Screen size: 65 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
Refresh rate: 120Hz
Ports: 4 HDMI (2 HDMI 2.1, 2 HDMI 2.0)
Audio: 2 Channel [x 10-Watt, with Dolby Atmos
Smart TV software: Android TV Version 4.19.75
Size: 57.1 x 33.1 x 4.1 inches [w/o stand]
Weight: 53.4 pounds [w/o stand]
If you go on specs and numbers alone, you’d expect the Hisense U8G Series Quantum 4K ULED Android TV 65U8G to be one of the best TVs available today. QLED panel, full-array local dimming, support for all HDR types, 120Hz refresh rate — it’s got every feature you look for in a 4K LCD TV. Beyond the specs and tech details, the numbers from our lab testing are eye opening, with incredible brightness, excellent color accuracy and low lag time.
But what really counts is how it looks to the eyes — and in this case, the numbers don’t lie. The 65U8G produces excellent color and contrast, along with sharpness of detail that rivals the best TVs. And it does all this for a reasonable $1,299.99 for the 65-inch model. (It actually earned our Highly Recommended rating in the 2021 Tom's Guide Award for value TVs.) What doesn’t it do well? Motion smoothing. But that shouldn’t be enough to scare you off of this impressive TV.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Pricing and availability
The U8G Series became available in May 2020. The 65-inch version we tested sells for $1,299.99 at Amazon and Best Buy as of this writing. There’s also a 55-inch model for under $1,000.
The biggest difference between the two models is the number of local dimming zones: the 65-inch has 360, while the 55-inch has 132. Even with that difference, we expect the two TVs to perform similarly.
Both are more expensive than the previous comparable model, the Hisense H9G Quantum Android TV — the 65-inch model of that TV was $999, and was one of the best bargains around. But you get a lot of updated tech in exchange for the price increase.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Design
While it isn’t the thinnest or slickest looking TV out there, the 65U8G has some design elements that make it distinct. The case of the 48.5 x 28.2 x 3.9-inch TV is mostly dark, hard plastic.
The case houses a quantum-dot LCD panel that features full-array backlighting with 360 local dimming zones. The result is a uniform picture all the way to the edges.
The back of the TV has a diamond pattern to it and the front features a slim bezel and a metal strip at the bottom with a few angular touches to give the TV design some flair.
Speaking of flair, the 65U8G’s stand stands out. Instead of the boomerang style that is common these days, Hisense uses two triangular feet that form an arch for the TV to sit on. It definitely catches the eye — whether that’s what you want in a stand is a matter of personal preference. The stand provides a sturdy, if slightly wide base. The footprint with the stand attached is 10.2 inches.
If the stand isn’t your style, or doesn’t offer enough clearance for your soundbar, you can use a mount that supports 400 x 300 VESA pattern. (Any of the options on the best TV mounts should do the trick.)
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Ports
The 65U8G has four HDMI ports on the left side: two that support HDMI 2.1 (4K at 120Hz) and two that support HDMI 2.0 (4K at 60Hz). One of the HDMI 2.1 ports also does ARC for connection to a soundbar or receiver. Since they are all on the left side, the ports are easily accessible.
Next to the HDMI ports, there’s an RF antenna input and a single composite video input, as well as two USB ports. For sound you can connect via the 3.5mm headphone jack on the side or optical digital audio or 3.5mm serial input on the back, or go wireless with Bluetooth. For network connection the U8G offers Wi-fi or wired Ethernet.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Performance
The 65U8G impresses immediately with its color and contrast. Credit this to a combination of the TV’s brightness and support for HDR (Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10 and HLG). On the 4K Blu-ray version of Blade Runner 2049, as Joe watches the bright Good Joe ad in the dark with rain falling, it was easy to see details in the darkness even as the intense colors of the ad popped off the screen. During the Weathertop scene of the 4K Blu-Ray of Fellowship of the Ring, I could see details in the moonlit rocks as the Ringwraiths attacked, and the details of an octopus head in Planet Earth II were awe-inspiring.
The 65U8G comes with a ton of picture modes, and you should explore them because each has a significant impact on what you see. The picture mode options differ based on the source material, which can be confusing. If you’re watching something that supports Dolby Vision, you get three options: Dolby Vision IQ, Dolby Vision Dark and Dolby Vision Custom. If it’s not in Dolby Vision, you can choose from more options, including Vivid, Standard, Theater Day and Filmmaker Mode. The latter two turn off all motion smoothing — which I welcomed, because any mode that had motion smoothing (Motion Enhancement in the settings) turned on made me nauseated. I’m not a fan of any motion smoothing, but the one of the 65U8G was so obvious as to be distracting and definitely negatively affected fast action scenes.
But with Motion Enhancement disabled, action scenes looked crisp. In the opening scene of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam Wilson zipped through a canyon without any blurring, and in Avengers: Infinity War, Thor’s axe sliced through Outriders in sharp detail.
The 65U8G’s other main flaw is limited viewing angles. Scenes appeared washed out on the sides of the screen if you get too far from center while watching.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Test results
Our lab test results backed up what I saw on screen, proving the 65U8G to be one of the most impressive screens around, especially at the price.
