Review: With a premium panel, the Hisense U8G performs better on Android TV than Chromecast.

The TVs that run Google’s Android TV software keep getting better as it grows. I’ve been using the Hisense U8G, an Android TV device, for the past few months. It has a fantastic display and, more critically, considerably better software performance than I had anticipated.

Display andamp; hardware: In a word, excellent Sound: As good as youll get outside of a soundbar Performance: matches, or beats any other Android TV Remote: It has a shortcut button, enough said Final thoughts: excellent value A WORD FOR THE DISPLAY ANDAMP; HARDWARE IS EXCELLENT. Let’s start by examining the display panel, which is the most crucial component of any TV purchase. My Hisense U8G evaluation unit was the 65-inch sold at Best Buy model, which sells for $1,249 in the US. Also available is a 55-inch model with the letters at $999 .

With short, I’m really impressed with what Hisense has to offer in this TV as far as an LED screen is concerned. The 4K panel has incredibly sharp edges and very deep blacks, which produce some incredible HDR.

My usage was mostly in a bedroom, where the TV had to deal with direct reflections from windows at the back of the room despite being used primarily in the dark. The lighting was excellent, even when used in the middle of the day, and everything seemed amazing. You’ll almost surely notice how wonderful the deep blacks are if you’re using the U8G in an especially gloomy space. The preset that was pre-programmed was also accurately calibrated and provided a nice color tone. I disabled motion smoothing, but that was the only adjustment I thought the panel needed for me to be completely satisfied. Because of where I tested, viewing angles didn’t really pose a problem, but I did notice a minor degradation while viewing the TV from any acute angle. However, I believe that in most cases, most individuals will be fully satisfied with the viewing area. Compared to the similarly priced Vizio TV that had been in my living room for the previous three years, this felt like a significant upgrade.

I’d suggest looking at this analysis by from RTings.com , which awarded the Hisense U8G an overall score of 8.4 with no key areas scoring below 8.0, for a more thorough examination of what this panel has to offer. Regarding the quality, I entirely concur with their opinion. The biggest compliment I, and I believe any reviewer, can offer is to remark that a product made them consider making a purchase. I experienced this feeling multiple times during testing for the display quality alone.

Four HDMI ports are available for plugging into the monitor; ports 3 and 4 manage the superior 2.1 bandwidth that is helpful for next-generation consoles. All four ports support HDMI 2.0. I didn’t test this because I don’t have one of the more recent consoles. However, according to some research, the PS5 and Xbox Series X support confirmed for 120Hz HDR gaming. Two USB 3.0 ports, optical audio, a 3.5mm headphone jack, composite in (with an accompanying converter), cable, and ethernet are all included in the port scenario. Aside from that, I really adored Hisense’s holsters and built-in cable management channel. They would make installation on walls simple!

AS GOOD AS YOU’LL GET OUTSIDE A SOUNDBAR FOR SOUND Surprisingly, the sound quality of the Hisense U8G was another thing that really stood out to me. While a nice soundbar will be superior to the TV’s built-in speakers in terms of quality, those speakers are actually quite good in a pinch.

You’ll receive sound quality that can easily fill a modestly sized space and that can also get really loud. It is more than adequate for dialogue-heavy entertainment, but falls short significantly for something like a Marvel show. While I did like watching a lot of shows on this TV and in fact preferred the picture quality to my true home theater, I recently watched Black Widow in the living room using my full surround sound system because I knew the TV’s speakers wouldn’t provide the entire experience.

That’s because, clearly, the low ends and bass are the only area where the package actually falters. The thinness of the display compromises both features, as it does on almost all contemporary TVs. However, if you’re in the market for a TV, you can definitely wait a little before purchasing a soundbar or other system if you need to save up a few extra dollars. I’d never advise someone to buy a TV based only on its sound quality.

COMPLETION: MATCHES OR BEATS ALTERNATIVE ANDROID TV Performance was my biggest concern with the Hisense U8G, and I was immediately taken aback by how nicely this TV handled the platform.

The U8G was a night and day experience for someone who had been mostly using Chromecast with Google TV in recent months. There are almost no hiccups, smooth animations, rapid app loads, and a highly responsive TV. This is a result of the regular Android TV experience being less resource-intensive, but it is also evidence of greater overall raw performance. I experienced the exact opposite experience using an older Hisense model, the H9F.

