Vizio TVs add voice remotes, keep local dimming, remain affordable – CNET

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Vizio

Get ready to talk into your Vizio TV remote. The company’s latest TVs include a clicker with press-to-talk functionality, allowing you to search for TV shows, change TV settings, launch apps and more using voice commands. The new features are part of Vizio’s updated SmartCast smart TV system, and the most affordable TV with a voice remote is a 43-inch V-series model for $340.

A few of Vizio’s new TV are available now and more will start shipping throughout the summer. In addition to the voice remote, higher-end versions in the P-series and M-series promise improved image quality with high brightness, full-array local dimming and support for the latest gaming features.

Although it’s been losing ground lately to rival TCL in sales and in our reviews, Vizio remains a top seller with excellent features and picture quality for the money. Last year we lauded the M7 series as a more-affordable alternative to our favorite TCL 6-series, which uses Roku’s smart TV and voice system. 

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Vizio’s new voice remote is included on its latest televisions, but won’t be sold separately for current Vizio TV owners.


Vizio

TVs with voice remotes have been sold by pretty much all of Vizio’s competitors for years. Vizio first revealed its own voice system in January 2020, but now is the first time it’s been available. Cleverly called Vizio Voice, it supports natural language queries, and Vizio says you can “build upon search results without restating the entire query.” How it compares with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant is an open question. Those two voice systems dominate the gadget market, support a vast array of devices and are built into TVs from Samsung, LG and Sony. 

Vizio TVs can pair with Amazon, Google and Apple smart speakers for limited commands, but only Vizio Voice is built into its TVs. The company says its SmartCast phone app for iOS and Android will also work with voice commands, to enable current Vizio TVs to respond. Unlike Roku, which allows voice remote upgrades for its TVs, Vizio did not announce plans to sell the new clicker separately.

The new voice remote, which works via Bluetooth so you don’t have to aim it at the TV, will be included in all new Vizio TVs detailed below, with the exception of the entry-level D-series. It will not be included with any previously-announced models that remain on sale.

New V-, M- and P-series, but no new Vizio OLED

The company announced a ton of new TVs but none use OLED technology, which delivers the best picture quality in our tests. Vizio representatives told CNET that the company’s first and only OLED TV, the H1 series, will remain on sale, but didn’t provide any details on how long or when it might be replaced.

Here’s a summary of the higher-end Vizio TVs announced today. All start shipping in July, with the exception of the 55-inch MQ7 series, which ships in June.

Vizio P-, M-series TVs with local dimming

Model Size (inches) Price Dimming zones UltraBright (nits) Processor
P85QX-J 85 TBD 792 3000 IQ Ultra
P75Q9-J 75 $2,200 210 1200 IQ Ultra
P65Q9-J 65 $1,400 144 1200 IQ Ultra
M75Q7-J 75 $1,400 32 700 IQ Active
M70Q7-J 70 $1,200 30 700 IQ Active
M65Q7-J 65 $900 30 700 IQ Active
M58Q7-J 58 $830 27 600 IQ Active
M55Q7-J 55 $800 27 600 IQ Active
M50Q7-J 50 $750 16 400 IQ Active

In Vizio’s briefing to reporters, representatives talked up the 85-inch PX model, which can get exceedingly bright (3000 nits), sports a wider color gamut and packs in more local dimming zones than ever. Unfortunately Vizio didn’t disclose pricing or availability, and it’s the only size to get those juicy specs — although the current 65- and 75-inch PX models will remain in the lineup through Q3 and Q4, according to Vizio.

Likely more interesting to mainstream buyers will be the new PQ9-J and MQ7-J models. The P-series gets brighter than the M-, with more dimming zones and better processing — the latter Vizio’s new “IQ Ultra.” It also has a 120Hz native refresh rate, which among other benefits lets it accept 4K/120 FPS signals from Xbox Series X, PS5 and high-end PC gaming cards, and supports variable refresh rate and AMD FreeSync. All told the PQ9 looks like a contender against the TCL 6-series, despite missing mini-LED.

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Vizio’s PQ9-J series comes in 65- and 75-inch sizes.


Vizio

The MQ7-J is the successor to our second-favorite TV for the money, the M7 from last year, and on paper it’s very similar, complete with quantum dots and local dimming. Like its predecessor it’s a 60Hz TV that can support VRR up to 60fps and has AMD FreeSync. 

In the 65-inch and larger sizes, both series also offer an innovative stand design to better accommodate Vizio soundbars.You can adjust the stand legs in two positions: standard or a couple inches higher, so setting a bar below doesn’t obscure the screen. And when the TV is wall-mounted, the stand legs can transform into a bracket that holds the soundbar. 

Vizio also debuted a bunch of cheaper models. Some are available now, while some ship as late as August. Here’s the skinny.

Vizio MQ6-J series: The cheapest with quantum dots, these models lack local dimming and so will likely have worse image quality than the MQ7, although they do support VRR/AMD FreeSync at 60Hz. They’re available in sizes from 43 to 75 inches and cost between $400 and $1000 — that ranges from $180 to $400 less than the equivalent-sized MQ7.

Vizio V-series: The cheapest with the voice remote and HDR, this is Vizio’s entry-level 4K series. There are actually two different 70- and 75-inch members of this series, two step-up versions that include VRR/FreeSync (at 60Hz, again) and two base models that do not. The V-series is available in sizes from 43 to 75 inches and costs between $340 and $920 — that’s $70 to $80 less than the equivalent-sized MQ6.

Vizio D-series: Smaller, 1080p-resolution models, these are as cheap as $130 for a 24-incher. Two versions shipping in August, the 24-inch D24f4-J ($170) and 32-inch D32f4-J ($230) support VRR/FreeSync, making them intriguing budget PC monitor alternatives. 

We look forward to reviewing Vizio’s new TVs soon.

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