Faster, Brighter, Better 4K TV at a Budget Price
Vizio continues to impress year-after-year with an ever improving range of budget-priced 4K Smart TVs. This review examines the 2019 Vizio M-Series Quantum 65-inch 4K HDR Smart TV (model M658-G1) now priced at $749.99. However, television shoppers should be aware of two other 65-inch Vizio M-Series Quantum TVs (model M657-G0 and M656-G4). Each has slightly degraded specifications with a $50 or $100 price reduction, respectively.
M-Series Quantum (2019)
|Brightness||600 Nits||400 Nits||400 Nits|
|Local Dimming Zones||90||20||12|
|Speakers x 2||10W||15W||8W|
Alternatively, Vizio’s 2019 P-Series Quantum brings two upgraded 65-inch TVs with boosted specifications for more money. So it appears the M658-G1 reviewed sits right in the middle, and might just be Vizio’s best bang for the buck 65-inch 4K TV.
M-Series Quantum vs. P-Series Quantum (2019)
|Brightness||600 Nits||1100 Nits||3000 Nits|
|Local Dimming Zones||90||200||384|
|Speakers x 2||10W||10W||10W|
2019 Vizio TV Enhancements
As noted in the comparison above, the 2019 Vizio 65-inch TVs mainly differ in brightness, color gamut capabilities, and number of local dimming LED zones. Otherwise, they aesthetically look nearly identical. They have the same remote and Smart TV interface that’s proprietary to Vizio called SmartCast. Over-the-air software updates recently added support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, along with improved Amazon Alexa voice functionality. Google Assistant still works too.
SmartCast for Smart Viewing
Vizio’s SmartCast TV interface simplifies a complex web of streaming options. It highlights the latest content, while still providing access to individual apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, YouTube, and more. If that’s not enough, many more Chromecast or AirPlay 2 enabled smartphone apps can be cast (mirrored) onto the TV — even apps that don’t appear in the SmartCast TV menu, such as Disney+ and Apple TV+ (subscriptions required). Just open them on your iPhone or mobile device and tap the corresponding icon for Chromecast or AirPlay to redirect the video onto the TV.
Finally, let’s dive into the TV tested, model M658-G1, also known as the M8 for brevity. Since I reviewed M8’s predecessor, the 2018 E-Series (now discontinued), I was eager to learn what a year’s worth of technology would bring. Faster, brighter, crisper were just a few of the ways to describe the M8’s advancements. Picture quality definitely improved over what was already respectable. Scenes with fast motion cleared up, with less trailing blurriness. That made watching sports, such as football and tennis much more pleasing to the eyes. Black levels got a little deeper too, thanks to 90 local dimming LED zones that intelligently adjust the backlight to match what’s on the screen. So darker scenes in movies appear in much greater detail.
The 2019 Vizio M8 has a slimmer profile, especially the upper half which gets sliced out. Side and downward facing A/V ports allow for a more plumb wall-mount installation.
Quantum Color Technology
The 2019 M-Series debuts Quantum Color technology for richer color saturation that exceeds the full color capabilities of current HDR, with room to expand for future content. The M8 can accommodate wider than P3 color, up to 80% of the Rec. 2020 standard. Nice to know, nice to have, but nearly impossible to understand. In addition, Vizio has even more color specs covered with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG too. Ultimately, shoppers need only know video appears more realistic and vibrant than similar priced competitor TVs.
Sound quality from the TV speakers was adequate for general viewing. However, it wouldn’t hurt to get a sound bar, especially for movie watching. Vizio sound bars are also usually good bargains, especially if you spot one on sale. Or splurge on Vizio’s SB46514-F6 top-of-the-line Dolby Atmos sound bar system.
The Vizio M8, at $749, does so much right for such a reasonable price, it seems inappropriate to compare it to more expensive TVs. There’s always Vizio’s step up P-Series Quantum 65-inch 4K TVs to consider too. Either the P659-G1 now on-sale for $899 or the top-of-the-line P-Series Quantum X (PX65-G1) discounted to $1,269. Having not compared them all side by side, it’s hard to say how much you’d notice or appreciate any differences. Regardless, with Vizio’s consistent software updates, ease of use, and stellar picture quality, any of them seem like a safe investment.