Thursday, March 30, 2023

Vizio OLED 4K UHD (2020) review: for the masses

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As others have noted, I have found this TV’s peak brightness to be darker than more expensive OLEDs as well, at least in factory “calibrated” mode. This problem is easily improved, but not totally alleviated; you can increase luminance in the advanced picture settings menu, which makes high dynamic range (HDR) content slightly more dynamic.

As with all OLED panels, you can expect some screen burnout (where content leaves an imprint on the TV panel) during the life of the unit if you leave a single station (or a desktop application bar or game menu) displayed for many hours a day. I suggest a standard LED TV like the TCL 6 Series if you think that might be a problem, but it really won’t be for most people.

It’s organic

Photography: Vizio

Don’t let lukewarm enthusiasts on the forums get to you. Believe me: while not as bright or detailed in darker scenes (or brighter rooms) than more expensive OLEDs, this TV still looks remarkable.

I’ve watched everything from 4K Blu-ray discs to 720p Plex streams, and in each case, I found myself stunned by the fantasy of a TV with this price tag. I just had to increase the luminance and turn off motion smoothing, which I would do on any new TV. From there everything I played looked just fantastic. In previous years, the gap between televisions that cost two or three times the price and that would be staggering. This year it’s like a little jump over a garden hose.

One area where I give Vizio the upper hand is its Smartcast interface. It’s easily my favorite of the big three OLED TV companies, thanks to an intuitive interface and a companion app. I like that it also supports Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast, so casting from any phone is a snap.

It’s also better than Sony’s OLED when it comes to console gaming. The Vizio is one of the few TVs on the market with HDMI 2.1 ports, as well as full support for using the Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X at 4K resolution with a refresh rate of 120 frames per second. As of publication date, the only other TV to support this feature is the LG CX (and other more expensive LG models).

Photography: Vizio

I wasn’t able to test a new gaming system during my review period (and heard there might be some initial compatibility issues), but upgrading your TV (though you have the money) is absolutely worth accessing these features and getting the most out of your shiny new console.

Vizio’s OLED comes with a few visual compromises, but overall this new TV has the best value you’ll find outside of TCL’s 6 Series. Make sure to wait for a holiday sale, as it usually gets close to $ 1000, if it doesn’t drop below. If I was looking for a new TV right now, this would be almost right at the top of my list.


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