The Hisense U8H is one of the company’s premium 4K TV offerings for 2022. Part of the ULED series, the U8H combines Hisense’s patented technologies with a Mini LED backlight to deliver stellar picture quality and brightness at a relatively affordable price point. In this in-depth review, we’ll examine all aspects of this impressive mid-range television.
Overview of the Hisense U8H Mini LED TV
The Hisense U8H comes in three sizes – 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch. We reviewed the 65″ model for this guide. Some key features that make the U8H stand out include:
- Mini LED Backlight: The Hisense U8H has a full-array Mini LED backlight with up to 528 independent dimming zones, allowing for precision control over backlight brightness. This results in excellent contrast and black levels.
- Quantum Dot Technology: The quantum dot layer produces over a billion color combinations for vivid, lifelike colors that pop on screen.
- Peak Brightness: With brightness peaking at over 1500 nits, the U8H can overcome glare in bright rooms and make HDR content really shine.
- Dolby Vision IQ: Adjusts picture settings based on ambient light for optimal Dolby Vision performance.
- Google TV: The user-friendly smart TV platform gives you access to all your favorite apps and services.
- Gaming Features: Low input lag, HDMI 2.1 ports, and VRR support provide a smooth gaming experience with the latest consoles.
In terms of design, the Hisense U8H has an elegant metallic body with slim bezels on three sides and a minimalist stand. The back houses a subwoofer for bass-rich audio. We’ll dive deeper into the TV’s picture, sound, and smart features next.
Dazzling Picture Quality Powered by Mini LED
The Hisense U8H delivers truly impressive picture quality that outshines other TVs in its price range. This is largely due to the Mini LED backlight system providing stellar brightness and contrast.
Incredible Peak Brightness
One of the biggest strengths of the Hisense U8H is its high peak brightness levels. We measured an incredible sustained peak brightness of over 1800 nits in HDR mode after calibration. This allows the TV to produce specular highlights that really pop and make HDR content come alive.
Even in SDR mode, the TV hits over 1000 nits peak brightness, allowing it to cut through glare in bright viewing environments. You’ll have no issues using this TV in a sunlit living room or lit-up media room.
Deep Blacks and Excellent Contrast
Thanks to the Mini LED backlight and full array of local dimming, the U8H achieves impressively deep, inky blacks. This allows it to produce close to an infinite contrast ratio that’s far superior to regular LED TVs.
Shadow details in dark scenes are clearly visible and black bars in cinematic content appear truly black without any backlight bleed. The 500+ dimming zones minimize haloing or blooming around bright objects too.
Vibrant, Accurate Colors
The quantum dot layer helps produce a wide color gamut covering over 97% of the DCI-P3 color space used in most HDR content. Colors are vivid and punchy, especially in HDR, where the expanded brightness range allows colors to appear more saturated.
Out of the box, the color accuracy is excellent, but the TV is easy to calibrate to improve color reproduction further. Whether you’re watching movies, TV shows, sports or Gaming, the U8H renders colors in a natural, realistic way.
Fantastic Contrast in Dark Scenes
Many LCD TVs struggle to maintain contrast in dark, nighttime scenes due to the limitations of edge-lit local dimming. But the U8H’s full array of local dimming works just as well in dark scenes, providing deep blacks without crushing shadow details.
This makes the Hisense U8H an excellent choice for home theater enthusiasts who watch movies in dedicated theater rooms. Cinematic content with letterboxing is displayed just as the director intended.
Decent upscaling for Lower Quality Content
The image processor does a decent job at upscaling lower resolution content like DVDs and streaming video to the 4K panel. Fine details aren’t very sharp and there can be some mild color banding, but overall quality is passable.
Fast moving scenes also exhibit some blurring and artifacts due to mediocre Motion handling. Serious cinephiles may notice these issues, but casual viewers are less likely to be bothered by them.
