Updated in 2018. 55" size is practical for medium to large rooms. Owners brag about the true-to-life colors it produces. Part of the purchase price of the Red series goes to help HIV research. Not overly expensive.
Software has been known to have a few issues. Interface could be more user-friendly.
Ideal for setting up a home theater thanks to the 75" screen. Smart technology is responsive, and streaming your favorite apps is easy. Nice XLED picture quality that produces beautiful colors. TV and remote are easy to set up.
Older model (2017), but the technology it offers is still notable. Sound quality is just OK. Expensive.
Packed with features, including voice control, built-in Chromecast, and free access to numerous streaming channels. HDR helps you make the most of your gaming experience. Reasonable price.
Rare reports of screen issues, such as dark picture or shadows. However, more customers rave about the image quality.
Offers access to numerous apps and streaming services, as it comes with built-in Chromecast access. Combines 4K HD and HDR for outstanding viewing and gaming experiences.
Occasional software bugs reported. Volume and overall sound quality could be better.
There’s never been a better – or a more confusing – time to buy a TV. As manufacturers keep up with the rise of new technology, more TVs come out every year with impressive new features, leaving consumers to hack through a jungle of acronyms and complicated explanations to understand. But of all the major technological milestones we’ve seen in TVs over the last few years, one stands out above the others: smart TV capabilities. And VIZIO is a leader in the field.
Smart TVs feature built-in apps to help you do anything on your TV, from work out with a yoga video to stream the latest new series from Netflix. Most major TV manufacturers now include smart TV functionality in all of their models, but that’s especially appealing when it comes to VIZIO, who have always positioned themselves as the maker of the most affordable TVs on the market.
At BestReviews, our mission is to provide honest, unbiased information about compelling products to help our readers make informed purchasing decisions. Read on for the complete lowdown on VIZIO Smart TVs, then when you’re ready to start shopping, check out our favorite models in the grid at the top of the page.
Walk the aisles of any big-box electronics store and you’re likely to find a new generation of TVs that are much brighter and more stunning than ever before – and, as it turns out, it’s not just because they have 4K resolution. With new developments in light technology, TV manufacturers have found new ways to create a wider array of color while changing how they backlight displays. The good news is that TVs are looking more amazing than ever. The bad news is that every manufacturer’s approach is a little bit different, making it hard to compare apples to apples.
VIZIO’s premium smart TVs are built with XLED panels. Here’s where that fits in with comparable tech.
This is VIZIO’s marketing term for full array local dimming (FALD). FALD displays are still backlit like traditional LED TVs, but they’re better able to handle dark areas of the screen. Traditional LED TVs light up pixels in clusters, which means that light bleed can happen – neighboring pixels can be lit more than they’re supposed to, creating a picture that isn’t as clear as it could be. In a FALD display, the TV’s panel is still backlit, but the lighting clusters are better at local dimming, meaning they prevent the light bleed. The bottom line is VIZIO’s XLED TVs produce a picture that’s a huge step up from traditional LED displays but not quite as sharp as OLED TVs.
Organic, light-emitting diode TVs are a complete departure from traditional LED TV technology. On OLED TVs, each pixel is lit individually – not in clusters – so every pixel on the screen is the exact color it was intended to be. What’s more, OLED TVs are able to turn off pixels individually, so instead of attempting to display the color black, they simply deactivate the light from that pixel. As a result, OLED TVs have the deepest blacks and the most accurate color representation available – and the highest price tags. These displays are used in many LG and Sony TVs.
This is Samsung’s marketing term for full array local dimming (FALD). Samsung uses the same local dimming that VIZIO does in many of their sets, but in Samsung’s world, those sets are called QLED. Samsung’s QLED TVs are based on the same hardware as VIZIO XLED TVs – they’re just pricier. If you’re looking for a TV with superior picture quality, but you need to keep your costs down, choose a VIZIO XLED TV.
Small and powerful
It’s not just the big sets that get to have all the fun. VIZIO’s diminutive HDTV packs all of the power of their smart TV operating system, bringing every major streaming app to the small screen. We love the crisp picture and the built-in HDTV tuner for picking up local channels. It’s not a 4K TV, but at this size who’s going to notice?
