Hisense 55U8H Review | PCMag

The Hisense U8G was one of our favorite TVs of 2021 thanks to its fantastic picture quality and solid feature list for a reasonable price. Its successor, the Hisense U8H, is even more impressive, with wider colors and higher contrast. It’s otherwise similar to the U8G, so you shouldn’t feel like you have to upgrade from last year’s model, but if you’re shopping for a new TV, the U8H is one of the best values ​​available. today. As for cost, Hisense specifies both a suggested retail price of $1,399.99 and a “everyday” price of $999.99 for the 65-inch version of the U8H we tested to give the impression that the TV is perpetually on sale. Amazon is selling the TV at the higher suggested price at launch, but could drop to the “everyday” price over time as more units hit retail channels. Regardless, the U8H is excellent value for money and deserves our Editors’ Choice award.

Editor’s note: This review is based on testing of the 65U8H, the 65-inch model in the series. Screen size difference aside, the 55-inch 55U8H ($1,149.99 suggested retail price, $699.99 “everyday” price) is identical in features and we expect similar performance.


A simple and familiar design

The U8H uses an increasingly common TV design, in which a thin metal strip runs along the sides and top of the screen, while a wider brushed metal strip serves as the bottom bezel. It’s a simple, sleek look that the Hisense U6H, Vizio M50QXM-K01, and a variety of other TVs share. The lower bezel sports a chrome Hisense logo in the middle, a trapezoidal protrusion for the infrared sensor, a power button, Google Assistant indicator lights and a far-field microphone array with a mute switch. The TV sits on two long, thin metal feet and has standard VESA screw holes for wall mounting.

The power cable plugs into a port on the right side of the rear panel, but all other connections are located on the left side. Four HDMI ports (one eARC, two 4K120), one USB-A port, 3.5mm composite video input, 3.5mm headphone jack, and left-facing antenna/cable connector, while a optical audio output, an Ethernet port and a second USB-A port directly facing the rear.

Hisense 65U8H remote control

(Credit: Will Greenwald)

The included remote is the same one you get with the U6H. It’s a rectangular black plastic wand with a large circular navigation pad near the top. The power, input, settings, and Google Assistant buttons sit above the pad, along with a combination pinhole microphone/LED indicator. Home, back, and live TV buttons reside directly below the pad, along with playback controls, a volume rocker, and a channel rocker. Further down, dedicated service buttons provide instant access to Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, Peacock, Tubi and YouTube.


Google TV, with AirPlay support coming soon

Hisense opts for the Google TV smart TV platform on the U8H, which provides plenty of apps and features. All major video streaming services are present, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Twitch, and YouTube. This platform supports Google Cast to cast content from your Android phone or Chrome tab. An update scheduled for October will add the same Apple AirPlay connectivity features as the Hisense U6H.

Hisense 65U8H Google TV UI

(Credit: Will Greenwald)

Google TV also unlocks access to Google Assistant, and the U8H has far-field microphones that allow for hands-free use. As with a smart display, you can simply say “Hey, Google” to call voice service. Google Assistant is useful for finding content, controlling the TV and any compatible smart home device on your network, and finding general information such as weather reports and sports scores.


High contrast and wide colors

The Hisense U8H is a 4K LED-backlit LCD TV with 120Hz refresh rate. It supports high dynamic range (HDR) content in HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and hybrid log gamma (HLG). It also has an ATSC 3.0 tuner.

We test TVs with a Klein K-80 Colorimeter(Opens in a new window)a Murideo SIX-G Signal Generator(Opens in a new window)and Portrait Displays Calman Software(Opens in a new window). Out of the box, in Theater Day mode with an SDR signal, the U8H displays a maximum brightness of 711 nits with a full-screen white field and 1,410 nits with an 18% field. With an HDR signal in the same mode, the TV displays a maximum brightness of 842 nits with a full screen field and 1,982 nits with an 18% field. Either way, the black level is an excellent 0.01cd/m^2 for an effective contrast ratio of 198,226:1. This performance largely beats the U8G (88 168:1). The U8H does not reach the levels of the Samsung QN90B, however. This model offers similar maximum brightness (1,700 nits with an HDR signal and 18% white field), but offers tough OLED contrast with effectively perfect black levels thanks to its miniLED backlight.

