Vizio M557-G0 4K HDR TV Review | M-Series Quantum

Vizio M-Series

55” Quantum LED 60Hz Smart TV

Review Summary
  • Vizio M557-G0 (M7)
4

See full review below

Model year: 2019

Screen size reviewed: 55”

Price: $599.99 M7 Class / $699.99 M8 Class

Check current pricing at:
Walmart.com (M7 model)
Walmart.com (M8 model)
Best Buy.com (M8 model)

Pros:

  • Quantum dot color technology
  • Excellent contrast and black levels
  • Low input lag for gaming – approx. 21 ms/1080p signal
  • Chromecast built-in
  • Voice control support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa

Cons:

  • Can’t add apps to SmartCast 3.0 OS
  • Wide-angle viewing contrast and color saturating loss

Bottom Line: Vizio has introduced quantum dot technology that is usually reserved for high-end models, to their more affordable mid-tier price class which allows more consumers to see and enjoy the color enhancements quantum dot-based LED TVs have to offer.

Furthermore, the M-Series’ rich and vibrant color palette is presented with even more punch thanks to the displays excellent contrast and black level abilities.

Wrapping things up… Vizio’s M557-G0 offers solid performance, features, and great value. And If you desire state-of-the-art picture technology (quantum dots) at a down to earth price, then consider this fine performing 4K TV.

Dimensions:

With stand: (W x H x D) 48.66″ x 30.46″ x 9.37″

Without stand: (W x H x D) 48.66″ x 28.10″ x 2.83″

Weight:

With stand: 32.85 lbs.

Without stand: 32.19 lbs.

Warranty: One year parts and labor – Free Lifetime Technical support

Intro

Vizio’s M-Series is the company’s mid-tier offering of 4K TVs, whereas the V-Series and P-Series are positioned below and above respectively.

The M-Series is split between the M7 and M8 subseries. The M7 class is available in 43”, 50”, 55” and 65” screen sizes. While the M8 class can be had in 55″ and 65″ sizes.

The key differences between the M7 and M8 displays are higher peak brightness and more dimming zones in favor of the M8 models, which should give the M8 series overall better picture quality, especially in the areas of HDR and black level performance. More dimming zones also equates to more precise local dimming.

For more info on Vizio’s complete 2019 TV lineup including the M-Series, click here

The focus of this review is the 55” M557-G0 / M7.

Design/Features

Vizio M-Series side view

Side View

The M557-G0’s design is what is now typically the norm for flat-panel TVs – sleek and thin bezel aesthetics. This design gives this display a modern look that will fit well with most room décors. Moving to the backside of the TV – the panel is much thicker at the bottom and measures approximately 2.83” due to the TV’s electronic components being housed in this area. This extra thickness will present a wall mount installation that will not be as flush as other flat panel displays with a slimmer profile.

The overall build quality of this TV is well made and didn’t feel or appear to be cheaply constructed.

The TV’s screen surface has a semi-matte finish. Behind this surface is where you will find the TV’s LED zones. The M557-G0 has 16 local dimming zones that consist of quantum dot LEDs. The screen surface also did a good job of reducing reflections, resulting in room glare not being an issue with this TV.

What are quantum dots? Quantum dots are tiny semiconductor particles a few nanometers in size, having optical and electronic properties that differ from larger LED particles. The properties of these smaller LED’s allow for much better color reproduction when compared to standard (regular) LEDs.

The stand (feet) design of the M-Series is minimal in size and is made of metal. Although small in size, the feet do provide good support for the display panel.

Key Features:

  • Quantum Color – for more vibrant and richer color reproduction
  • Ultrabright 400 – up to 400 nits of peak brightness for brighter picture images
  • Full array LED backlighting w/ local dimming
  • 16 local dimming zones for better contrast and black levels
  • Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG – High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats
  • Apple AirPlay2 and HomeKit
  • Google’s Chromecast built-in
  • Voice control for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in

    Stand View

Smart TV Features

The M557-G0 includes Vizio’s latest SmartCast 3.0 smart TV platform. The home page includes popular apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu and many more. In addition, Vizio also offers a free streaming service called WatchFree and has more than 100 free live and original channels to choose from, including TV shows, movies, news, sports, lifestyle and trending digital series.

One downside to SmartCast 3.0 is the limited number of apps available with this platform, and there is no option to add more. But since the M557-G0 has Chromecast built-in, you are able to can gain access to more apps and other entertainment via your smartphone or tablet and cast it to the TV.

SmartCast 3.0 is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa which will allow voice control of certain TV functions including its smart TV interface as well as power-on, volume control, change channels and more. Furthermore, Apple’s AirPaly2, HomeKit, and Siri control will be added this summer.