But why is a smooth performance on an Android TV so crucial? Aside from simply improving the overall experience, guaranteeing optimal performance also increases the panel’s lifespan. Any TV’s panel will outlive its built-in software, but with improvements to performance, the Hisense U8G should last for the bulk of its useable life before you need to utilize an HDMI device to have a dependable software experience. Almost every app, including YouTube, Netflix, Stadia, and HBO Max, performed quickly. I seldom ever get to say that about Android TV devices that aren’t the Nvidia Shield, and I certainly didn’t expect to say it about a real television with the OS integrated in. They all worked without any apparent problems.

Speaking of apps, I’m pleased to report that every significant service functions flawlessly. There are no issues outside of those with Netflix or Prime Video, which also need specific certifications outside of the Play Store. Problematic apps like HBO Max, Peacock, and Hulu all function flawlessly, and Disney works without a hitch while consistently using Dolby Vision HDR. While Hisense offers a couple of its own apps as well, you’re only likely to utilize the browser. Although it functions, it is incredibly slow and not particularly user-friendly.

A bit more than 8GB of storage are available. After installing all of my apps and using them for approximately a month, I still had more than 5GB accessible. It’s not a lot, but it’s enough for a TV. There is also space for storage expansion in the pair of USB ports on the back.

It’s not an awful image, in terms of what the future of Hisense and Android TV holds. The company is sticking with the Android TV experience over Google TV, at least for the time being, which is a completely reasonable choice. However, updates can turn out to be a bit of a touchy subject. Although Hisense has a history of offering updates for its TVs, they aren’t always timely or robust. The Hisense U8G comes pre-installed with Android TV 10, and over the course of the product’s active life cycle, I’d anticipate at most one significant Android update and a few security fixes.

REMOVED: SHALL I SAY IT HAS A SHORTCUT BUTTON? Let’s talk about the remote control to wrap up the experience. With the U8G, Hisense delivers a simple yet attractive black plastic remote control. Although the design isn’t particularly exciting, it feels good in the hand and the buttons are haptic without being noisy when pressed. When pressed, the keys will illuminate, which is helpful in a dark room, but it would be good if the lighting turned on first.

The layout is also rather straightforward and user-friendly. Power and input controls are located at the top, along with a button that launches a virtual number pad for applications that require it.

A sizable D-Pad for navigation is present, along with back and home buttons. Volume and channel controls are located on separate rockers; the latter will likely only be used if a cable tuner is connected. Additionally, there are distinct keys for play, pause, fast forward, and rewind, which I always appreciate on Android TV remotes.

Additionally, Hisense has a sizable Google Assistant button up top that functions well but necessitates Bluetooth connecting with the remote in order to function. But given that it improves the functionality of the remote and eliminates the need for line-of-sight, you should do this without a doubt. Initial pairing gave me some trouble, however a fast forced reboot caused by a power outage fixed that. Additionally noteworthy is the U8integrated G’s Assistant functionality, which enables the TV to function as a Google Assistant speaker by listening for the Hey Google hotword. I can definitely see how beneficial this would be in a living room setting, and the microphone’s dependability was very much on pace with that of a Google Home or Nest Mini.

The dedicated shortcut buttons are the last. Starting with Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video is pretty normal fare. Disney, Peacock, and Tubi are the winners of the remaining three buttons. You might not find all of these buttons useful, as you might with any remote, but I’d be prepared to wager that the majority of consumers will find at least half of them useful. If not, a completely programmable Fav button is located toward the top of the remote and is available. Any app you want can have specific functionality on the TV unlocked.

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SUMMARIZING THOUGHTS: SUPERB VALUE In the end, I would rate the Hisense U8G as favorable. It boasts a ton of positive features without many drawbacks, regardless of whether you’re buying a TV to replace an older model or to add to a room for the first time. The visual quality is exceptional for the pricing range, and Android TV performs better than the majority of streaming boxes and sticks available for purchase.

The highest endorsement I can give for any product is that I was often tempted to buy this TV for myself to replace the TV in my living room, as I previously indicated.

FTC: We employ automatically earning affiliate connections. Display andamp; hardware: In a word, excellent 0

Display andamp; hardware: In a word, excellent 1

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