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12 July 2021

How to buy the best Hisense TV

Hisense is the number one TV brand in China, ahead of LG and Samsung, and it's making a splash in the UK, too, with its range of attractive, affordable TVs. Here, we look at what's new from Hisense in 2021
Martin Pratt
Hisense-laser lifestyle

Hisense's UK offering is smaller than most of its rivals, but there's still plenty of choice - from super-cheap 4K LCD ranges all the way to its higher-end OLEDs and quantum dot TVs.

It's price that really helps Hisense TVs stand out. Its TVs are often several hundred pounds cheaper than their closest rivals. 

Hisense has made OLED and quantum dot sets, but some of its TVs are classified as ULED. Rather than being a specific type of display, ULED is actually a number of different technologies designed to improve picture quality.

Below, we cover exactly what technology you'll see in Hisense TVs and how they differ from more established brands. We also detail everything we know about its ranges.

We test hundreds of TVs each year. You can use the results of our tests, plus our detailed reviews, to easily find the right model for you and your budget. Check out our expert TV reviews.

Hisense TV technology explained

It used to be the case that Hisense couldn't match the likes of LG and Samsung when it came to features, but that's no longer a fair assessment. The best Hisense TVs are packed with interesting options and envelope-pushing technology. 

We've highlighted the main features to look out for, below.

Dual cell display

How do you improve the contrast on a backlit TV? Put one display in front of another, apparently. That's Hisense's approach anyway and it says that its dual cell panels can rival OLEDs for contrast: a bold claim indeed.

There's a 4K display and a 2K display mounted one on top of the other: 

  • One panel produces colour 
  • The other is monochrome and there to increase luminance. 

Having the overlaid panel means there's more control over what parts of the screen are lit, which is why the contrast gets a boost.

One of the criticisms of OLEDs is that they lack the brightness of backlit TVs. In theory, Hisense's dual cell panels should give the best of OLED contrast combined with the brightness of a backlit TV.

Laser TV

Hisense Laser TVs aren't really TVs as we know them at all, they have far more in common with projectors. They still have screens, usually huge ones, but the majority of the technology is found in the box pointing up at it. 

It's a short-throw projector, though, and sits very close to the screen. Unlike the ones you'd find in the cinema. Unusually for a projector, the screen that displays the projected image has speakers built in.

VIDAA U

You'll have a hard time finding a TV that you can't connect to the internet in 2021 and Hisense TVs are all smart in this manner. Each manufacturer has its own interface for downloading apps and accessing smart features. Hisense's is called VIDAA U. 

Hisense has designed it to be as easy to use as possible and its website claims that any content you want to find should never be more than three clicks away. It displays apps and menus in a horizontal, scrollable list and you can edit the order of the apps so that the ones you use most appear first.

LCD vs QLED vs OLED

All of the TVs that Hisense has made to date have one of the three display types commonly used by other leading brands. It's one of the only brands that uses all of the main display types. Generally a manufacturer has a whole host of cheaper LCD ranges and uses either QLED or OLED tech for its high-end TVs.

Follow the links if you want to find out more about the technology:

  1. LCD – the more common and affordable options, where a backlight hits liquid crystals to create the picture. These are used in Hisense's cheapest ranges.
  2. QLED – found in some high-end TVs, most commonly Samsung models, where quantum dots create more vibrant colours. Many of Hisense's 2021 TVs use quantum dots, not just high-end ones.
  3. OLED - used by LG, Panasonic, Philips and Sony for their high-end TVs. OLEDs don't have backlights, each pixel creates its own light instead for superior contrast. Hisense's top-of-the-range TV has an OLED display.

Hisense ULED - what you need to know

ULED isn't a new type of display, but it's more than just a marketing gimmick to help Hisense make its TVs stand out. It's an umbrella term for 20 different technologies that fall into four categories: Ultra Wide Colour Gamut, Ultra Local Dimming, Ultra 4K Resolution and Ultra Smooth Motion Rate.

Ultra Wide Colour Gamut

This refers to how many colours a TV can display. The wider the gamut, the more accurate the colours should look because the TV can draw from a wider range of tones and hues. 

Ultra Local Dimming

Hisense TVs use a backlight. Having several bulbs illuminating the screen can result in light bleeding from bright areas into dark ones. The more dimming zones a TV has, the less likely this is to happen and the greater contrast control a TV will have. 

To give you a simplified example, a backlight with only one big bulb responsible for dimming and brightening the screen would make it difficult to control the contrast on different parts of the display. 100 individually controlled bulbs (or dimming zones) would to a much better job. 

While dimming capabilities don't always correlate directly to the number of bulbs in the backlight, it's an easy way to think of it.

Ultra 4K Resolution

4K is dictated by a specific number of pixels creating a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution. All TVs need to be able to display content at this resolution to be deemed 4K, so despite the 'Ultra' in the name, it doesn't appear that Hisense is doing anything different to its rivals in this area. 

All ULED TVs are 4K, but ULED doesn't seem to have any other bearing on resolution.

Ultra Smooth Motion Rate

Motion control can make or break a TV. It could display the crispest image since TVs began, but if blur and judder creep in when the image starts moving, that sharpness counts for nothing. According to Hisense, ULED TVs insert extra frames into moving footage to make them look as smooth as possible.

VIDAA U

Hisense 2021 TV overview

After taking a year off, OLEDs are back in Hisense's line-up. QLEDs are still there, though, and Hisense is now one of the only manufacturers to make OLED and QLED sets. All the TVs we're featuring here are 4K.