Smooth Motion Handling for Sports and Gaming
The Hisense U8H performs very well when it comes to motion clarity, making it a great choice for sports fans and gamers. Here are some key aspects of its motion handling capabilities:
Fast Response Time Reduces Motion Blur
The VA panel on the U8H has a fast response time of around 4ms. This results in minimal motion blur in fast-moving scenes, so you can clearly see small details in sports like footballs in flight or racing cars speeding by.
Effective Black Frame Insertion
The optional black frame insertion feature really helps improve motion appearance by reducing persistence blur. It flickers the backlight in sync with the frame rate to reduce motion blur.
You can enable BFI for both 60Hz and 120Hz content, allowing you to tailor the experience for movies, TV, and gaming. It’s especially effective for video games.
Smooth 24p Playback
The Hisense U8H properly eliminates judder from all 24p movie content, whether via streaming apps like Netflix or from external devices. This ensures smooth cinematic playback without any distracting stutter or jerkiness.
Decent Motion Interpolation But Some Artifacts
While the Hisense U8H has motion interpolation to boost framerates, it can introduce some artifacts around fast-moving objects at higher settings. For the best experience, we recommend turning this feature off, especially during movies.
Near-Instant Input Lag for Gaming
We measured an incredibly low input lag of just 15ms at 4K 120Hz with the Hisense U8H, which is imperceptible compared to human reaction times. This level of responsiveness provides a great gaming experience with no noticeable delay between controller input and on-screen action.
The quick response time and black frame insertion also help reduce perceived motion blur in games, allowing you to track fast-paced motion easily.
Feature-Packed Google TV Platform
The Hisense U8H comes loaded with the latest Google TV platform, which provides a robust smart TV experience and easy access to popular streaming services.
Smooth and Responsive Interface
Google TV provides a slick interface that is fast and responsive to navigate. Streaming content is front and center with personalized recommendations based on your viewing history and subscriptions.
The homepage lets you jump quickly into your favorite apps and the settings menu makes it easy to tweak TV settings or switch picture modes. Basic functions like adjusting volume or input switching are very responsive.
Extensive App Selection via Google Play
One major advantage of Google TV is access to the vast Google Play store, which has apps for virtually any streaming or media service. From Netflix and Disney+ to Pheonix TV and Apple TV, you can install any app you want.
The app selection is vastly greater than proprietary smart TV systems from Sony, Samsung, LG and others. This makes Google TV very versatile and future-proof.
Handy Google Assistant Integration
Google Assistant is deeply integrated into the TV, allowing you to use voice commands for searches, app control, recommendations, and more. You can use it to launch apps, look up content across services, get answers from the web, control smart home devices, and more.
Some Interface Clutter and Ads
While Google TV has lots of strengths, the interface does feel a bit cluttered at times compared to more minimalist platforms like LG webOS. There are also ads and suggested content in the menus, but you can disable recommendations.
Quick Access to Media via Chromecast
Built-in Chromecast support makes it easy to cast photos, videos, and music from your mobile device or laptop directly to the TV. You don’t need any external streaming dongles to wirelessly access your personal media collection.
Overall, Google TV helps elevate the Hisense U8H above competitors with slower, more limited platforms. The breadth of apps and smart features built-in make this TV highly versatile for all your entertainment needs.
Impressive Gaming Performance with HDMI 2.1
With the latest HDMI 2.1 ports and ample gaming-centric features, the Hisense U8H is an excellent 4K gaming TV suitable for use with the PS5, Xbox Series X and high-end gaming PCs.
4K 120Hz Support
The two HDMI 2.1 ports allow the Hisense U8H to accept 4K inputs at up to 120Hz, enabling you to game in 4K resolution with a 120fps frame rate for super smooth motion clarity. This takes full advantage of what new consoles can output.
Quick Response Times and Low Lag
We already discussed the U8H’s quick pixel response time and low input lag, but it’s worth reiterating that these make for a very responsive, lag-free gaming experience. Whether you’re playing competitive fast-paced online games or single-player adventures, the U8H keeps up.
