Technology

Vizio OLED 2020 Review

The Vizio OLED 2020 is the first OLED TV Vizio has released and delivers excellent overall performance. Like any OLED TV, its ability to turn off individual pixels results in an infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity. It displays an excellent color gamut for HDR content, but it doesn’t get very bright in HDR, and large areas get significantly dimmer. Most gamers should appreciate the 120Hz refresh rate, near-instant response time, and low input lag. It’s advertised to have variable refresh rate (VRR) support, but it doesn’t work at all and there’s screen tearing. The TV has a unique center-mounted stand that’s designed to hold the Vizio Elevate soundbar. Sadly, the screen has the risk of permanent burn-in, which is typical of OLEDs, and our unit has noticeable temporary image retention, but this may vary between units. Here is the Vizio OLED 2020 Review.

Vizio OLED 2020 Review

Price and release date

  • New for 2020
  • 55-inch costs $1,399.99 – but is often on sale
  • 65-inch costs $1,999.99

The Vizio OLED (OLED55-H1 and OLED65-H1) is the first-generation OLED TV from Vizio that became available in the middle of 2020. It made its debut earlier that year at CES 2020, and will remain part of the company’s 2021 collection.

In terms of pricing, the Vizio OLED starts at $1,399.99 for the 55-inch model – though it was available during Black Friday and Cyber Monday for just $899 at Best Buy, making it the first official sub-$1,000 OLED TV. The 65-inch model is $1,999, but often can be found on sale for $1,699.

So how does this stack up against the competition? Well, when it’s on sale, it’s significantly cheaper than any other OLED we’ve yet to see in the US. When it dipped under $1,000 during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it proved that Vizio is serious about making a very affordable, budget-friendly OLED TV that no one else has been brave enough to make.

Design

  • Minimal bezel and super slim
  • Four HDMI ports with “support” for HDMI 2.1
  • IR remote that’s functional, but lacking in features

The LG CX OLED is a good reference point for the Vizio OLED – not just because the two TVs use the same panel technology, but because they share a number of similarities in terms of design. The unibody swooped stand, for example, is more prominent on the Vizio OLED, but looks remarkably similar to the one you’d find on the LG CX. Regardless of which OLED you opt for, you’ll find a nearly bezel-free design that looks incredibly slim and will look right at home on the wall.

Specifically, in the Vizio’s case, there’s also a pretty intelligent cable management system in the back that allows you to weave your HDMI and audio cables up through the back of the pedestal and hides them behind plastic paneling.

Speaking of ports, the Vizio OLED has four HDMI ports, two of which are supposed to support 4K/120Hz (HDMI 2 and 3) to support the PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Black Friday 2020: Get a 55-inch Vizio OLED TV for its lowest price ever

When we first tested the TV in December, we had severe issues trying to connect the new PS5 to the VIzio OLED, even after manually setting the input to HDMI 2.1 and turning off Variable Refresh Rate. In the end, all the PS5 would display was a checkerboard pattern of fuzzy lines while the Xbox Series X eventually could display 4K content, but only at 60Hz. That said, Vizio recently deployed a new firmware update that appears to have fixed the majority of the problems.

While the HDMI issues are now a thing of the past, we can’t say the same about the included remote: it’s IR-based and therefore can’t be used for voice search, which feels like a cop out on an otherwise premium TV. But, if you’ve ever owned a Vizio TV before, you know what you’re getting as it’s similar to the remote Vizio has shipped for the last few years and now comes with a few more quick start buttons for apps and concave home and WatchFree buttons to help you navigate it in the dark.

Is it the best remote we’ve tested on a TV? No, absolutely not. But, in Vizio’s defense, it’s not the worst, either.

Vizio OLED 2020 review: Performance

Vizio's OLED TVs are coming this fall starting at $1,300 - CNET

Almost regardless of picture mode, image quality on the OLED55-H1 looks excellent. Although there are noticeable differences, for example, between the Bright, Calibrated, and Calibrated Dark modes in the Pasaana festival in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, each is valid and highly attractive, rendering the scene’s juxtaposition of Technicolor-vivid costumes and craggly aliens against the planet’s oppressive desert backdrop in a unique but satisfying way. Onward, the palette-bursting Disney-Pixar fantasy-themed animated film from earlier this year, Marvel’s fast-moving action romp Spider-Man: Far From Home, and the comic-book-animated compromise candidate between them, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, fare just as well in these areas.

OLED technology gives TVs functionally infinite contrast levels, for the purest blacks you’ll find anywhere. On that score, the Vizio OLED55-H1 does not disappoint, and renders detailed spacescapes and even the Netflix splash screen with impressive fidelity. To get this dazzling effect, however, you have to sacrifice some brightness compared with non-OLED TVs. It was particularly evident up against the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (R635), which boosts both that and color via QLED technology, and we saw it in both SDR and HDR mode. This should never be a deal-breaker with an OLED set, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

The aggressive contrast you see with OLED greatly elevates scenes where the relationship between light and dark is crucial, such as the major battles and Rey and Palpatine’s final confrontation in The Rise of Skywalker. And it brings a realistic edge to the cartoony provenance of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the Lego Star Wars Holiday Special.

You’ll appreciate the picture’s clarity, too, no matter where you’re sitting. Even when you’re viewing from extreme off angles, only the slightest distortion of color (and hardly a distracting one) gives away that you’re not viewing the set from straight on. The grayish cast that can so often be visible on TVs when you’re in the wrong position is nowhere to be found here.

The OLED55-H1 supports three different HDR formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG. One of these will activate automatically when you play content that supports it, and each of the picture modes has a special HDR version that will also engage—you can’t turn HDR or support on or off in any other way. Because the HDR-enhanced modes retained the same basic qualities as the originals, the picture in each was just as good with that function on as with it off.