Ameya DalviDec 28, 2021 16:24:54 IST
The last Hisense TV from the A71F series that we reviewed was quite impressive. In fact, it is still a great budget TV in the sub-Rs 40,000 segment. Their U6G series of QLED TVs belong to a higher segment and promise even better picture quality and contrast among other things. We got the 55-inch model for review. Time to figure out if it can stir things up in the midrange segment and give the QLED TVs from Xiaomi, OnePlus and TCL a run for their money.
Hisense 55U6G QLED TV – Design and connectivity: 8.5/10
As is the case with most TVs in this segment, Hisense has opted for a near bezel-less exterior on three sides and a not-so-thick metallic grey bottom bezel. The power LED and IR receiver are placed on a tiny chin at the centre of the bottom bezel. The TV is fairly slim but not as slim as the OnePlus TV U1. It can be wall-mounted or placed on a desk using the bundled metal stands that are quite sturdy. The necessary screws and mounts are provided in the package along with a wireless remote and a pair of AAA batteries.
In the connectivity department, you get three HDMI 2.0 ports – one of which supports ARC, two USB 2.0 ports and optical audio out along the left edge of the TV, while AV input connectors, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a LAN port are placed at the back of the TV. Wireless connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.0 and dual band WiFi with support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. I would have liked to see HDMI 2.1 ports with support for eARC on this TV. On the bright side, the side facing ports are located closer to the edge, making them easy to access.
Hisense 55U6G QLED TV – Features and specifications: 8.5/10
The Hisense 55U6G has a 55-inch VA panel with an Ultra HD (4K) resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and a 60 Hz refresh rate. This QLED TV screen can get up to 700 nits bright and supports most popular HDR formats like Dolby Vision, HDR10+/10 and HLG. This TV also supports full array local dimming with 32 dimming zones. Like all official Android TVs, it has Chromecast built-in and lets you cast content to the screen from compatible apps on your phone or tablet.
The processing hardware here is quite similar to that of the A71F. It is powered by a quad-core processor with ARM Cortex A55 cores and Mali-470 MP GPU. Each of the four CPU cores can throttle between 1100 MHz to 1400 MHz. You get 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, a chunk of which is taken up by the Android TV 9 OS. You are still left with close to 10 GB space for your needs. The sound output is rated at 24 Watts RMS and is compliant with Dolby Atmos.
It comes with the usual Hisense remote control (similar to the one you get with several Vu TVs too) that operates over IR and Bluetooth. This is one of the better remotes you get with smart TVs with just the right number of keys. The remote has hotkeys for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, YouTube and Google Play along with navigation keys, input key, volume control, mute button, settings and a D-pad. All the important keys are present here.
While the remote looks good and the build quality is decent, the button spacing at the centre still remains a hassle. The buttons above and below the direction keys almost seamlessly merge into the D-pad, and you often end up pressing the wrong button when not looking at the remote. The power button on the remote communicates with the TV using IR when switching it on and off, while everything else operates over Bluetooth once paired. The remote is voice enabled, and voice commands work smoothly.
Hisense 55U6G QLED TV – User interface: 8.5/10
Like most Hisense TVs, the 55U6G also grants you quick access to sound and picture settings on the fly while viewing content from any input source or OTT app. All you need to do is press the settings button on the remote to bring up the menu and make the necessary adjustments even with the content playing in the background. The TV displays the Dolby Vision logo when playing the corresponding videos but not so for other HDR formats. You do get different presets with Dolby Vision, HDR or HDR10+ prefix for the specific content. You can also configure custom presets for SDR as well as HDR content.
Hisense 55U6G QLED TV – Picture quality: 9/10
The picture quality of this TV is top notch. The 4K panel is quite bright and the black levels are impressive too. In fact the black levels are as good as I have seen in big screen TVs under Rs 70,000. As a result, the contrast on this Hisense TV is excellent and details in dark areas of scenes were clearly visible most of the time. Probably the full array local dimming helps a bit too, but I am not sure how much given that there are only 32 local dimming zones.
