Hands on: Vizio P-Series Quantum (PQ65-F1) review

Vizio's flagship TV delivers 4K HDR at close to OLED quality

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

This is the best display that Vizio has ever introduced. It has all of the technology bells and whistles for a price that we think may induce other manufacturers to lower prices as Vizio targets the OLED market.

For

  • Full array backlight
  • Quantum dot technology
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG

Against

  • Viewing angle slightly off
  • SmartCast OS isn't enticing

Vizio is taking the fight to OLED with its all new P-Series Quantum - a premium flagship TV that is, without question, the best display Vizio has ever built.

How do we know how it'll stack up against OLED? We got a chance to see it firsthand.

In surroundings that were very controlled we were able to compare this new flagship P-Series Quantum to the rest of Vizio's line and an LG C8 OLED TV - the mid-level 2018 OLED from LG that packs in its new Alpha9 Processor. While LG might still have Vizio beat on sharper black levels, Vizio's P-Series Quantum enthralled with us with bursts of beautiful, bright colors that can only come from quantum dot panels.

Also included in 2018 is an upgraded SmartCast OS with such on screen favorites as Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube, not to mention Chromecast built-in which gives users many other apps to select from. Vizio has added a universal search feature, voice commands with Alexa or Google Assistant and an ATSC tuner.  

It's the full package and it's going to appear at a price that most folks can afford.

Design

The 65" Quantum TV from Vizio is sexy looking with its sleeker bezel-less design. There are thin black borders on all four sides that are flush with the glass and the frame is accented with silver with polished aluminum feet.  

The only problem? The P-Series Quantum only comes in one size: 65-inches. 

The reason behind this, according to Vizio, is because anything larger with all of these features couldn't be made at what they consider a value price.

While its limited size options might be problematic for some, 65-inches has long been the staple TV size and will likely work with most living room setups.

The Vizio P-Series Quantum (left) vs a 2018 LG OLED C8 (right)

The Vizio P-Series Quantum (left) vs a 2018 LG OLED C8 (right)

Performance

This P-Series Quantum gets its name from the inclusion of Quantum Dot technology - which Samsung uses in its QLED TVs like the Samsung Q9FN and Q8FN.  

This is a 4K Smart TV that includes HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG for better contrast, plus Vizio's Active Full Array Max backlight that has 192 local dimming zones for deep black levels with up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness, which could make it one of the brightest TVs around just behind the aforementioned QLED screens.  

In terms of color, Vizio says its Quantum Color Spectrum uses more than one billion colors to bring us significantly closer to what is seen by the human eye.  

During our demo, the Quantum was placed side-by-side with an LG C8 OLED TV (which topped out at 700 nits). The Quantum contrast levels were impressively brighter but the OLED still had deeper blacks and better viewing angles.  

That said, this comparison was close, with the P-Series Quantum outperforming the OLED in a few areas.

It's worth noting that VA-type panels are being used in the Quantum and all inputs are HDCP2.2/HDMI 2.0 capable, while Vizio's Clear Action 960 gives us a 240Hz effective refresh rate for smoother action scenes and sports viewing.

Early verdict

This flagship 2018 Vizio P-Series Quantum is a feature-filled LCD display that comes close to OLED with its bright colors and deep black levels. So when will you be able to get one in your living room - and, more importantly, how much is it going to cost? According to Vizio, the P-Series Quantum will be introduced this Summer at a price point lower than that of its competitors for like displays.  

Will this model cause a price war in the Summer of 2018? Potentially, but LG and Samsung certainly have one more thing to worry about.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.