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Hisense U8H Mini-LED 4K TV Review – Unbelievable Brightness

The Hisense U8H boasts the company’s new Mini-LED technology that is now officially a mainstream option when looking at purchasing a TV. Mini-LED tech has been around for a while already and while OLED panels still reign supreme when it comes to how black an image can go, Mini-LEDs go the other way and can get extremely bright. In fact, testing out this Hisense U8H, I have never reviewed a TV that managed to get as bright as this. I was blown away at how incredibly bright this panel gets and it changes everything you do on the TV.

The Hisense U8H comes in three sizes. You can pick up the 55-inch model for R20,999, the 65-inch model for R29,999 and the 75-inch model for R44,999. The bigger the U8H TV you buy, the more dimming zones you get and the better the local dimming experience is. Keep that in mind.

Watch the Hisense U8H Review below

Before I start, be sure to check out my two previous reviews of the Hisense U6H here and Hisense U7H here. So far, the entire range has offered something for everyone with the U6H being a great entry-level TV and the U7H offering a fantastic panel and gaming features.

Hisense U8H Unboxing

Hisense has packed the U8H in a similar box in South Africa but unlike the U6H and U7H, this TV uses a very different stand which actually required a bit of brainpower to understand. Opening it up, I removed the top compartment, a packet containing the remote and instruction manuals and a chunky plastic shell.

Hisense U8H Review

At first, I had no clue what this piece of plastic was but it turns out it’s part of the U8H’s stand. I laid the TV down flat on my couch which was supported by soft cushions and the padded protectors on the TV panel itself and started assembling the stand. Installing the stand required the combined efforts of a heavy chunk of metal, three bags of screws and the plastic shell.

I screwed the plastic shell into the back of the TV using the first bag of screws, then slotted the heavy metal stand into the plastic base, added the additional screws and then tightened it all together using the last batch. It might sound confusing but it wasn’t and Hisense has included a quick guide in the box to help you. Like most TVs, I peeled off the plastic protecting it everywhere, plugged it in and turned it on.

Hisense U8H Review

Hisense U8H Design

As I mentioned, the stand on the Hisense U8H is quite different and that’s because the TV is also a lot heavier than the rest so Hisense had to completely change how it is held up. The stand means the TV is much lower to the cabinet too at 5 cm. However, even using my soundbar, I was still able to control the TV with it being in front of the sensor. The stand also doubles up as a cable management compartment. The plastic shell opens up, you can feed the cables through the holes and close it again hiding your cables away.

Apart from that, the Hisense U8H features a bulky and expensive design. It sort of reminded me of my first plasma TV from Hisense way back in the day. From the power cable that is a larger kettle cord than the figure-8 cable used on other TVs to the fabric finishing at the bottom. It is a hefty TV.

Hisense U8H Review

On the left, you’ll find all the ports including the two HDMI 2.1 ports with 4K 120Hz support, two HDMI 2.0 ports, an antenna, USB 3.0, audio combo and Mini AV. Near that, there’s also another USB 2.0 port, Ethernet and digital audio port. Right on the other side, you’ll find the power port. Hisense has also included a built-in subwoofer in this U8H TV. Believe it or not but there’s a giant speaker hole on the back of the TV where this speaker is found. I will share more on the tests in a bit.

Overall, I think the design of the Hisense U8H is nice. It is a thick panel due to the Mini-LED tech and speaker but it looks clean. I like the fabric mesh at the bottom too. It looks extremely premium.

Hisense U8H Review

Hisense U8H Performance

The Hisense U8H is quite a different TV and it is difficult to compare it to the other two models in the lineup. For starters, it packs an entirely different type of technology. Instead of using LED strips and zones at the back of the panel to light up the display, this TV uses Mini-LEDs. Think of Mini-LED tech as tiny lights scattered behind your TV panel. These lights brighten up and down as your TV works which form the image you see in front of you.

Mini-LED tech also comes with its own perks. First off, the technology is much cheaper than OLED. That is why you can pick up a 65-inch Hisense U8H for half the price of a 65-inch OLED TV, for example. Mini-LED also doesn’t have any heating issues which means pixels can get a lot brighter resulting in a punchier image. Of course, Mini-LED does also have its downsides and blooming is one of them. The more Mini-LED zones you have on the TV, the less blooming you’ll see and the Hisense U8H packs 160 dimming zones on this 65-inch model.

Hisense U8H Review

For the most part, the Hisense U8H handles its local dimming quite well. Even on images where there was one single light turned on, the backlight was barely visible even in a pitch-black room. This meant that the black levels on content were able to get a lot darker than other LED TVs resulting in a deeper darker image. There is obvious blooming on this panel especially when you have a very bright image contrasting against a black background but it looks good considering the circumstances.