The U8H also has a matrix backlight system and seems to turn off the lights completely for black sections, but it does show a slight bloom while the QN90B shows little to none. Bright bloom is one factor that has kept LED TVs from challenging OLEDs on black levels, although the trade-off for OLEDs is a much darker screen. For reference, our editor-award-winning OLED TV, the LG C2, has a peak brightness of just 570 nits with an HDR signal and 18% white field.

Although we measured the best contrast figures on the U8H with Theater Day mode, we recommend Filmmaker mode for watching movies. The latter has a lower peak brightness of 1,877 nits with an HDR signal and 18% white field, but better preserves shadow and highlight detail. It also displays slightly more accurate colors than Theater Day mode, although the black levels between the two are identical.

Hisense 65U8H Color Coverage

(Credit: PCMag)

The graphs above show the U8H in Filmmaker mode with an SDR signal compared to Rec.709 broadcast standards, and with an HDR signal compared to DCI-P3 digital cinema standards. SDR colors are well balanced but a little oversaturated by past broadcast standards, although that’s not a big deal as they’re still less intense than HDR colors and won’t detract from the viewing experience. HDR colors are impressive and exceed the DCI-P3 color space, although cyans and magentas start to drift a bit towards green and red, respectively. Luckily, they’re not significantly asymmetrical, so colors still look accurate right out of the box.

from the BBC Planet Earth II looks excellent on the U8H. The image is bright and colorful. The TV displays well-saturated and natural greens and blues for plants and water, respectively. Fine details like fur and bark stand out clearly in direct sunlight and shade.

The red of Deadpool’s costume in the opening scenes covered in dead Pool is dynamic and balanced; it doesn’t look faded or purplish at all. The yellows and oranges of the flames in the burning lab fight scene are bright and vibrant, with well-varied highlights against fairly dark shadow detail, but not inky.

Rear Ports Hisense 65U8H

(Credit: Will Greenwald)

In the party scenes of Gatsby the magnificent, the cuts and textures of the black suit jackets and black hair pop out without looking washed out, while the whites of the balloons and shirts in the same frames look pretty bright. This movie shows how the TV’s Filmmaker mode dims the backlight a bit and produces better black levels at the expense of a slightly darker (but still quite bright) image.

Colors fade slightly when viewing the TV from an off-angle, but not significantly. When entertaining a group of people, everyone should be able to see the screen just fine no matter where they are seated. The U8H doesn’t offer the perfect off-angle color retention of TVs like the LG C2, but it’s far better than more budget models.


Solid game chops

Gamers, especially AMD-based PC gamers, should love the U8H. Its 120Hz panel features Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and AMD FreeSync Premium.

The TV is also quite responsive. With the aid of HDMI Matrix HDFury Diva(Opens in a new window), we measured an 8.1ms input lag in Game mode. This falls below the 10ms threshold we use to determine if a TV is among the best for gaming. Predictably, with Game Mode disabled, that input lag drops to 86.5ms.


A worthy successor and excellent value

The Hisense U8H is a fantastic TV for the price and a worthy successor to the U8G. It offers excellent contrast, broad and generally accurate colors, solid gaming features and performance, and a hands-free Google Assistant with Google Cast support (and Apple AirPlay coming soon). The TV is a solid value at its suggested retail price of $1,399.99 and a truly impressive value at its “everyday” price of $999.99 for the 65-inch model, earning it our Editors’ Choice for mid-range televisions. It stands alongside the similar Google TV 4K TCL 6-Series ($1,299.99 for the 65-inch version) as one of our top picks, though the TCL isn’t quite as bright and lacks AMD FreeSync. for games and Apple AirPlay for casting.

If you want to save even more money, the Hisense U6H (actually $549.99 for the 65-inch variant) has the same excellent Google TV interface. It’s not as vibrant, bright or responsive, though. If you want to splurge, the LG C2 ($2,499.99 for the 65-inch model) remains our favorite OLED TV due to its amazing (albeit slightly weaker) picture quality, while the Samsung QN90B ( $2,599.99 for the 65-inch variant) pushes the limits of contrast performance for an LED TV.

Advantages

  • Excellent contrast and color gamut

  • Google TV with hands-free Google Assistant and Google Cast

  • Solid gaming features and performance

The essential

The Hisense U8H LED TV offers flagship-level performance and an impressive array of features for a modest price.

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