The 3 Best Vizio TVs of 2021 Reviews and Smart Features

Updated
Best Vizio TVs

We've tested more than 30 Vizio TVs. Vizio offers compelling performance in each price bracket their products cover. Unlike most other manufacturers, most of their models released before 2018 lacked a tuner (making them unable to brand them as TVs). However, they now include it, so their recent models can officially be called TVs, and they tend to offer good value for most people.

Updates

Best Vizio Smart TVs


  1. Best Vizio OLED TV

    8.7
    Mixed Usage
    9.2
    Movies
    8.0
    TV Shows
    8.4
    Sports
    9.0
    Video Games
    8.7
    HDR Movies
    8.8
    HDR Gaming
    8.4
    PC Monitor
    Type OLED
    Sub-Type
    WRGB
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 55" 65"

    The Vizio OLED 2020 is the best Vizio TV in the OLED category. Like other OLEDs, its ability to turn pixels off individually results in a near-infinite contrast ratio and perfect blacks. The TV looks sleek with a raised stand that leaves plenty of space for a soundbar. It has a near-instantaneous response time, so motion looks exceptionally clear with very little blur. It also has extremely wide viewing angles, which is great if you need to accommodate a wider seating arrangement since the image doesn't lose accuracy from the side. Despite not getting very bright, it has incredible reflection handling, so there shouldn't be much glare from light sources. Also, while some highlights may not pop as they should, it still delivers a great HDR experience thanks to the wide color gamut and near-infinite contrast.

    The downside of having an OLED is that they carry a risk of permanent burn-in, but this shouldn't be an issue if you watch varied content. Beyond that, it may not be the best option for serious gaming, despite having a high 120Hz refresh rate and HDMI 2.1 ports. It supports variable refresh rate (VRR) technology to reduce screen tearing in games, but the VRR is buggy and doesn't work, and while it has a low input lag, it's not as low as other high-end 4k TVs. It also includes a black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur, but it only flickers at 120Hz. All that said, it's still an excellent TV overall, and despite these minor issues, it makes a welcome addition to the OLED market.

    See our review

  2. Best Vizio LED TV

    8.3
    Mixed Usage
    8.5
    Movies
    8.0
    TV Shows
    7.9
    Sports
    8.8
    Video Games
    8.6
    HDR Movies
    8.7
    HDR Gaming
    8.0
    PC Monitor
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 65" 75" 85"

    The best Vizio TV we've tested in the LED category is the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. It's the flagship LED model from Vizio's 2020 lineup, and it's an excellent choice for gaming. It has a high 120Hz refresh rate and a very low input lag for a smooth and responsive gaming experience. It also has two HDMI 2.1 ports for gaming in 4k @ 120Hz. That said, it still has some issues with frame skipping at 120Hz in Game Mode. It supports FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing. It also has an optional black frame insertion feature and motion interpolation to reduce motion blur. If you like HDR, it's an amazing choice, as it supports HDR10, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision. It also has a wide color gamut and gets bright enough to make highlights in HDR content truly pop.

    Unfortunately, since it uses a VA panel, it has poor viewing angles, so the image quickly loses accuracy as you move off-center. That means it may not be the best option for wider seating arrangements. It has an outstanding contrast ratio and great full-array local dimming feature. It can produce deep, inky blacks that make it ideal for gaming or watching movies in a dark room. That said, we also experienced a strange red tint on our unit, and Vizio TVs tend to be especially subject to the panel lottery, so we may have just received a bad panel. Despite its flaws, it still offers an excellent gaming experience and stunning picture quality that should satisfy most people.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Vizio TV

    6.9
    Mixed Usage
    7.1
    Movies
    7.0
    TV Shows
    6.6
    Sports
    7.1
    Video Games
    6.7
    HDR Movies
    7.1
    HDR Gaming
    7.4
    PC Monitor
    Type LED
    Sub-Type
    VA
    Resolution 4k
    Sizes : 43" 50" 55" 58" 65" 70" 75" 85"

    The best Vizio TV in the budget category that we've tested is the Vizio V5 Series 2021. It's a basic entry-level model that doesn't cost much and provides okay overall performance. Although it doesn't have any gaming features like the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021, it costs a lot less, and for those on a budget, it's worth getting the V5 Series. It has a VA panel with a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks and it has remarkable black uniformity, but it lacks a local dimming feature to improve the contrast. Even though it doesn't get bright enough to combat glare in well-lit rooms, it still has good reflection handling if you want to use it in a room with a few lights around.

    Sadly, although this TV supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision video formats, it doesn't deliver the best HDR experience. It can't display a wide color gamut and fails to make highlights stand out in HDR. On the plus side, it still has excellent gradient handling and the out-of-the-box accuracy is amazing, but this can vary between units. It's limited to a 60Hz panel, but casual gamers should still enjoy the low input lag. It has a decent response time, but you'll notice black smearing, which is typical of VA panels. This TV comes with Vizio's new 2021 remote, which has voice control, making it easier to open and play content from your favorite apps. All things considered, if you're on a budget and don't need gaming features, it's the best Vizio TV.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Competitively priced. For the same features, Vizio TVs are priced very competitively, and in some cases, are several hundred dollars cheaper than the competition.
  • Great picture quality in a dark room. All their higher-end and mid-range models have a full-array local dimming backlight, which helps to produce deep blacks.
  • Very low input lag. All Vizio TVs we've tested have a really low input lag, which is great for gaming.
  • Unpolished experience. From firmware issues to a cheaper design/look, Vizio TVs feel like they cut some corners. A lot of the issues are eventually fixed with firmware updates, but not all of them.
  • Sub-par upscaling. Low-quality content like DVDs or SD channels doesn't look as sharp as it does on other brands.
  • HDR experience leaves a lot to be desired. Unless you're getting the flagship LED TVs, you likely won't get a satisfying HDR experience. Their low-to-mid-range TVs don't get bright enough to make highlights pop.