Blooming is also quite visible from the side angles. I noticed this more frequently compared to other local dimming TVs. You’ll want to keep this in mind when placing your TV down. While the image remains vibrant and punchy from the side, it does have a bit more bloom than non-Mini-LED TVs.

Hisense U8H Review

Where the Hisense U8H shines the most is in its brightness. This is a very bright TV and things look fantastic on it. The Mini-LED tech means this TV can get brighter than other TVs and you can see it. I measured 910 nits in a 100% window. To put this into perspective, when I was running tests on this panel, some scenes were bright enough to light up my entire room as if I was running a lamp or alternate light source.

The brightness levels help enhance so many forms of content. Fireworks in a scene brighten up so much more. Lightning in the sky lights up the room and you can see the stark difference between bright objects in a scene and darker ones. I especially noticed these high brightness levels playing Destiny 2. Every particle effect stood out on the display. My grenade exploding saw the purple flashes shoot up in brightness in comparison to the rest of the scene. If your HDR settings are set up properly, this TV looks incredible thanks to these Mini-LEDs.

Hisense U8H Review

Speaking of gaming, the Hisense U8H comes with a robust set of gaming features including VRR, ALLM, 4K 120Hz and Dolby Vision Gaming. These peak highlights and panel brightness help make these modes even better. Running Dolby Vision Gaming on the Xbox Series X, games looked stunning. The little blue lights on Gears 5 lit up brighter than ever. You can especially see these Mini-LEDs working while playing Ori and The Will of the Wisp. Ori lit up the screen and his attacks sparkled brighter than ever. I cannot stress how magical bright objects look on this TV.

While the TV uses Mini-LED tech, you can’t use FreeSync with local dimming due to the TV’s panel. However, you’ll still get the full close-to-1000 nits of brightness when using FreeSync and VRR. Input lag is also decent at 8ms when using Game Mode.

Hisense U8H Review

Out of the box, the Hisense U8H needs some tweaking. Due to the Mini-LED lights, the colour profiles aren’t your typical presets. I usually change things to Standard but even then, whites were still a bit blue. I found tweaking it to Warm 1 made things look a bit warmer and avoided the blue colours. There are also some great pre-set profiles on the TV including Filmmaker Mode and Dolby Vision IQ that automatically tweaks the TV as you watch the content depending on your room.

The panel itself is also good. Compared to other similar TVs, it stands out as the best you can get in SA for a number of reasons. It has a Black Level of 0.01 candela per square for a higher contrast ratio at 198,000:1. Lastly, it goes without saying that it is brighter than every other TV available on the market too.  In a 25% window, I measured 2015 nits. There was also no noticeable DSE on the panel itself.

Hisense U8H Review

The Hisense U8H includes a large subwoofer at the back of the panel that helps deliver a better sound experience. Hisense has also included two upward-firing speakers on the top of the TV and two front-facing speakers. The TV alone boasts an impressive 2.1.2 speaker system and it is levels beyond anything I have tested in the past. It definitely improves the speaker set-up and is hands-down the best sound experience you’ll get from a TV on the market. I am not saying go and throw your soundbar and surround sound system in the bin but this speaker setup on the U8H does offer enough to produce some great sound quality.

Lastly, this Hisense U8H model includes VIDAA 6 and it goes without saying that it works quite well. It comes with the apps you’ll need and even Apple TV+ which is a new addition to the platform. The experience is snappy, apps stayed alive in the background and the TV packs a robust set of settings to tweak to your liking. Hisense will also add Disney+ to VIDAA in SA soon alongside the FIFA+ app where you can catch live matches, replays and highlights from the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022.

Hisense U8H Review

Hisense U8H Verdict

The Hisense U8H is a premium experience at an affordable price tag. The Mini-LED tech is quite impressive and manages to drastically change the viewing experience thanks to its superb peak brightness. I can’t stress enough how excellent things looked thanks to the backlight on this TV. I honestly can’t go back to normal LED TVs after this experience. It is truly revolutionary. Sure, we’ll never get rid of bloom but Hisense has definitely proven they can make the brightest TV around. The company also added some great speakers to this TV and combined with the elegant design, you have an impressive product here.

This Hisense U8H review was based on a unit sent to us by Hisense South Africa. Find out more about the TV here

Hisense U8H Review
  • Design - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Display - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10

Summary

The Hisense U8H is the brightest TV you can get on the market right now and it packs some excellent features for gaming and streaming with a great display tied into them all.

Overall
9/10
9/10

Pros

Fantastic peak brightness

Gaming features

Decent speaker system

Cons

More blooming than LED

 

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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