It may be new to the TV market (relatively speaking) but its sharp designs, low prices and sponsorship of big sporting events means Hisense is fast becoming a household name. We've tested the bulk of its range for the past few years and 2021 is no different. Look out for reviews of these in October.


If you're looking to bag yourself a bargain, it's worth taking a look at Hisense's previous year's range - see our Hisense TV 2020 reviews.


Hisense OLED A9G

This top-of-the-range set has plenty going for it, not least its OLED screen that has nabbed many a TV manufacturer a Best Buy score in our tough tests.

It's available in 55 and 65 inches, and will support HDR10+ as well as Dolby Vision IQ. That means the contrast-boosting HDR effect will react to the light levels in your room for more accurate contrast adjustment.

The screen is 120Hz, so anyone with a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S can play games where the screen refreshes 120 times per second. The action should look smooth as silk.

It's a handsome TV, too, with its sound bar style base that could make the A9G one of Hisense's best sounding TVs, or one of the best sounding TVs full stop for that matter.

Hisense U8G

To make matters more complex, Hisense makes ULED TVs (as well as OLED and QLED) but it's not actually a different type of screen. These TVs are LCD and use a backlight shining on liquid crystals to make a picture. ULED is just an umbrella term for several different picture technologies Hisense employs to improve everything from colour to contrast. 

The U8G is one such ULED range, easily recognisable by the 'U' in its name. It will be available in 55 and 65 inches.

To make matters even more complex, the U8G also uses QLED technology. It has a layer of quantum dots to produce more vibrant colours.

It uses similar technology the the A9G above, with a few differences. It supports Dolby Vision HDR, which is like Dolby Vision IQ without the ability to react to light in your room. It has that 120Hz that gamers look for, too.

Hisense U7QF

The U7QF is another ULED range with quantum dot technology included. 

HDR10+ and Dolby Vision are supported, so HDR content should look good regardless of where you're watching it from. The main difference between the U7QF and U8G is the screen refresh rate, you only get 60Hz here rather than 120Hz.

It will be available in 50, 55 and 65 inches.

Hisense Quantum Dot A7GQ

Wait a second, Hisense is calling this range 'DLED'. How many acronyms do we need?

It's difficult to tell exactly what DLED is referring to, but this is a backlit LCD TV with quantum dots to boost colour. It doesn't appear to have all the picture boosting technologies encompassed by ULED though.

That's not to say the A7GQ isn't advanced. The quantum dots can be impressive in their own right and Dolby Vision is still supported for HDR that adjusts to suit each scene.

There are plenty of size options: it comes in 43, 50, 55, 65 and 75 inches.

Hisense A6G

This is Hisense's most basic 4K range for 2021. It's another DLED range, but it doesn't have the quantum dots, so it's effectively an LCD TV. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It still supports Dolby Vision, which is great. Many low-end TVs only work with the basic HDR formats (HDR10 and HLG).

As with the A7GQs you've got plenty of screen size options here. It's available in 43, 50, 55, 58, 65 and 75 inches.

Hisense 2020 TV overview

Laser TVs and quantum dot sets are what Hisense talks about most, but there are cheaper LCD models, too. We've rounded up Hisense's key ranges below. 

To see how these Hisense TVs did in our tough lab tests, see our Hisense TV reviews.

Hisense XD9G dual cell TV

The Hisense XD9G was something entirely new when it debuted in 2020. It’s an LCD TV, which is far from new, but it layered two liquid crystal (the LC in LCD) modules on top of each other, for what Hisense described as OLED-rivalling black levels. 

More exciting than that was its price. This dual cell TV was cheaper than what Hisense claimed were comparable OLED displays. With some OLEDs launching at close to £1,500, this made these sets cheap by comparison.

Hisense H9G Quantum Series

Hisense h9g 485988

2019 saw the release of Hisense's first OLED and 2020 saw it release its maiden quantum dot TV. Quantum dot models function like LCD models, but the backlight illuminates quantum dots as well as liquid crystals. These miniscule dots are said to produce more vibrant colours. Rival Samsung is best known for its QLED range of quantum dot TVs.

One area where quantum dot TVs struggle against OLED ones is contrast, which is why Hisense has upped the number of dimming zones on its quantum dot sets. This means the screen should have more control over what parts are lit to boost contrast.

Hisense H8G Quantum Series

Hisense H8G Quantum Series

This range functions much like the one above, so it uses quantum dots to create the picture rather than liquid crystals, which you'd find in LCD sets. The benefit is increased colour vibrancy, although not all quantum dot TVs beat LCD models in this area.

The H8G has fewer dimming zones and a lower peak brightness than the H9G, but otherwise appears to be similar.

Hisense Laser 4K TV

 

More short-throw projector than TV, Hisense's 75 and 100-inch Laser TVs take up a lot of space on your wall. But since all the components in charge of making the picture are inside the projector unit, the screen itself is thin.

The 2020 models were a fraction thicker than they were previously, since the speakers are built into them in a honeycomb structure. This makes audio more clear and accurate, according to Hisense.

These 2020 models will also be more colourful than their older siblings. Hisense claims they can display 98% of the colours that the human eye can see. 

Other than them effectively being projectors, rather than TVs in the true sense of the word, Laser TVs function the same way as a traditional set. They still use remotes and have the VIDAA U operating system. 

Since they don't need a huge sheet of glass, wall mounting a Laser TV is often simpler and they can be cheaper than similar sized high-end traditional TVs from other brands.

Not sure if Hisense is right for you? We'll help you pick the perfect model for your budget - see all of our TV reviews.