Hisense 65-inch Series 7 ULED LCD TV review: Smarter but harder to recommend

Hisense Series 7 ULED LCD 4K TV
  • Hisense Series 7 ULED LCD 4K TV
  • Hisense Series 7 ULED LCD 4K TV
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • VIDAA UI is super responsive
  • RemoteNow app

Cons

  • Colors and contrast aren't as good as elsewhere
  • Limited HDR support

Bottom Line

Hisense might be moving to step on the toes of the home entertainment heavyweights this year when it comes to their more-expensive products, but few of the innovations and technical feats have managed to trickle down to the Series 7.

Would you buy this?

The Pitch

This year is shaping up to be significant one for Hisense - and not just because they’ve snagged a slot as a major sponsor of this year’s World Cup. After several years of positioning themselves as a more-affordable challenger to (expensive) established players in the AV space like Samsung and LG, they’re now looking to compete with them on something closer to equal footing.

That all starts with the new Series 7 ULED LCD TV, which is available in 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch sizings.

Specs

Hisense 65-inch Series 7 ULED 4K UHD LCD TV

The specs for our review sample of the Series 7 ULED were as follows:

Display size: 65-inch

Display type: LED LCD

Backlighting: Edge-lit

Smart TV OS: VIDAA 2.5

Dimensions: 1450mm ×921mm ×376mm

Weight: 34.7kg

HDR support: HDR10

4K support: Yes

Remote: IR

Built-in speakers: Dolby Digital. 2 Midrange, 4 Woofers. 60W total.

Connectivity: Wi-Fi

Ports: HDMI Type 4K@60Hz with HDCP version 2.2 (x2), HDMI type 1.4 with HDCP version 1.4 (x2), Audio out, optical, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Ethernet

Pricing: $3299

Design & Smart TV Features

In terms of design, there’s not a whole lot to write home about when it comes to the Hisense Series 7 ULED. It’s a mostly-modern looking TV that’s slim enough - but not exceptional or pushing any boundaries when it comes to thinness. It’s got just the right amount of ports and a similarly modest dose of smart functionality via the Hisense VIDAA Smart TV interface. More on this later.

Of course, beyond the ULED labeling, the Series 7 is an edge-lit LCD LED panel. It supports a wider color gamut and HDR - but only HDR10 content. There’s no 10-bit color support, so no Dolby Vision. It also lacks the absolute blacks you’d get out an OLED and the heightened-brightness you’d get from something working off quantum dots.

Credit: Hisense

As mentioned before, Hisense 2018 Series 7 ULED range does come powered by its VIDAA 2.5 smart TV interface. Though this updated interface does offer much speedy and responsive performance than previous versions of VIDAA have, the basket of pros and cons here is more or less unchanged.

On one hand, VIDAA 2.5 is simple, clean and consistently easy to use and navigate. However, on the other hand, it doesn’t quite offer the depth of content and breadth of customizability found elsewhere.

Sure, it supports the usual suspects: Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video. However, with more obscure fare, there's a somewhat-decent chance you’ll probably be out of luck, which doesn’t give us a huge amount of hope when it comes to Hisense keeping this thing updated to support whatever the next major streaming platform happens to be. Still, it does have built-in Chromecast support - which is something.

There’s no AI-powered voice controls (a la LG’s latest) but Hisense have moved to expand the number of ways you can interact with the Series 7 via the a new RemoteNow app. This acts as a virtual on-screen remote to allow for more intuitive customisation of favourite apps, channels and inputs.

The physical remote that comes with the TV is no less able, but a little more old-school in form-factor and layout. It’s littered with both the classics and new arrivals like the Netflix and Youtube shortcut buttons.

Performance & Picture Quality

When it came to the experience of actually watching video content, the Hisense Series 7 ULED did the trick - but I wasn’t left particularly inspired or compelled in the same way that I was with the best LCD LED options that Samsung and LG are offering at the moment.

If you like your TVs big, I feel like there’s definitely value here. However, if you’re a sucker for vivid colors, striking contrasts or better built-in sound, there are other brands out there that can give you more for less on those particular fronts. The Series 7 sits at the bottom-end of Hisenses’ Australian AV lineup this year - and the compromises that have been made to get it to that pricepoint leave it somewhat-outgunned.

Credit: AMC

Sure, 4K content looks as crisp as ever - and even more-so if it comes HDR-encoded. However, I found that it just didn’t look as striking as has elsewhere. I found myself constantly wishing there were more options when it came to picture quality.

Likewise, whether I was using this TV to play 4K games like Gear of War: Ultimate Edition or non-4K games like Super Mario Odyssey, the impact of the aforementioned Game Mode just just wasn’t as noticeable as you'd hope it would be be.

In some cases, it felt like it actually made the experience worse. The fact that the toggle for things like Game Mode (and the dedicated Sports Mode) are located within a maze of menus within menus didn’t help either. Enabling them often felt like more trouble than it was worth.

Credit: Microsoft

The Bottom Line

As always, the bottom line when it comes to a Hisense product is the price - and its on this front that the Series 7 falls apart somewhat.

These days, a 55-inch version of last year’s Series 7 ULED could be bought for as little as $1000. This 65-inch 2018 model comes in at almost triple this - but doesn’t offer a whole lot in return.

From a marketing perspective, this price-bump is intended to signal that Hisenses’ 2018 ULED range is every bit as worthy of your money as more-expensive fare you can get from Samsung, Panasonic or Sony. Unfortunately, if we’re talking about the consumer experience, it’s a poor match for the competition, OLED or no.

Credit: Hisense

Don’t get me wrong, the Series 7 is a 4K TV that delivers in all the usual ways and it’s definitely a ‘smarter’ package than its predecessor was. However, if we’re talking about a tit for tat comparison with the big guns, a comparison just doesn’t see the Series 7 hold up to scrutiny.

On paper, the difference might not seem that huge - and if you’re not an AV fanatic, you might not even notice. However, if you’re in the market for the best, this isn’t it - and if you’re in the market for the best value, this isn’t it either.

Hisense might be moving to step on the toes of the home entertainment heavyweights this year when it comes to their more-expensive products, but few of the innovations and technical feats have managed to trickle down to the Series 7 - and it’s left lackluster as a consequence.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: hisense, Hisense ULED, Hisense Series 7 ULED
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?