The Hisense H9G was one of our favorite TVs of 2020, combining superb picture quality with a sleek design and hands-free Google Assistant at an affordable price. The U8G series, which is even brighter than the H9G and adds a number of gamer-friendly features to the mix, is the company’s follow-up to this line. It’s also a lot more expensive, with the 65-inch 65U8G model we tested costing $1,299.99. The Hisense H9G is our Editors’ Choice winner for intermediate TVs because the pricing is still quite reasonable for the features and performance you get.
Hisense 55U8G Flagship performance for a midrange price
- Color performance is superb on this bright, high-contrast screen
- Hands-free ALLM, AMD FreeSync, and VRR are all supported by Google Assistant
- Input latency is minimal
- Design that stands out
- Expenses are higher than the preceding generation
HISENSE 55U8G SPECS
|Screen Size||55 inches|
|Resolution||3,840 by 2,160|
|Video Inputs||Composite, HDMI, USB|
|HDR||Dolby Vision, HDR-10|
|Screen Brightness||1763.39 nits|
|Black Level||0.02 cd/m^2|
|Refresh Rate||120 Hz|
|Input Lag (Game Mode)||7.9 ms|
A Stylish, Slim Design
With an edge-to-edge glass panel surrounded by a silver band that lays just behind it, the U8G has a stunning design that keeps the screen front and center. A narrow silver bezel runs down the bottom edge, with a small sensor array jutting from the middle. The entire TV is supported by two triangular gray metal legs that attach to the bottom and are just a few inches past a third of the screen’s width from either direction, making it substantially narrower than the TV itself and allowing you more placement options. It can also be hung on the wall.
All of the ports on the U8rear G’s panel are on the left side, with the exception of the power connector on the right. On the left, there are four HDMI ports, two USB ports (one 0.5A and one 1A), a 3.5mm composite video input, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an antenna/cable connector. Back to back, there’s an Ethernet port, an optical audio output, and 3.5mm serial and service ports.
The accompanying remote is far less cluttered than the previous model’s, removing the rarely used number pad and color buttons completely. It’s a black rectagular wand with a noticeable circular navigation pad and rubber buttons. Above the pad are power, input, and Google Assistant buttons, as well as a pinhole microphone and status light. Playback controls and specialized service buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, Peacock, Tubi, and YouTube are below the pad, along with menu and volume/channel rockers.
Google Assistant and Android TV
The U8G, like the H8G and H9G before it, has an Android TV interface. It’s a little clunkier than the Sony A90J and Chromecast’s Google TV interfaces. However, Google TV is just as functional and packed with features.
Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Twitch, and YouTube are among the major streaming services available. While the Apple TV app is accessible on Google TV, it does not operate on Android TV at the moment, therefore you won’t be able to use it on the U8G. Google Cast is included into Android TV, allowing you to stream content from any Android phone or tablet, as well as a Chrome tab.
Android TV includes Google Assistant, and the U8G has far-field microphones for hands-free voice control. Simply say “Hey Google,” followed by a request, and the television will react. Google Assistant can search for content, deliver general information such as the weather forecast and sports scores, and manage a variety of smart home devices, including the TV. You can also use Alexa to manage your TV if you have an Amazon smart speaker.
Picture Quality of the Hisense U8G
The Hisense U8G is a 4K TV that supports Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, and hybrid log gamma high dynamic range (HDR) video (HLG). It boasts a 120Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync, as well as automated low latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rate (VRR), and automatic low latency mode (ALLM).
We used a Klein K-10A colorimeter, a Murideo SIX-G signal generator, and Portrait Displays’ Calman software to calibrate TVs. The U8G displayed a peak brightness of 581.856cd/m2 for a full-screen white field, 858.031cd/m2 for an 18 percent screen white field, and a black level of 0.34cd/m2 for a contrast ratio of 25,236:1 in Theater Day image mode with default backlight settings and an SDR signal. When the backlight was set to maximum, the contrast ratio increased to 707.693cd/m2 for a full-screen field, 1,037.702cd/m2 for an 18 percent field, and 0.41cd/m2 for a virtually comparable black level.
Those are excellent results, and that’s with an SDR feed—the brightness and contrast improve significantly more with an HDR10 signal. An HDR10 signal produced a peak brightness of 780.201cd/m2 for a full-screen white field, 1,763.368cd/m2 for an 18 percent screen field, and a black level of 0.02cd/m2 in Theater Day mode with the default backlight (even pumping up the backlight to maximum didn’t affect those statistics appreciably). That’s a good contrast ratio of 88.168:1 for any TV. The H9G has a better contrast ratio (124,383:1) because to its lower black level (0.01cd/m2), while the U8G is noticeably brighter with both SDR and HDR broadcasts.
The color performance is out of this world. Color measurements using an SDR signal compared to Rec.709 broadcast standard color values, and using an HDR10 signal compared to DCI-P3 digital cinema color values, both in Theater Day picture mode, are shown in the chart above. The U8G covers the relevant color spaces with outstanding precision right out of the box in both scenarios. Only one color departed significantly from its intended values, with magenta leaning rather red with an HDR10 signal, but rest of the main colors came close to to their targets.
The Experience of Watching
Planet Earth II from the BBC looks fantastic on the U8G. Bright subjects appear to be extremely bright, and shadows appear dark while still revealing detail. Colors are bold and saturated, resulting in a colorful but natural appearance. The blues of the river and the greens of the plants all appear to be vibrant and full of life. Fur and bark have fine textures that are visible in all lighting conditions.
In the opening sequence of Deadpool, the red of Deadpool’s suit appears vibrant, with no hint of blueish tinting due to the cloudy sunlight. Thanks to the TV’s contrast, the flaming lab fight later in the film had incredibly bright flames and good shadow detail.
On the U8G, the party scenes in The Great Gatsby are also spectacular. White shirts and lights shine out, but dark suit cuts and dark hair textures remain noticeable without looking washed out. Skin tones appear natural and pleasantly saturated throughout the film’s many high-contrast sequences.
Gaming Performance of the Hisense U8G
The U8G comes with a slew of gamer-friendly features, including ALLM, VRR, and AMD FreeSync. In addition, the TV’s input latency, or the time it takes for the screen to update after receiving a signal, keeps up with those characteristics.
We used an HDFury Diva HDMI matrix to test input lag, and the U8G had a lag of 7.9 milliseconds in Game image mode with a 60Hz signal, considerably below the 20ms benchmark we use to determine the best TVs for gaming. If you switch to another visual style, such as Theater Day, that number jumps to 102.6ms, so make sure you’re on Game mode first.
Best of the Best
The Hisense U8G is an excellent TV at an affordable price. It’s more expensive than the previous H9G range, but even at $1,000 for the 65-inch model we tested, you’ll have a hard time finding a TV that looks even close to this one. Even if you spend more money on an OLED TV like the Sony Master Series A90J, it won’t be as bright as the U8G, earning it our Editors’ Choice award.
The TCL 6-Series, as well as the Hisense H8G, are excellent choices if you’re searching for a 65-inch TV for under $1,000 or a 55-inch TV for far less. Just keep in mind that you’ll be sacrificing brightness and contrast, as well as losing Google Assistant’s hands-free functionality (and in the case of the TCL model, any voice assistant at all).
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