Remote ControlVizio 2019 Remote

The remote control doesn’t have the typical look and feel of most basic style remotes supplied with TVs. I’ve read other “online” publication’s complaints regarding the design of this remote, but personally, I like the smooth and oval shape of the remote, as well as its appearance. The buttons have a nice and intuitive layout and are nicely spaced for easy functionality. The remote doesn’t have voice control, but as mentioned earlier, you can add voice control via a Google Home or Amazon Echo device.

The top of the remote contains six quick access buttons to popular streaming service apps which allows you to bypass the smart TV home menu. The remote is not backlight.

Connectivity

  • 4 HDMI 2.0 inputs HDCP 2.2 compatible
  • 1 USB 2.0 input
  • 1 Digital optical output
  • 1 RCA analog audio output
  • 1 Composite input
  • 1 Tuner input (cable/antenna)
  • 1 Ethernet input
  • ARC (audio return channel) – out
  • 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
Vizio M-Series Rear Ports

Rear Ports

Performance

HDR TVs haven’t been around very long but are proving to the best picture quality upgrade feature since standard resolution (non-HD) video transitioned to high definition video (HD). When done right, high-quality HDR content shown on a TV that is able to produce these images properly (TVs having enough peak brightness and contrast abilities in addition to a wide color gamut), can deliver awesome picture images.

Vizio’s M8 subseries is one of those TV’s that does HDR right. In fact, I read a recent publication that claimed the M8 version is in the same league as Samsung’s Q70R and Sony’s XBR950G; this comparison is high praise for the mid-priced M8 M-Series to be able to compete with more expensive HDR models. I recently reviewed the Samsung and Sony models mentioned above, and they both delivered great overall picture quality as well as excellent HDR images.

As for the M7 version under review here, it was able to deliver decent HDR performance, but it will not do as well as the M8 version, in my opinion, since the M8 has better peak brightness and more LED dimming zones than the M7 models. Furthermore, I felt the M7’s HDR images would have benefited from a bit more peak brightness, especially during darker images with small highlights.

With that said, HDR images on the M557-G0 still produced dynamic and vibrant colors due primarily to the use of quantum dots and a wide color gamut. These colors were also accurate natural in appearance.

Overall, HDR images were better than non-HDR images when viewed on this TV. The extended contrast range and brighter peak highlights were notably evident during HDR viewing.

Note: To get the most accurate picture quality out of the M557-G0, I suggest you use the Calibrated or Calibrated Dark picture modes. Furthermore, having a professional calibration or using a do-it-yourself calibration disc will improve picture quality on this display.

Black levels on this TV were very good and produced deep and uniform blacks in dark images, thanks to the displays very good contrast range. Black screen uniformity was also very good on this set, with no visible light bleed or clouding/flashlighting. The M77 also did a good job with shadow detail whether it be HDR or SDR (standard dynamic range) content. Shadow detail in small highlights was not subject to any black crush; instead, these images revealed decent amounts of detail with objects I viewed in any given dimly lit scene.

Image detail and clarity on the M557-G0 was very good. I could easily make out fine detail in objects, whether it be with indoor room décor or outdoor landscape foliage, all of which were presented with excellent levels of sharpness and refined clarity.

Side angle viewing began showing obvious signs of picture dimming and color loss at around 30 degrees off-axis. This will not be an issue for everyone since many viewing setups don’t have seating placed at extreme angles from the TV screen.

Motion handling was adequate on this TV with minimal amounts of motion artifacts with some fast-action sporting events. These effects, however, were subtle on this TV, and most viewers, in particular, those who are not as sensitive to motion blur, shouldn’t have an issue with these slight imperfections. Motion handling most likely would have been better on the M557-G0 if Vizio would have included advanced image processing features like motion interpolation or black frame insertion to help improve fast motion on this TV.

Conclusion

Vizio’s M557-G0 (M7) is a step up from their entry-level V-Series and improves on color reproduction via its quantum dot technology and will deliver better HDR images; it also produces higher contrast and increased peak brightness to improve HDR performance.

One thing to keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, the M8 has better peak brightness (nits) and more local dimming zones than the M7 which results in better picture quality, especially with HDR content.

With that said, the M557-G0 (M7) shouldn’t be overlooked and will produce very good picture quality with high-definition (HD) content, including 4K and 1080p resolutions. It’s color reproduction and black level capabilities are first rate. Add to that a decent smart TV platform that includes Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice control, and you end up with a well-rounded 4K Ultra HD TV.

HDTVs and More recommended

M-Series M7

M-Series

You may also like this review of Vizio’s V-Series V505-G9 4K HDR TV.

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