Vizio M-Series Quantum 4K UHD smart TV review: Great color, good features, moderate HDR

Vizio’s M-Series Quantum is one of those more affordable TVs with outstanding color that I’ve been warning Samsung and Sony about. It delivers very good image quality, especially for the price (at press time, the 65-inch-class M658-G1 I reviewed was going for $748 at Amazon), though HDR isn’t quite as impressive as it is on the competing Hisense H8F. Also, for some reason, Vizio doesn’t offer motion compensation or Bluetooth.

Regardless, this is an excellent TV for the money, and it should be on every budget shopper’s short list.

Design and specs

The M-Series Quantum has a thin bezel, though it’s not bezel-less as Vizio’s website indicates. The resolution is 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels), and the model I tested was a 65-inch class (64.5-inches measured diagonally). The unit is approximately 2.4 inches thick (just shy of 11-inches deep with the feet attached) and weighs in at right around 52 pounds. Wall-mounting is via an integrated 400mm x 200mm VESA attachment point.

Vizio talks about a 120Hz effective refresh rate, but the hardware refresh rate is actually 60Hz. There’s a layer of quantum dots that are responsible for the outstanding color, and the TV runs Vizio’s own SmartCast operating system, which includes a well-designed remote control app for Android and iOS, if you don’t mind creating an account to use it. At one point, Vizio tried ditching remotes and did a lot of good work on said app.

All the most popular streaming channels—including YouTube and Netflix—are onboard, so don’t let the proprietary OS throw you. Nearly all the usual smart TV perks are available, including a curated set of internet TV channels (WatchFree), Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, mirroring of devices, and so on.  Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast streaming are supported as well. 

The M658-G1 has no integrated DLNA client; Samsung, LG, and others do. Plex is available for streaming from NAS boxes and the like. More on that in a bit.

2019 m series back closeup small Vizio

The M658-G1 has all the usual ports. The HDMI is 2.0b and HDCP 2.2 is supported.

The ports residing on the back of the unit include two HDMI 2.0b, optical digital audio output, analog RCA audio output, coaxia, and ethernet facing downward. A USB port, two HDMI ports, and composite inputs face to the side. Smart of Vizio to make the least permanent connections the easiest to get to. There’s an 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter onboard, but there’s no Bluetooth radio, so forget wireless headphones and the like. 

Interface and remote

Vizio apologized for their bundled standalone remote, but I wasn’t sure why. It’s betterr-looking than most, and suitably minimalist. True, it’s topped by advertising/streaming shortcuts, but that’s par for the course with even top-tier remotes these days. And if you happen to use those services, they’re very handy.