Vizio vs Samsung

Vizio high-end TVs perform very similarly to Samsung TVs but are usually priced very competitively. Some people might not like Vizio's SmartCast platform, which works just like Google's Chromecast. However, Samsung TVs are more versatile when it comes to having options with wide viewing angles, and they tend to get brighter.

Vizio vs Sony

Unlike Sony, Vizio offers inexpensive entry-level TVs with good value. Sony TVs are usually brighter and have more polish in their construction. Plus, their Google-based smart features include Vizio's Chromecast capabilities and more. Sony TVs are usually more expensive, though, and they don't have as many gaming features as Vizio.

Overall, Vizio TVs are very well-priced and have great picture quality. They don't have the high-end feel as some other brands, and they offer great value for the price, but their OS can feel laggy and there are often a ton of bugs associated with their TVs. There are better gaming TVs out there, but if you're a fan of watching movies in dark rooms and don't need the extra perks, you can't go wrong with a Vizio.

Lineup

Vizio's lineup is fairly straightforward, as they have very few models, but they have made some changes that can be a bit confusing. Their entry-level 4k TV is known as the V Series, replacing the previous D and E Series TVs from previous years, which are now 1080p or lower options. Moving up, they have the mid-range M Series Quantum, P Series Quantum, and finally, the flagship P Series Quantum X. Often, it's unclear from the model name which year it's from unless it's specified, but the model codes make it a bit more clear. For example, the 2021 TVs use J in the model code, and those from 2020 have H (M65Q7-J01 is a 2021 TV, while the M65Q-H1 is 2020).

Vizio Smart Features

Vizio TVs run the SmartCast platform, which is very basic and has a very limited selection of apps and it doesn't have an app store. Instead, it's relying on its ability to receive apps that are cast from your smart device. While the platform is versatile and has considerably grown in support from app makers, Vizio’s implementation is far from perfect. The SmartCast app Vizio provides to access content as well as adjust settings isn't the fastest and most stable, and not everything is available for casting.

Interface

Vizio Smart Interface

SmartCast now features a more traditional home screen. Apps like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are available, as well as featured links to content found on the online TV service Pluto TV. Unfortunately, there's no app store, and apps are not actually installed on the TV; they're links to web-based interfaces.

Vizio's improved the set of options you can change from the TV itself. Nowadays, you don't need to touch the SmartCast app at all to get the TV going properly, and even complete calibration settings are available on the on-screen menus (however, we do recommend using the app for more in-depth calibration since it's a lot more efficient for making a lot of adjustments).

Ad-free

For many years Vizio remained one of the few brands left to not sell their interface to advertisers. However, we noticed with the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2021 and Vizio V5 Series 2021 that there's now suggested content on the home page.

Apps & Features

Current Vizio TVs don't have an app store, and there's no way to add additional apps. The included apps cover many of the more popular services, but it might not be enough for some people, especially if you rely on streaming services instead of a traditional TV service.

Voice Controls

Vizio finally added support for voice controls with the release of their 2021 TVs that come with the new remote (see below). It's pretty basic and not as advanced as other brands, but you can still ask it to change inputs and open apps, but you can't ask it to search for specific content in apps.

Remote

Vizio Smart TV Remote

Vizio released a new remote with their 2021 models. It's stripped-down compared to the past version as it lacks a Numpad, but you still get the short buttons to popular streaming services. It's not too big, but it's very basic, and it doesn't have backlighting.

Remote App

Vizio Smart TV Remote App

The Vizio remote app is great. It supports all functions of the remote, and can even be used to enter text into some apps, which is rare. The TV's settings can also be controlled and adjusted directly in the app, including the TV's calibration. This can now be done on the TV itself, but due to the slow interface, it's usually faster to change the settings through the remote app.

Known Issues

The SmartCast platform isn't the most versatile, and it can be very slow. On 2020 models, we've encountered a few bugs with the settings, so it can be frustrating sometimes. Vizio is generally pretty good with software updates, though, and hopefully, most of these issues will be fixed.

Recent Updates

  1. Aug 18, 2021: Replaced the Vizio M7 Series Quantum 2020 with the Vizio V5 Series 2021; renamed the Vizio OLED 2020 and P Series Quantum X 2020 to 'Best OLED' and 'Best LED' respectively; updated the smart features section.

  2. May 20, 2021: Replaced the Vizio P Series Quantum 2020 with the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020 as 'Best Vizio TV For Gaming'.

  3. Feb 19, 2021: Updated text for clarity; no changes to picks.

Conclusion

In general, Vizio TVs have great picture quality for their price. They aren't as well-polished as the main brands' offering, but they have one of the best values for the money that you can get. Their smart platform leaves a lot to be desired, though, and some people might want to consider upgrading to a set-top box like a Roku or NVIDIA Shield TV.

Test results

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