Hisense just unveiled its first 4K ULED Roku TV model. Design-wise it's identical to the HDR H8F line from earlier this year, but premium Dolby Sound and superior smart TV platform make it seem upscale for its affordable price class.
Roku, our favorite non-proprietary smart TV platform, hasn't been on many Hisense models before. Now as Roku TVs, the R8 models benefit from seamless streaming service integration, Roku voice remote and effortless interface.
The Hisense R8 also advertises a High-View AI engine that automatically adjusts picture and sound settings based on the content being viewed. In other words you shouldn't have to fiddle in the TV's setting menu when switching from live sports to movies or video games.
Like the Hisense H8F, the R8 looks elementary and clean. Its display is surrounded with relatively thin bezels, while its base offers two locations to install Y-shaped feet.
The Android-powered Hisense H8F is a very good entry-level 4K TV, although we found its audio fell flat in our review. Its forthcoming Roku-based R8 relatives seem to simultaneously resolve that gripe and round out Hisense offerings.
Typically you'll sacrifice some premium features if you want to keep the price of your 4K TV within a $500 budget. But the Hisense R8 claims to sport it all, including premium Dolby Atmos sound and Dolby Vision for HDR.
We'll have to see how performs with our lab testing, but with these specs the 55-inch Hisense R8 it could be a contender for best cheap 4K TV.
The $699.99 65-inch R8 model lands outside the cheap TV range, though it shares premium features of the pricier $1,099 65-inch TCL 6-series and $799.99 65-inch Vizio M-series models. Hisense's new TV might not have the quantum-color technology of the TCL 6-series or Vizio M-series, but still suggests strong value.
The Hisense R8F 4K Ultra HD Roku TV becomes available mid-December online at Amazon and Walmart. It'll cost $499.99 (MSRP) for the 55-inch model and $699.99 (MSRP) for the 65-inch one.