The colour reproduction of this TV is equally impressive and colours feel quite lively without going over the top. Budget QLED TVs tend to get overly vivid but that’s not the case here, unless you choose the corresponding picture preset. This TV is tuned well out of the box, and the only thing most of us may need to change is the colour temperature. The nomenclature here for the same is a little different. Instead of terms like Cool, Standard and Warm, this TV prefers High, Medium and Low. You also get a Mid-low, which is a very good addition, and actually works best in most cases along with Medium.
The HDR performance of this TV is quite good; slightly better in Dolby Vision content than HDR10/10+. The picture looks vibrant with excellent contrast. There was barely any noticeable flickering in high contrast scenes either. Even 4K SDR content looks equally sharp and lively on this screen with accurate colours and ample detail. One thing I would suggest is turning off all the motion smoothening settings, as they tend to induce motion artifacts.
A special mention for the upscaling engine on this TV. 1080p Full HD content is upscaled so well here that it actually looks as good as 4K content on most TVs. 720p videos are perfectly watchable too with a little dip in sharpness. Anything lower than 720p looks soft, which is the case with every 55-inch 4K TV. The viewing angles are decent but one can notice a bit of colour shift when watching the TV from sharp angles.
As I have been saying, the picture quality of this TV is one of the finest in this budget and you get a good amount of picture adjustment options to fine tune it further. You get the standard options like brightness, contrast, sharpness, colour etc, along with advanced options for adjusting white balance, colour temperature, noise reduction and more. And even better, you get access to all those on the fly from anywhere at the press of a button.
Hisense 55U6G QLED TV – Audio quality: 7.5/10
A pair of bottom firing speakers rated at 24 Watts RMS deliver more than decent audio output. Strangely, it is a notch below that of the A71F series, despite this being a more premium model. The output is loud and clear with a good amount of warmth in the audio. The bass has a good presence and there’s reasonable clarity in the vocals too, but the highs lack sparkle making the overall output sound a tad soft. The speakers are tuned well, and if you wish to tweak the audio further, you have a bunch of sound presets along with a 5-band equaliser.
The speakers are sufficiently loud even around 30 percent volume level, and they sound good even when playing music, movies or web-series. They support Dolby Atmos but don’t expect miracles even when you switch the option on from the settings. The TV does support a passthrough option for the audio signal via HDMI ARC, but since you do not have an eARC port here, there isn’t enough bandwidth to pass the Dolby Atmos stream to a compliant soundbar or speaker system. The TV does have a variety of audio outputs to plug in external speakers.
Hisense 55U6G QLED TV – Overall performance: 8.5/10
The TV takes just about 30 seconds to boot up when you switch it on from the mains, making it one of the fastest booting Android TVs around. Post that, if you switch it off and on from the remote, the TV comes back on almost instantaneously from standby mode. There was no noticeable lag in the UI or even during 4K video playback, which is good. There’s one minor bug in the Prime Video app though. If you pause the video long enough till a screensaver shows up, the app just shuts.
The TV can play 4K content through USB smoothly with the default player. Given the presence of Google Play Store on this TV, you can always install a third party player like VLC for a better interface. All in all, the overall experience with this TV was very positive with very little to complain about operationally.
Hisense 55U6G QLED TV – Price and verdict
The Hisense 55U6G QLED TV can be purchased for Rs 59,990 in India with a one year warranty. Some retailers offer 3 to 5 years warranty on the same too, but do check the fineprint. At that price, you get a polished smart TV with excellent picture quality and contrast, support for popular HDR formats like Dolby Vision and HDR10+, a good spread of connectivity options and above average sound output.
Presence of HDMI 2.1 ports and a more recent version of Android TV would have made it more future-proof. But when it comes to pure picture quality, it leaves very little room for complaint in this segment. As for alternatives, one name that comes to mind straight away is the Mi QLED TV 4K 55 that sells for a few thousand rupees less. The Xiaomi TV also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+, has HDMI 2.1 ports, double the internal storage and runs Android TV 10. But in terms of picture quality, the Hisense 55U6G manages to stay a step ahead.
Overall Rating: 4.2/5
Price: Rs 59,990