Aug 07, 2023
Which 2023 Hisense TV Should You Buy?
All of the the brand's new ULED TVs get Mini LED backlights and quantum dots to produce a wide range of colors When you shop through retailer links on our site, we may earn affiliate commissions. 100%
All of the the brand's new ULED TVs get Mini LED backlights and quantum dots to produce a wide range of colors
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Hisense isn’t one of the best-known TV brands, but many of its TVs do well in our TV ratings. That’s especially true of its higher-tier models, which provide an appealing balance of price and performance.
In fact, some Hisense models are among the best 65-inch TVs for under $1,000.
In 2023, Hisense is promoting a broad range of “ULED” TVs, which use quantum dots to produce a very wide range of colors. The company has three mainstream ULED TV series, plus a new flagship model, ULED X.
You can also choose from a budget-priced line of non-ULED TVs in the A65K series.
The biggest news for most TV shoppers is that all of the ULED TVs will include Mini LED backlights. Most other brands are reserving Mini LEDs just for their midlevel and top-tier sets.
With this technology, companies cram thousands of tiny LEDs into the backlights behind their LCD panels, then divide the LEDs into zones that can be dimmed or illuminated individually. Because each zone is so small, they can be controlled very precisely to help improve brightness, contrast, and black levels, and help reduce the halos you often see on LCD TVs when a bright image appears against a dark background.
The company is also doubling down on jumbo screen sizes, offering five new 85-inch sets in 2023, up from just two last year. In addition, all ULED sets have several gaming features, which we’ll describe in some detail below.
All ULED sets in 2023 use the Google TV smart TV system, with built-in Google Assistant. Some other models are either Roku TVs or come with Hisense’s own VIDAA smart TV platform.
Here’s a quick review of Hisense’s 2023 TV lineup, starting with the top-tier sets.
Hisense’s new “ultimate” LCD/LED TV is a pricey model called ULED X, and it comes with some major claims in both brightness—up to 2,500 nits—and state-of-the-art Mini LED technology, with over 20,000 Mini LED lights and more than 5,000 local dimming zones.
Right now, the UX-series sets are only available in the 85-inch screen size, at a price of about $4,500; Hisense hasn’t said if it will offer this model in other screen sizes.
We’ve completed testing of the 85-inch Hisense 85UX, the only UX model currently available. It did very well in our tests for HD and 4K picture quality.
It produced deep blacks and high contrast, performing as well or better than many of the best sets in our TV ratings. Its local dimming feature worked extremely well. Especially notable was its very high peak brightness—it’s among the brightest sets we’ve ever tested—which helped it earn our top score for HDR performance. In our tests the TV almost hit its claimed 2,500 nits of brightness in the Vivid mode, though we don’t recommend using it. Brightness was closer to 2,000 nits in Filmmaker Mode—which disables motion-smoothing to maintain a film-like look with movies—using a standard 10 percent window pattern. That’s plenty bright!
Photo: Hisense Photo: Hisense
We also found a few issues—including oversharpening that we couldn’t completely minimize—that kept it from earning our very highest picture-quality scores.
Fitting its flagship status, the set is loaded with features, including support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ HDR and the latest version of WiFi (WiFi 6e). It also has a new AI processor, along with a 16-bit “light control” algorithm, which is supposed to provide more precise control over local dimming zones. The set includes a newly developed “CineStage X” 4.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos audio system, with rear speakers that fire upward to create a sense of height.
The TV has several gaming features, including support for 120Hz variable refresh rate (VRR), auto low-latency mode (ALLM), and Freesync Premium Pro, which can reduce tearing when a game’s frame rate and a TV’s refresh rate don’t match.
In addition to Filmmaker Mode, this set has an IMAX Enhanced mode, which accounts for movies shot in the larger IMAX aspect ratio. The set also has an ATSC 3.0 tuner for receiving "Next-Gen TV" over-the-air signals when they become available in your area.
Given the high price—and limited distribution—of the UX sets, most people looking for a high-performing Hisense TV this year will likely turn to the U8K-series sets.
