Vizio 2022 P-Series Quantum X review: Bright, bold, beautiful

The Vizio 85 P Series Quantum X showing a screen of Horseshoe Canyon.

Vizio 2022 P-Series Quantum X

MSRP $3,000.00

Pros

  • Powerful brightness
  • Intense contrast
  • Impressive backlight control
  • Extended Color Volume

Cons

  • Mild motion judder
  • Decreased off-angle performance

Vizio’s P-Series Quantum X has historically shattered price-to-performance barriers, and the 2022 model (in this case, the 85-inch P85QX-J01) aims to do more of the same, promising a blistering 3,000 nits of peak brightness with up to 790 zones of local dimming, and industry-leading color volume, all at a price that matches the competitions much smaller screen sizes. It’s fair to wonder: Is this TV too good to be true?

We found out. Read on to see if the Vizio P-Series Quantum X is the right TV for your needs and wants.

Video review

Out of the box

Vizio’s P-Series Quantum X (hereby referred to as the PQX) is currently only available in an 85-inch version which, as I write this review, comes in at just under $3,000 on sale ($3,300 MSRP).

Given the PQX’s powerful, elaborate backlighting system, the TV is neither thin nor light — out of the box, it tips the scales at just over 100 pounds. That being the case, have a friend or neighbor handy if you intend to set this TV up yourself, whether on a media stand or on the wall.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

If you’re stand-mounting the PQX, you’ll need at least 66 inches of width and 14 inches of depth to accommodate the TV’s feet, which only have one mounting location under the TV. Once the feet are installed or the TV is mounted to the wall, peeling back a few layers of protective plastic will complete the physical setup of the TV.

From there, setting up Vizio’s SmartCast platform is a relatively straightforward and comparatively brief process. Once connected to the internet via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, the TV will need at least 10 minutes to update itself. From there, an on-screen wizard guides you through the rest, which will include agreeing to terms and conditions that, frankly, are too long and convoluted for most folks to read. As is often the case with Smart TVs, what you give up in privacy, you gain in customized content suggestions. If you have no need for content suggestions, you can kindly tell Vizio to mind its own business by declining to share information. Just be very deliberate about which boxes to tick along the way.

From there I highly recommend trying out the various picture mode presets that are available. As I’ll discuss shortly, I have a preferred setting, but what’s important is that buyers do not simply accept the out-of-box settings without investigation options that might better suit their viewing needs.

Vizio SmartCast: Much better, but not perfect

Riley Young/Digital Trends

In the past, I’ve said that Vizio’s SmartCast smart TV system was frustrating enough to hold me back from recommending its TVs. Not because the platform was poorly laid out or especially hard to make sense of, but because its operation was sluggish and unreliable enough that I could see it causing buyer’s remorse. Thankfully, though, whatever behind-the-scenes issue it was that made Vizio’s TVs frustrating to use for me in the past has been addressed. I don’t think a perfect Smart TV platform exists, and SmartCast isn’t challenging that paradigm, but I didn’t experience any deal-breaking issues with the TV’s onboard apps, navigation, or settings processes during my evaluation.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

In fact, as smart TV features go, Vizio’s SmartCast is loaded to the hilt. The TV supports most of the apps folks want to use, plus a dizzying selection of less popular apps which are also loaded with content, much of it free to watch. Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 support are built-in as is compatibility with popular digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Voice search is also available, triggered by a mic button on the remote, but no built-in mic to worry about disabling over privacy concerns.

Headline features

The Vizio PQX supports all the critical HDR formats, including HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HLG (for broadcast and YouTube), plus it is one of only a handful of TVs that also supports HDR10 +, giving it a leg up with some enthusiasts who really want support for every available HDR format.

As for HDMI ports, Vizio’s official stance is that all four of the TV’s HDMI ports are HDMI 2.1 compliant, however, only two of the ports (ports 3 and 4) support high-speed HDMI capable of supporting 4K resolution at up to 120Hz. Some may be pleased to know that those two high-speed ports are independent of the eARC port, which would allow one to connect both an Xbox Series X and a Playstation 5 directly to the TV while sending uncompressed audio to an A/V receiver or soundbar, while others would prefer that the eARC port also support 4K/120 so that they could use their high-end A/V receiver as a switching hub for 4K/120 sources.

The real show-stoppers in terms of features and horsepower, however, are in the PXQ’s LED backlight system. While the PQX doesn’t use mini-LED technology yet, it does jam-pack enough LED backlights that the system can be broken down into 790 independently controlled zones, intended to support very precise control of brightness, black levels, and contrast.

That precision is matched up with a head-spinning amount of power, as well — Vizio claims the PQX is capable of peak brightness up to 3,000 nits, which is an astronomically high brightness rating for any TV, let alone one at such a relatively low price. For context, Sony’s vaunted Z9J 8K Master Series TV is capable of achieving somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 nits but, at 85-inches, costs more than double the PQX at $8,000. Samsung’s 85-inch 8K Q900B is also capable of such peak brightness, and comes in at about $8500, though, to be fair, the 2021 Samsung Q900A 8K TV is currently going for $3,000 (same as the PQX) if you can get your hands one.

So, on paper, the PQX looks incredibly powerful and capable of surgical precision, with a price tag that more or less laughs at the competition. I’ve always held to the adage that if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Is the Vizio PQX an exception to this long-standing rule?

Yeah. For the most part, it is.

Picture quality

Riley Young/Digital Trends

Bottom line: The Vizio PQX looks incredible. Take the price into consideration, and the Vizio PQX defies logic.

Before I proceed, I need to disclose that it would seem the P85QX-J01 review sample I received was somewhat damaged in transit. In my video review (above) I noted that one section of the screen comprising less than 5% of the total screen area appeared to be slightly darkened. Given the non-uniform shape of this “blemish,” it seems clear the screen, not the backlight system, had been compromised. Vizio assures me this issue is a result of screen damage sustained in transit, as the review unit was thoroughly vetted before being sent to me for evaluation and no such issue existed before the unit was shipped.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

Vizio’s explanation seems reasonable, however, it did give me some cause for concern since the TV’s box didn’t show obvious signs of abuse consistent with the anomaly. Regardless, since the dark area was restricted to one small portion of the screen, I was able to proceed with my evaluation, which included measurements taken from the unaffected center of the TV’s display area.

Speaking of those measurements: I can confirm that the PQX is quite capable of producing up to 3,000 nits of peak brightness in some of its brighter picture mode presets. With that said, I only found one picture preset to my liking — Calibrated Dark — and in that mode, the TV measured just about 2,300 nits. While that may seem like a big drop in brightness by the numbers, I can assure you the PQX was more than sufficiently bright in its Calibrated Dark modes (for SDR, HDR, and Dolby Vision content) when watching real content as opposed to boring test patterns, which fail to tell the whole story as a matter of course.

For those who need all the brightness the PQX can muster to combat bright room conditions, I preferred the Bright picture mode. Usually, I would point to the Calibrated mode (brighter than Calibrated Dark) as the more accurate bright-room preset, but in my experience with the PQX, Calibrated mode had an undesirably warm color temperature, while the Bright mode, surprisingly, was a bit more balanced in the wh

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