Before using the term “XLED,” VIZIO referred to their FALD displays as “full array LED TVs.” For the purposes of comparing different VIZIO TVs, the two terms may be used interchangeably, but know that they mean the same.
Most VIZIO Smart TVs feature 4K resolution, but not all of them support high dynamic range (HDR), a feature that dramatically improves color accuracy for certain content. HDR is a feature worth paying for if you can afford it.
VIZIO XLED Smart TVs handle motion better than traditional LED displays. If you watch high-motion content, such as sports or action movies, buy a VIZIO Smart TV with XLED (sometimes called “full array LED”).
VIZIO prides itself on making some of the most affordable TV sets available, but when they’re all so affordable it can be tough to know how much to spend. As you’re shopping for a VIZIO Smart TV, keep these price ranges in mind.
Between $200 and $499
You’ll find VIZIO Smart TVs with HD resolution, but no 4K models at this price. These VIZIO models typically feature standard LED displays and a complete set of smart TV apps, including all the major streaming services. If you’re looking for a smaller smart TV, or you simply don’t need the bells and whistles of VIZIO’s other models, you don’t have to spend much.
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Between $500 and $999
You’ll begin to see 4K sets in larger sizes, usually up to 60 inches, at this price. VIZIO Smart TVs on the high end of this price range include some hot features, such as support for high dynamic range (HDR), but they’re built with traditional LED screens, so they deliver good – but not amazing – picture quality.
Between $1,000 and $1,500
VIZIO sells their most capable hardware in this price range. If you need it all – a giant screen, the best display technology VIZIO has, and support for apps and HDR – you’ll need to spend at least $1,000. While that’s certainly a lot of money, it’s worth remembering that other manufacturers charge hundreds, and sometimes a few thousand, more for their equivalent models.
Looking at the (really) big picture
Calling VIZIO’s E70-E3 “big” doesn’t quite do the mammoth TV justice. This 70-inch set has everything we could ask for: full 4K support, HDR capability, and VIZIO’s top-notch smart TV OS. If you’re building a home theater with a supersize screen, but you’re not quite ready to take the leap to a projector, this is the set to get.
If you plan on “casting” content from a phone or tablet to your VIZIO Smart TV, download the free “Google Cast” browser extension to the web browsers on your source devices. VIZIO Smart TVs have Google’s Chromecast functionality baked in, so right out of the box they can support video casting from any browser that supports the Google Cast extension. Download the extension to any devices you plan to use with your VIZIO Smart TV so you can start enjoying your favorite mobile content on the big screen.
If you experience a problem with your VIZIO Smart TV interface, turn the TV off and back on again. At the end of the day, smart TVs are just TVs with computers inside, and that means that they occasionally freeze up or display odd error messages. If you happen to encounter a technical issue with your TV, take the same first step you would with any computer: reboot it. In most cases, rebooting a VIZIO Smart TV will clear up any problems caused by the software.
Q. Do VIZIO Smart TVs include a digital assistant like Alexa or Siri?
A. VIZIO TVs that include the proprietary SmartCast feature will work with Google Home or Amazon’s Echo digital assistant services. When paired with a digital assistant, you can control your VIZIO Smart TV with voice commands like “turn on my TV” or “turn up the volume.”
Q. Do smart TVs track my viewing habits?
A. Yes. Like most online services, part of the smart TV industry’s business model relies on both content providers (like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, or Netflix) and smart TV operating systems themselves reporting back usage data for the purposes of ad targeting. Based on related privacy concerns, many VIZIO TV owners sometimes take additional steps like using networking administrative controls to limit their TV’s access to the internet.
Q. Will a VIZIO Smart TV be able to pick up my local broadcast channels?
A. VIZIO refers to their sets as “displays,” and that’s because they no longer include built-in hardware for receiving and decoding local over-the-air broadcast signals (which is what would technically qualify them as televisions). To view local broadcasts on a VIZIO Smart TV, you’ll need an HD antenna and a digital tuner, each purchased separately.
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