These sets are available in screen sizes ranging from 55 to 85 inches, with prices starting at about $800 and going up to $2,700. The 65-inch 65U8K is currently selling for $1,050.
Last year’s U8H-series sets, which included Mini LED backlights for the first time, did very well in our ratings, offering very satisfying overall picture quality and very good to excellent HDR performance, especially for the price.
In 2023, the replacement U8K sets promise even better performance because they’re doubling the amount of local dimming zones (to over 1,000) and hitting higher peak brightness levels than the models they’re replacing.
So far, we’ve been able to test one U8K-series set, the 55-inch Hisense 55U8K, which did very well for overall picture quality, and it delivered top-notch HDR performance; once again, it’s among the brighter models we’ve tested.
The TVs support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ HDR formats, and include gaming features such as 144Hz VRR, ALLM, and Freesync Premium Pro. It also has WiFi6e, and a 2.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos sound system with a built-in subwoofer and upfiring speakers. These sets also have the FilmMaker and IMAX Enhanced picture modes, and they include an ATSC 3.0 tuner for Next-Gen over-the-air broadcasts.
Stepping down to the U7K series sets, which the company targets toward gamers, will get you a bit less peak brightness—up to a claimed 1,000 nits—and fewer (500) local dimming zones. You also get a less powerful audio system. We haven’t tested any of these sets yet.
Like the U8K models, the 7-series sets are offered in 55- to 85-inch screen sizes, with prices starting at about $600 and running up to $1,700. The 65-inch 65U7K model, for example, is currently selling for about $830.
The U7K models have many of the features of the U8K sets, including support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ HDR, Dolby Atmos audio, WiFi 6e, plus both Filmmaker Mode and IMAX Enhanced. They also have ATSC 3.0 tuners.
Among the gaming features are 144Hz VRR, an auto low-latency mode, and Freesync Premium Pro. It also includes the special Gaming Bar, a game-status feature that lets you customize your game experience; last year, the Gaming Bar was exclusive to the 8-series sets.
Photo: Hisense Photo: Hisense
Hisense’s entry-level ULED series will be the U6K sets, offered in screen sizes ranging from 50 to 85 inches. By late summer, we were only seeing them available in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch screen sizes, with prices ranging from about $450 to $800. The 65-inch Hisense 65U6K, for example, is currently selling for about $600.
While we haven’t tested any of these more basic 60Hz sets yet, the U6K-series could be appealing to anyone who wants the benefits of Mini LED backlights, without having to pay a premium. However, as you’d imagine these sets have fewer local dimming zones than you’ll find in the U7- and U8-series sets, along with lower peak brightness (up to a claimed 600 nits).
These sets include some of the other features found in those pricier models, including ALLM for gaming, support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ HDR, FilmMaker Mode, and Dolby Atmos audio. Like all ULED sets these models use the Google TV smart TV platform, and come with a voice remote. However, they lack the ATSC 3.0 tuners included in those other series.
For people on a tight budget, Hisense is updating its non-ULED, value-priced A65K-series TVs. These are basic sets offered in screen sizes from 43 to 75 inches. Right now, however, we only see them at Costco, with prices ranging from $250 for the 50-inch model (a member-only item) to $500 for the 75-inch set.
So far, we’ve tested the 65-inch Hisense 65A65K, and it did fairly well for overall picture quality, though both its HDR performance and sound were subpar.
The A65K models are all 60Hz sets that use color filters rather than quantum dots to produce colors, and they lack any local dimming feature. They do offer support for Dolby Vision HDR, DTS:X audio, FilmMaker Mode, and a few game features, including a low-latency mode. Like the ULED sets, these models are Google TVs, and come with a voice remote.
James K. Willcox
James K. Willcox leads Consumer Reports’ coverage of TVs, streaming media services and devices, and broadband internet service. His focus ranges from the challenges of finding affordable internet service to emerging display technologies. A veteran tech journalist, Willcox has written for Business Week, Maxim, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, Sound & Vision, and others. At home, he’s often bent over his workbench building guitar pedals, or cranking out music on his 7.2-channel home-theater sound system.