Hands on: Vizio P-Series Quantum (P659-G1) review

Impressively improved color, brightness and local dimming zones

What is a hands on review?
Vizio P-Series Quantum (P659-G1)
Image Credit: Vizio

Early Verdict

Vizio’s P-Series Quantum has benefited from a bump in technology to offer a good 4K HDR TV with high levels of color and brightness at a competitive price point to comparable brands with similar technology.

For

  • Improved black levels
  • Wider Color Gamut
  • Voice control with all major assistants

Against

  • Typical LCD viewing angle limitations
  • Audio needs improvement
  • No HDMI 2.1 ports

If you're stacking Vizio's 2019 TV lineup side-by-side, the new Vizio P-Series Quantum would stand next to the brand's biggest and brightest 2019, the P-Series Quantum X

While not as bright, bold or beautiful as Vizio's flagship screen, the new P-Series Quantum is much-improved from last year's models and, starting at $1,399, is well-worth considering if the Quantum X's $2,199 price point is just a bit too far out of reach. This P-Series Quantum display demonstrates a wider color gamut from the inclusion of quantum dot technology along with greater blacks from an increased number of dimming zones and 1,100 nits of peak brightness giving us a fantastic screen with obvious improvements over the Vizio’s 2018 P-Series.    

All said, if you're in need of a premium 4K HDR screen this year, and don't see yourself dropping big bucks to get one, the P-Series Quantum P659-G1 could be a nice compromise.

Design

The 2019 P-Series Quantum looks the same as last year’s thin black bezel-less three-sided models with an aluminum piece on the bottom which gives a flush appearance with the glass.  

During a hands on demo with the TV, all units were hung on the wall for our viewing we could not observe the placement of the left and right feet stands, but we assume based on their location, would require a very long tabletop to adequately support this model - something we recommend that you take into consideration with the purchase of any TV. 

Turn the TV on and you'll be met with the new SmartCast 3.0 smart platform that offers better integration of voice activation for Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa and also Apple’s Home Kit for interaction with Siri too. This summer will also see an upgrade to AirPlay 2 allowing consumers to use their Apple devices for streaming and will be backward-compatible to Vizio’s 2016 smart models.  

Vizio continues to prioritize free apps on its home screen introducing its “WatchFree” service powered by PlutoTV. There will be other free services with specialized viewing such as CNN and Comedy Central which will offer different content than seen on cable services.  

The home UI also includes support for some of the most popular streaming sites such as: Netflix, Prime Video and Hulu for immediate use out of the box, and YouTube available to Cast. Although Vizio’s offerings on its homepage are still slim  with Chromecast built in and AirPlay2 coming soon you will be able to view whatever you like with a little more work.  

Image Credit: Vizio

Image Credit: Vizio

Performance

 In terms of HDR support, this year's P-Series Quantum includes HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG to enhance images along with quantum dot color, full array backlighting and up to 200 local dimming zones on the 65-inch P659-G1 which aid in offering in deeper black levels.  

The number of local dimming zones doubled from the 2018 P-Series and peak brightness has increased to 1,100 nits which showed us much brighter picture quality in our demo especially when comparing it side-by-side to the M-Series

Clear Action 960 is used to ensure that fast-action content gets an effective 240Hz refresh rate. All models come equipped with component, Ethernet, USB (1), and HDMI (5) inputs allowing easy direct connections for all of your 4K gaming or Blu-ray devices, plus an ATSC tuner is included for you streamers.

Early verdict

The P-Series Quantum is a great choice if you are after a TV that is focused on performing at an above-average level with great pricing.  The inclusion of quantum dot color; the doubling of local dimming zones and higher peak brightness gives Vizio’s well-known value pricing a step up on the competition. 

  • Looking to spend even less on a 4K HDR TV? Check out the new Vizio V-Series

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.