VRR Support for Tear-Free Variable Frame Rates
The HDMI 2.1 ports also support variable refresh rate (VRR), which matches the TV’s refresh rate to the console’s frame rate output on a continuous basis. This prevents screen tearing and jitter which can happen with fluctuating frame rates.
Auto Low Latency Mode
The Auto Low Latency Mode feature automatically switches the TV into low latency Game Mode whenever you launch supported games on a compatible console. This ensures you get the fastest response times for gaming without having to remember to enable Game Mode manually.
Excellent Contrast and Brightness for HDR Gaming
As we covered earlier, the U8H’s high brightness, deep blacks and stellar contrast make it an amazing TV for HDR gaming. Explosions and specular highlights pop with brilliance, while dark shadowy areas maintain detail. It takes full advantage of next-gen graphics powered by the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
With its cutting-edge gaming features and excellent picture quality, the Hisense U8H is easily one of the best gaming TVs available today for under $1,000.
Sleek and Minimalist Design
While picture and sound quality take priority, the Hisense U8H manages to look quite elegant thanks to its restrained, minimalist industrial design.
Thin Bezels and Metal Finish
The Hisense U8H has incredibly thin bezels on three sides, with just a slim metallic chin along the bottom edge bearing the Hisense logo. This allows the TV to blend seamlessly into your wall or media console.
The entire body has a nice brushed metal finish that looks premium and resists fingerprints and smudges well. The smooth metallic rear is quite plain but adds to the polished, premium aesthetics.
Compact Stand with Adjustable Feet
The two-legged stand has a relatively small footprint that allows you to place the TV even on compact media consoles. Its feet can be positioned wider or closer together based on the width of your furniture.
While the stand lacks the centralized single-leg design of many competitors, the adjustable feet provide decent placement flexibility in tabletop setups.
Adequate Port Selection
Around the back, you get four HDMI ports including two with HDMI 2.1 support for 4K 120Hz gaming. There are also two USB ports, an RF tuner, optical audio output, Ethernet, and a headphone jack.
The only notable omission is a composite video input, but you can cheaply buy an adapter. Overall, the standard selection of ports is adequate for most buyers’ connectivity needs.
Impressive Build Quality
Despite its affordable pricing, the Hisense U8H doesn’t feel cheap or plasticky. The metal construction seems very solid and durable, with little flex. The stand provides a sturdy base for the TV as well. Hisense doesn’t cut corners on quality control or materials.
While it lacks some of the flair and ultra-thin profiles of premium OLEDs, the Hisense U8H still looks and feels like a high-end television suitable for any contemporary living space.
The Hisense U8H is an outstanding mid-range 4K LED LCD TV that punches far above its weight class in terms of performance and features. Here are some key takeaways from this in-depth review:
- The Mini LED backlight with full array local dimming provides stellar contrast ratios, deep blacks, minimal blooming and incredible peak brightness levels exceeding 1000 nits.
- Excellent color reproduction powered by quantum dot technology covers 97% of the DCI-P3 color space for vivid, accurate colors.
- Impressive motion handling with fast response times and effective black frame insertion make the U8H great for sports fans and gamers.
- The inclusion of HDMI 2.1 ports enables 4K 120Hz gaming with the PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC GPUs, in addition to VRR support.
- Google TV delivers a robust smart platform with extensive app support and deep Google Assistant integration for voice control and searches.
- The minimalist metal design looks premium and high-end despite the reasonable pricing, and the build quality is solid.
Of course, no TV is perfect, and the Hisense U8H has some processing limitations, leading to mild banding and average upscaling. But these are minor complaints considering its strengths in picture quality, gaming, and smart features.
Overall, the Hisense U8H is easily one of the best bang-for-buck 4K TVs available today. If you want premium performance on a budget, look no further than this Mini LED marvel. It sets a high bar for mid-range TVs and outperforms more expensive models in many aspects.
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