With brightness of 722.7 nits, the 65U8G eclipsed the Samsung Q80T QLED TV (681.6 nits) and the TCL 6-Series Roku TV R635 (583.1 nits). Older sets, like the TCL 6-Series Roku TV R625 (385 nits) and comparison to OLED TVs really shows how much brighter the 65U8G’s LCD panel is: The LG BX OLED measured just 345.7 nits.
But there’s more to the 65U8G than brightness. It reproduced 99.95 percent of the Rec 709 color space, which put its color reproduction slightly ahead of the TCL 6-Series (99.92) and tied it with the Vizio P-Series Quantum X PX65-G1 (99.95). But if we look at the LG BX OLED, we see that OLEDs still eclipse LCDs in color reproduction. The OLED55BXPUA scored 133.7 percent on this test.
Color accuracy is another strong suit for the 65U8G. Its Delta-E score of 1.57 ranks well ahead of the TCL 6-Series’s 2.85, the Vizio P-Series Quantum X’s 2.28, and especially the Q80T’s 3.91. However, it isn’t quite as good as the Hisense H9G (0.92).
Finally, the 65U8G’s lag time was a fast 17.5 milliseconds, again putting it ahead of almost all the competition, except the OLED55BXPUA’s 14.5 ms. That quick response helped make gaming on the U8G as impressive as watching movies and TV, and one of the best gaming TVs.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Gaming
To go with the low lag time, the 65U8G includes the features that gamers are looking for to take advantage of the latest game consoles. With two HDMI 2.1 ports, the 65U8G supports 4K at 120Hz, automatic low latency mode, variable refresh rate and AMD FreeSync, all in an effort to deliver the smoothest game experience possible.
While racing through the streets in Forza Horizon 4, the car showed no blurring and details in the foreground — such as the asphalt of the road — were very sharp. The 65U8G’s strengths in color and contrast helped make World’s Edge in Apex Legend a vivid experience, with vivid yellows and excellent details in shadows.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Audio
The 65U8G has two speakers that drive 15 watts of power. It delivers decent overall sound for a TV — it creates a wide sound and has some bass, where many TVs produce none. The U8G supports Dolby Atmos and IMAX Enhanced, a DTS:X variant.
With Android TV you get quite a few ways to adjust the sound — multiple sound modes and even an equalizer. But those only go so far in a unit with two speakers. I found dialog was lost in the mix, especially when using the sound modes such as Theater. Do yourself a favor and get a soundbar to produce audio that’s comparable to the picture on the screen.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Smart features
Android TV powers the 65U8G, and that brings with it a lot of options. With all it can do, Android TV can tax some TVs, but on the 65U8G it was responsive. Menus loaded quickly and apps launched in seconds.
The Home screen by default shows recommended shows, favorite apps and shows that you’re currently watching. You can customize the home screen to show personalized recommendations, and you can pick your favorite apps. You can also select which apps will show you more detailed recommendations. For example, you can have Disney+ show recommended movies and TV shows on the home screen instead of launching the app to see them.
Android TV offers just about every app you could want, from the basics like Netflix and Prime Video to current favs such as Disney+ and HBOMax, as well Apple TV, Paramount+, Peacock and many more. And if there's an app missing, or you want to share content from your phone, the U8G also has built-in Google Chromecast. All-in-all, it's one of the best smart TVs for streaming your favorite content.
The 65U8G comes with hands-free Google Assistant, thanks to built-in far-field microphones that let the TV function like a smart speaker. Just say “hey Google” followed by a command or question. I was able to turn the TV on and off, launch Netflix and open the TVs settings menu with my voice. Google Assistant was quick to respond to each command. You can also use Alexa with the U8G through the Hisense Smart TV skill — sometimes. I found the Alexa app was inconsistent in finding the TV and executing commands.
Hisense U8G Android TV review: Remote control
Like the TV design, the remote control has just a little something different. In this case, it has a flat bottom that lets you stand it up vertically. The flat base makes the remote a bit bottom heavy in the hand but it doesn’t affect use.
The remote has all the buttons you expect — a scroll wheel in the middle for navigating, a home button — as well as a few buttons you don’t find on every remote. For example, you can access favorited TV channels with the Fav button and the 123 button brings up a number pad on screen instead of having individual buttons on the remote. While the TV includes hands-free Google Assistant, you can also push the Google Assistant button on the remote.
There are six dedicated app buttons at the bottom of the remote. Four of which you will likely use — Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and Disney+ — while the other two are for Tubi and Peacock.
U8G Android TV: Final verdict
The Hisense U8G Series Quantum 4K ULED Android TV 65U8G is an impressive QLED TV, regardless of price. From its scores in our lab tests on brightness, color and lag time to its excellent contrast and detail, the 65U8G shows its prowess as one of the best TVs. It even runs Android TV quickly. My quibbles with motion smoothing are easily overcome by turning it off (or down, if you prefer) and the average sound can be fixed with a soundbar. The mediocre viewing angles you’ll have to live with.
The price premium of the 65U8G over the Hisense H9G may turn you off. If you’re looking for a less expensive TV, the TCL 6-Series Roku TV R635 will save you a couple of hundred bucks and delivers nearly as good performance. But with all you get, the U8G’s price is still reasonable, especially compared to Samsung and LG models. It’s hard to beat the combination of features and picture quality of the 65U8G.
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