Vizio V655-H19 Review: Useful Features and Good Performance On a Budget


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This Vizio V655-H19 review goes over the features and performance of a budget TV. Read on to see if the Vizio V655-H19 gives value for money.

The 2020 crop of Vizio V series televisions carry slight improvements to their 2019 predecessors. Notable improvements are evident in reflection handling and input lag. We start by unboxing the Vizio V655-H19 to see what it has to offer.

Vizio V655-H19 review: Unboxing and first looks

Vizio V655-H19 review

The only accessories that come with the V655-H19 are a remote, a pair of batteries, and a user guide. You’ll also find a pair of legs and the screws that you need to attach them. If you choose to go the wall mount route, find a bracket that accommodates a 400×200 wall mount pattern.

At first glance, the Vizio V655 has the simple look of your average modern TV. Its chassis of black-and-grey plastic has a mix of matte and glossy textures. The result is a nice-looking but understated TV that will blend nicely with whatever space you put it in. It’s worth noting that the top half of the back panel is metallic.

Design

This 55-inch Vizio has half-inch borders that are plenty thin for a budget TV. The person who prefers to set their TV on a stand will appreciate the wide-set legs that come with the TV. These provide a stable base that keeps the TV from wobbling at the slightest touch. That said, you will need a wide stand to accommodate the legs, which sit on the far ends of the display.

At 2.5 inches at its thickest point, the Vizio VV655-H19 is slim enough to hug the wall should you choose to mount it.

The lower half of the back panel holds a VESA wall mount pattern and an array of ports. A lack of cable management grooves and rear-facing inputs makes this TV harder to use if you choose to mount it.

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Ports and connectivity

A side-facing inset holds the first set of inputs. It houses a USB port and three HDMI ports; arguably the most essential inputs on any TV. So, it’s a good thing that the inset is easy to reach from the left side of the TV.

The rest of the ports sit on a rear-facing panel. They include two sets of legacy (RCA/Composite) ports, a digital optical output, and an Ethernet port. The rear panel also has a coaxial connector for antenna or cable connections.

An internal wireless adapter provides Wi-Fi connectivity on both 2.4Ghz and 5GHz frequencies.

Smart TV interface

Vizio chooses to use SmartCast, their proprietary OS for the 2020 V-series. How does the OS hold up to competitors like Roku, Android, and Fire TV?

For one, there is a limit to the selection of applications available to you. The interface is indeed compatible with popular streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube TV, and certain variations of HBO. However, SmartCast lacks an app store, which limits what you can do with the TV.

Still, SmartCast has a lot going for it. It has a companion app that lets you operate the TV from your phone or tablet. With a little finessing, you can activate Google Assistant on the interface. Sadly, Alexa is not an option on this platform.

The interface is also easy to use. It’s responsive to commands and menu selections and will load YouTube in the blink of an eye.  You’ll learn to live with suggested content and ads for which there’s no opt-out.

Vizio V655-H19 review:  Hardware and picture quality

The Vizio V655 is a 4K VA panel with a 60Hz refresh rate and direct array backlights.  It has circuitry and firmware that performs responsive signal processing to improve both your viewing and gaming experience. The TV also holds a pair of 8-watt speakers in its slim frame.

Here is how the hardware holds up when you put it through its paces:

1.       Color

Color accuracy is fine right out of the box and excellent after a few adjustments. Calibrating TVs is not for everyone, so leave the TV as is if the colors look good to you. However, if you notice a reddish tint or off-white whites and yellows that tend towards orange, you might need to do a little tweaking.

It’s worth noting that the V655-H19 is working with a narrow color gamut, which makes its color accuracy that much more impressive. A high peak brightness level is all it takes to expand the color volume enough to render quality HDR pictures.

2.       Brightness and contrast

Displays that support HDR need to be bright enough to give depth to the panel’s color palette. The 2020 V-series panel fails to reach that level of luminance, which is a thing that happens with budget TVs.

Peak brightness levels of 214cd/m2 in both HDR and SDR limit the panel’s native color depth. This isn’t to say that the Vizio V655-H19 phones it in. The panel makes full use of the color volume available to it. So while it’s hard to spot the difference between SDR and HDR content, the colors remain vibrant and true to life.

It helps that the direct backlights of the TV allow for local dimming. This translates into amazing contrast that allows the V655-H19 to execute a stunning level of detail, even in dark scenes. The sharpness, detail, and shadow contouring of this TV are some of its top features.

3.       Viewing angles

VA panels like the Vizio V655 have famously narrow viewing angles. The colors of this particular model start to visibly shift at 40 degrees from the center. This little fact is important for the person who loves to host movie nights for their friends and family.

4.       Screen uniformity

A black screen will be uniform, with slight backlight bleed at the edges. The backlight bleed and dirty screen effect become more noticeable with brighter colors like a green sports field.

5.       Motion handling

There are two main aspects to motion handling: Input lag and response time.  Input lag is the amount of time it takes for a panel to display an input signal. Response time is the amount of time it takes for a pixel to change from one color to another. When marketing their displays, manufacturers advertise list grey-to-grey response time. It turns out that switching from grey to grey takes the least amount of time.

The Vizio V655 has an impressively low input lag of less than 12ms in game mode, a quality that gamers would love. Its speed at displaying input signals makes it suitable for use as a computer monitor.

In contrast, it takes 22ms for the panel to change colors. As response time goes, 22ms grey-to-grey transition is a little long. It translates into noticeable motion blur during fast action content like action movies, sports, and games. So as motion handling goes, the Vizio V655 is a mixed bag.

Sound

A pair of 8-watt speakers will work fine in a pinch, but we should never expect too much from modern TV speakers. They get tinny at high volume so an external audio rig is always a good idea.

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Nice selection of inputs
  • A responsive OS with the allowance to activate Google Voice Assistant
  • Excellent contrast
  • Very low input lag

Cons

  • There are limits to the app selection and smart home features of the Vizio SmartCast OS 
  • Narrow color gamut
  • Low peak brightness for a TV that supports HDR formats*
  • Narrow viewing angles

Vizio V655-H19 review verdict: A functional, affordable smart TV for everyday use

We conclude this Vizio V655-H19 review by answering the question: Is this TV a good purchase? The answer is yes. Its competitive pricing and smart features are just two of the reasons you should consider this 4K display. Click here to learn more about this television.

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