, Google has not put a camera in its smart screen at all, CNET says, "It's a comfort thing … We wanted to make sure you could use this anywhere in the home."
Time will tell which approach connects the best with consumers, but it is also worth noting that Facebook Portal also displays physical privacy codes that cover the cameras when you are not using them. There is no physical shutter on the Amazon Echo Show, even if you can "mute" the camera with the microphone by pressing a button on the top of the device.
We see an interesting range of designs in the smart screen category, but many seem to be trending against 10-inch flat panel monitors that hide the majority of the speaker on the back. That's what you get with Echo Show and the smaller 10-inch version of the Facebook portal (not to mention Lenovo Smart Display