The Hisense U8H Mini-LED Pro Smart TV punches way above its weight when it comes to visuals and sound. It's my first experience with this Chinese TV maker, and it has been mostly positive. While its user interface could be improved, the U8H gives more expensive TVs a run for their money in terms of picture quality. The U8H is also pretty good for gaming, thanks to its two HDMI 2.1 ports that support 4K at 120Hz. If you don't have the budget for a premium TV, such as an OLED, or are always watching TV in a well-lit room, the U8H is a great option.
- 4K resolution with HDR10+ and Dolby Vision
- 4x HDMI ports (2 HDMI 2.1 ports support 4K@120Hz)
- Comes in 55″, 65″ (tested), and 75″ sizes
- Supports ALLM, VRR, and eARC
Because it's a mini-LED TV, the Hisense U8H comes with local dimming zones (up to 180) instead of self-lit pixels like an OLED TV. The U8H makes up for its lack of true blacks with a peak brightness of up to 1,200 nits. Colours aren't quite as rich as an OLED TV. But the U8H looks comparable to pricier mini-LED TVs like the Samsung QN95B. Blooming on the U8H is almost non-existent unless you're viewing from the sides. The blacks, though, look quite dark — not OLED level, but close enough. Filmmaker Mode appeared accurate out of the box, and required minimal tweaks. But I did notice that Doctor Strange's tuxedo in the latest Multiverse of Madness movie, looked black in certain scenes instead of dark blue. Motion handling isn't the best, so I would recommend turning motion smoothing off unless you like the soap opera effect.
The TV automatically switched to Game mode when I turned on my Xbox Series S or PlayStation 5 consoles. Games look bright and vibrant, though strangely enough, Dolby Vision did not work in games on my Xbox console, despite being supported. HDR10 was enabled instead. Dolby Vision also didn't kick in when watching the Dune (2021) Ultra-HD Blu-ray on the PS5. The feature only worked in the TV's streaming apps like Disney+ and Netflix. While the TV supports 4K 120Hz on two of its HDMI 2.1 ports, it includes the eARC port, which you'll need for a soundbar if you're picky about the audio. While the U8H's speakers have surprisingly good audio with a decent surround effect, the bass is lacking, and the trebles can sound harsh at times. The U8H also has Dolby Atmos support, but its speakers weren't any good at it.
The U8H runs Hisense's own VIDAA operating system, which has a fairly typical TV user interface. It has some quirks, such as having to enable Enhanced HDMI Format for each HDMI port. But my main beef is the selection of apps, which is decent, but not as comprehensive as other TV OSes. For example, there's no CNA, or HBO Go, while MeWatch will be available only at the end of the year. You do get some free, but mostly obscure streaming videos from the pre-installed Plex TV app. Hopefully, Hisense switches to Google TV — found in the US-version of the U8H — for its future models. Meanwhile, the remote control has all the essential buttons, including shortcuts for TV apps like YouTube and Netflix. The buttons even lights up faintly when you press a button, though the duration is a tad too short to be really useful.
The Hisense U8H Mini-LED Pro Smart TV offers excellent value for money. Picture quality is up there with more expensive mini-LED TVs. The HDMI 2.1 ports and gaming features like variable refresh rate support are great for gaming. While I feel Hisense could do better by putting Google TV instead of its own Vidaa OS, the user interface quirks aren't that egregious. Besides, the UI isn't an issue if you already have your own streaming media player like the Apple TV 4K. More importantly, you can get the U8H at S$1,649 for a 55-inch model. My 65-inch review set is S$2,099, which is at least S$1,000 cheaper than similar mini-LED TVs from more established brands. The U8H is available now from Shopee and Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Hisense.
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