Hisense U8G review

The Hisense smart TV is a high-end 4K TV in the Hisense line that replaces the Hisense H8G. It offers an impressive array of additional features, including HDMI 2.1, [email protected] gaming for PS5 and Xbox Series X players, and Free Sync support for variable refresh rate. The U8G is an updated version of last year’s Hisense H9G, a TV with bright, colorful images but without the future-oriented features offered by its competitors.

This year, the U8G features all the hardware and software improvements that have eluded the H9G, including HDMI 2.1 TV and next-generation gaming specifications such as variable refresh rate and low-latency auto mode. Now that the U8G can compete with TVs like the Samsung QN90A in the critical feature category, its performance has more room to shine and it does.

The U8G is one of the brightest TVs we have ever tested, and its quantum dot color reproduction rivals any Samsung smart TV we have tested this year. It still has some pain points (including a mediocre smart platform and a design that will not please everyone), but the Hisense U8G is a huge improvement over last year’s H9G and one of the best QLED TVs around.

Design

Many have praised Hisense’s recent displays for their modern design philosophy, and this is likely to continue with the U8G: legs that extend quite far out to the sides, and while the TV remains incredibly solid, it should definitely be the centerpiece. Buyers who place their TVs on furniture like chests of drawers may need to put their space management skills to the test. This shouldn’t be a problem if you have a wide entertainment center, but if you don’t, it’s worth noting that the stands extend beyond the back of the TV, and you’ll have to be a little careful if you’re used to placing devices behind the display.

The good news is that the bezels on the U8G are pretty thin all around, and the TV looks pretty thin no matter the viewing angle. At the bottom, the bezel gets a bit thicker, as that’s where the mic sits next to the mic switch. The TV doesn’t protrude much behind the display, and lifting it up isn’t too bad considering the U8G weighs less than 60 pounds. Transferring the TV from the box to the table after screwing the legs was not difficult.

Smart Features

Android TV runs on 65U8G and it gives you a lot of options. With all its capabilities, Android TV can tax some TVs, but it was responsive on the 65U8G. Menus load quickly and apps launch in seconds. The home screen defaults to showing recommended shows, favorite apps, and the shows you’re currently watching. You can customize your home screen to display personalized recommendations and choose your favorite apps. You can also choose which apps show you more detailed recommendations.

For example, you can have Disney+ show recommended movies and TV shows on the home screen instead of launching an app to watch them. Android TV offers virtually every app you could want, from basic ones like Netflix and Prime Video to more modern ones like Disney+ and HBO Max, as well as Apple TV, Paramount+, Peacock, and others. And if you lack an app or want to share content from your phone, the U8G also has Google Chromecast built in. Overall, this is one of the best smart TVs for streaming your favorite content.

Ports and Connectivity

As we mentioned above, the U8G comes with two sets of ports located on the right side of the rear panel, and on first inspection it looks like the layout here is exactly the same as in the U7G. Those looking from the side include four HDMI ports, two USB ports, an audio/video input that requires a special adapter to use, a headphone jack, and an antenna/cable jack. In the other group we find an ethernet cables, a digital audio output, a serial port and a service port.

The U8G comes with two HDMI 2.1 ports, which means it can support up to 4K at 120Hz. The other two ports are older HDMI 2.0, so they can support signals up to 4K at 60Hz. One of the HDMI 2.1 ports also comes with eARC, which is a step up from ARC in the U6G. This means that the U8G can stream not only Dolby Atmos but also DTS:X to another audio device such as a sound bar. Keep in mind that Hisense is one of the few remaining manufacturers that still supports the DTS format.

Audio

For better or worse, the sound quality matches the new Hisense TVs. If users are looking for a louder cinematic experience, a sound bar or speaker system may be the best option. By themselves, the U8G’s built-in speakers provide average sound quality. While the TV can be incredibly loud, sound quality degrades when users go beyond the 20-point range. Below this volume level in a small to medium room, the sound quality is quite rich when watching a TV series or movie.

When listening to music on high quality music streaming services like Tidal, the sound quality is excellent… as long as you’re within a reasonable volume range. There is some richness in the highs and mids, while the bass sounds pleasingly deep. Just remember that at higher levels there is a level of distortion that some may find uncomfortable.

Performance

The 65U8G immediately impresses with its colors and contrast. This is due to the combination of TV brightness and HDR support (Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG). In the Blu-ray 4K version of Blade Runner 2049, when Joe watches a bright “Good Joe” commercial in the dark in the rain, it was easy to see details in the dark even when the bright colors of the ad faded from the screen.

During the Weather top scene on the 4K Blu-Ray of The Fellowship of the Ring, we could see details of the moonlit rocks during the attack of the Ringwraith, and the details of the octopus head in Planet Earth II were awe-inspiring.

The 65U8G comes with a variety of picture modes and you should look into them because each one has a significant impact on what you see. Picture mode options differ depending on the source material, which can be confusing. If you’re watching something that supports Dolby Vision, you have three options: Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Vision Dark, and Dolby Vision Custom.

Price

The Hisense U8G became available in May 2020 and comes in two screen sizes – 55 inches (Hisense 55U8G) and 65 inches TVs  (Hisense 65U8G) – as of this writing, it retails for around $598 and $848. The biggest difference between these two Hisense U8G models is the number of local dimming zones: Hisense 65U8G has 360 and Hisense 55U8G has 132. Even with this small difference, we expect the two TVs to have the same performance.

Final Words

All in all, the Hisense U8G is an impressive TV. With excellent contrast ratio, high peak brightness and excellent local dimming, it’s a great choice for watching movies in a dark room. It also looks great in a bright room for watching shows or sports and cuts through bright glare with ease, but it has a narrow viewing angle so it’s not ideal for wide seating. We hope you share this blog with family and friends.