​Review: Hisense’s amazing ULED TV beats Samsung’s entire range

One of the cheapest TVs on the market is also the best

Superb colours, great upscaling, great contrast, low price. What's not to love?

Superb colours, great upscaling, great contrast, low price. What's not to love?

Hisense ULED Series 7 review

Hisense's Series 7 TVs are thin and smart and doesn't look cheap at all.
Hisense's Series 7 TVs are thin and smart and doesn't look cheap at all.

The ULED Series 7 TVs come in the following sizes (all flat): 50in ($1,499), 55in ($1,999), 65in (3,499), 70in ($3,999), 75in ($4,999).

In terms of looks, there’s not much between the Hisense and Samsung’s 8000 series TV. It looks like a quality piece of kit and it’s impressively thin. The remote doesn’t look like much but it’s very responsive for everything (a refreshing change) and also has dedicated YouTube and Netflix buttons.

It's a bit ugly, but tough, functional and very responsive.
It's a bit ugly, but tough, functional and very responsive.

With budget TVs we’re used to the operating system being cheap and poor which is an issue for Smart TVs as we expect them to have all manner of useful apps these days. Hisense uses the Opera system and it works very well. It’s not as well stocked as Sony’s Android system but it’s much better supported than Samsung’s own Tizen system and it rivals LG’s impressive WebOS environment. We were impressed.

We expected great things from this TV, having seen it on display at the Grand Prix and we were not disappointed. UHD content is as bright, detailed and vibrant as anything we’d seen anywhere it’s at least equal with Samsung and Sony’s best and also rivals LG’s OLED.

The Battlefield 1 4K, 60fps Real Life mode demo looked spectacular on this TV.
The Battlefield 1 4K, 60fps Real Life mode demo looked spectacular on this TV.

When watching movies in the dark we could make out letter box bars in certain scenes with bright flashes of light, but they weren’t distracting and performance was superior to Samsung’s best.

Bright reds from The Martian but virtually no bleed coming from the edges meaning contrast is excellent and letter box bars stay blacker.
Bright reds from The Martian but virtually no bleed coming from the edges meaning contrast is excellent and letter box bars stay blacker.

We had to play around with Sony’s picture settings to get the best contrast from Sony but we didn’t need to do that with Hisense – it retained vibrant colours while exhibiting impressive contrast – not quite as consistently as LG's OLED levels, but some of the best we’ve seen on an LCD TV. Credits scrolled more smoothly than many competitors can manage. Our only slight qualm was that some dark areas seemed to lose detail and turn black too quickly in particularly-dark content. It wasn’t distracting but we expected an HDR screen to do a bit better. It’s a very minor gripe though.

Netflix 4K content was impressive, motion was smooth. We only saw any artefacts if someone moved quickly across a patterned background but all rivals do that too. Uniform areas of colour stayed uniform with no blocky artefacts. It wins for top quality.

It’s usually with SD content that TVs falls down but Hisense didn’t. Upscaling was actually impressive – noticeably better than Samsung and LG and it rivalled Sony’s excellent Bravias.

Paw Patrol on Nick Jr: the logo is super low definition but Rider (the character) has been stretched impressively with few blocky artefacts in uniformly-coloured areas.
Paw Patrol on Nick Jr: the logo is super low definition but Rider (the character) has been stretched impressively with few blocky artefacts in uniformly-coloured areas.

This is important as free-to-air TV and low-rent cable programs can look terrible when stretched across a 4K screen. But Hisense kept things relatively smooth. Sometimes there’d be slight interlacing lines appearing in Foxtel’s crappy watch-on-demand content and cable-grade cartoons could get a bit blocky, but things didn’t get unwatchable.

Father Ted is appallingly digitised both on the DVD box set and Netflix. But a few jagged lines is all that appears on the Hisense.
Father Ted is appallingly digitised both on the DVD box set and Netflix. But a few jagged lines is all that appears on the Hisense.

There was also virtually no sign of the Soap Opera effect – whether it was Suits in Full HD, Orange is the New Black in UHD or Pride and Prejudice in standard definition, everything stayed dramatic.

The usual connectors are included (including USB 3). Just note there's no SCART on Aussie models.
The usual connectors are included (including USB 3). Just note there's no SCART on Aussie models.

Frankly, it’s not only hard to find a weak point but it’s hard to think of a better TV. Even the sound from the Hisense rivals the big boys in loudness and clarity. There is no perfect model on the market and the best all-rounders we’ve seen are Sony's best Bravias. But this, in some instances, is actually better. And it’s half the price. Hisense wanted to make a dent in the Australian market. It’s going to make a dent globally with this. It’s the best TV you can buy. The only downer is that Hisense won’t be selling curved TVs in Australia this year.

Page 3: Samsung TV reviews
Page 4: Conclusion

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Nick Ross

Nick Ross

Good Gear Guide

@NickRossTech

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