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Should I buy a Hisense TV? A look at the budget smart TV brand

Should I buy a Hisense TV?
(Image credit: hisense)

Should you buy a Hisense TV? There are a lot of TV brands on the market these days, and choosing between their collective medley of budget small TVs to super-sized displays is a hard task at times. Sure, complaining about the sheer amount of choice might be unfair, but there's no denying that there's a lot out there, and a lot of nitty-gritty specs to compare and contrast between each set.

So, what about Hisense? As an up-and-coming electronics brand that's quickly gained a foothold with its aggressive pricing, it's very likely you'll have come across a Hisense TV and thought, 'should I buy it?'

In the guide below you'll find an introduction to the Hisense TV brand, an overview of what makes them stand out from the competition, as well as the latest deals on Hisense smart TVs – and our latest Hisense TV reviews at the end of the article too.

Should I buy a Hisense TV on Black Friday?
Hisense TVs may be broadly more affordable than much of the competition, but if you wait until Black Friday to buy you might be in for even larger discounts. Whether you're after a QLED, ULED, or LCD Hisense TV, you can be sure some will see big price cuts in the sales season. Keep an eye on our guide to the best Black Friday TV deals to keep up.

As a budget TV brand, Hisense will generally offer premium technologies for lower than the competition, meaning if you're mainly fussed about a particular HDR format or 4K resolution at the cheapest possible price, there's probably a Hisense TV to suit you.

As a large Chinese manufacturer of various electrical goods, Hisense covers everything from fridges to washing machines, though its smart TV range is one of the biggest parts of its burgeoning business. And despite being state-owned – like many Chinese companies – Hisense has plenty of international connections. 

Back in 2015 it licensed the famous Sharp brand, bought part of a Mexican TV production line and started making televisions for the US and South American markets using the Japanese company’s name – and then went several steps further by buying Toshiba's TV business.

So you should be in no doubt that Hisense is a major player with a solid presence in the competitive television market.

Should I buy a Hisense TV?

So, after a brief history lesson, are Hisense television deals worth considering? As ever, the answer depends on a number of factors. 

Fundamentally the panels used in these sets are decent. They tend to offer nice sharp images, decent black levels, and good color balance. 

However, with the sets that support HDR, don't expect them to offer the same peak brightness as more expensive sets from bigger name brands. This means that the images shown on the sets don't quite have the same sparkle to them as better HDR sets. 

Hisense is known for cheap TVs, but it offers some high-end laser technologies too

Hisense is known for cheap TVs, but it offers some high-end laser technologies too (Image credit: Hisense)

The Hisense TV price range is where its got a real edge, with the Chinese company firmly focusing its sights on the middle-market – with occasional forays into more high-end hardware like the massive (and massively bright) H75U9A.

Hisense's flagship televisions – although good – are not quite at the level of the best TVs in the world, but that they often come in significantly cheaper than their peers.

Lower down the range you are also going to see significant savings. The upshot is that although your television may not be the talk of the town, it's not likely to disappoint, and the money you save can definitely be spent on getting great 4K content.

There's a clear tension between quality and affordability, though. While the H55OB8UK is the cheapest OLED TV on the market, it doesn't have the processing smarts to maintain consistent image quality in the same way as its pricier OLED competitors – and it's no surprise after that model that Hisense is dropping the technology entirely.

You can expect DualCell TVs – which fuse a grayscale 2K panel with a color-rich 4K one – to take its place, with Hisense claiming it can offer OLED-quality contrast at a cheaper price. We'll be watching in 2020 to see whether it does, but it's unlikely to be an OLED-killer.

When it comes to app support, it's worth noting that Disney Plus isn't supported on Hisense TVs yet – something most of the competition is ahead on.

Hisense Roku TV

Hisense ULEDs get the Roku OS for the first time (Image credit: Hisense)

Hisense Roku smart TVs: what are they?

Hisense also collaborates with the Roku OS on certain sets, including its incoming ULED range – ULED being Hisense's own term for its high-spec LED televisions, with improved processing and enhanced color and contrast over its other sets. The Roku ULEDs are looking US-only for now, though the UK also got its first Roku Hisense TVs in time for Black Friday last year.

The Roku platform is the same as that included on Roku streaming sticks, and features a straightforward and easily laid-out OS, making it easy to select different streaming apps (of which there are many) as well as source inputs like game consoles.

Roku sets aside, Hisense's smart TV OS can also be a little hit and miss across its different models. Some feature a flashy Vidaa U OS (don't ask us why it's called that), while others settle for a more prosaic Android TV platform – and even within those categories performance and app support can vary. 

2020 Hisense TVs feature some oddly half-baked applications, including a 'free' TV streaming service that just loads up YouTube videos (in the UK at least), and a Vidaa Art mode that pulls landscape drawings from DeviantArt – rather that the museums and galleries of Samsung's Art Mode on The Frame.

Thankfully, these OS issues can be sidestepped entirely – if you have them – by using a streaming box or streaming stick such as the Chromecast Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick+ or Nvidia Shield TV. Watching movies on a 4K Blu-ray player, too, shouldn't run into these issues.

Vidaa U: some half-baked content services, and no Disney Plus

Vidaa U: some half-baked content services, and no Disney Plus (Image credit: TechRadar)

Hisense smart TV reviews

Perhaps most crucially, what did TechRadar make of Hisense's latest TV sets?

We've reviewed Hisense televisions of all sizes and price ranges – and you can check out our full thoughts with the links below:

US

Hisense H9G Quantum Series TV review: This successor to the H8G offers an excellent 4K HDR picture, a solid OS, and a good selection of ports. Audio isn't great, but otherwise this is a high-performing TV available at a surprisingly mid-range price.

Hisense H8G Quantum Series TV review: The Hisense H8G Quantum Series does so much at a price that will make you wonder why you'd even consider “premium” televisions. Overall this is an affordable, high-quality television and we highly recommend it.

Hisense R8F 4K ULED TV review: Hisense adds its proprietary ULED technology to a Roku TV, offering boosted brightness, contrast, color and motion handling. The only downside is that the bass response isn't all that powerful, and might mean you need to invest in a soundbar.

UK

Hisense U7QF ULED TV review: The U7QF isn't the flagship Hisense TV for 2020, but it still makes a great case as a mid-price LCD with exceptional brightness control, decent HDR, and a sleek TV stand solution. Notable motion problems are mainly what holds it back from greatness. Just £599 for the 55-inch model or £799 for the 65-inch.

Hisense U7B ULED TV review: While the Hisense H55U7B ultimately comes up a bit short on the picture quality, mostly due to some backlight and motion problems, it’s ambitious and feature-rich enough to still add up to a potentially tempting package. It costs just £499 too.

Hisense O8B OLED TV review: The cheapest OLED TV on the market inevitably comes with some compromises. At £1,399 for the 55-inch UK model, was it worth the trade off?

Hisense U8B ULED TV review: One for the UK only, but this high-spec TV comes in at only £999 for a 65-inch model, offering a big-impact screen at a pretty low price.

Hisense Roku TV (R50B7120UK) review: The Hisense Roku TV is a brilliant introduction of the Hisense-Roku collaboration for the UK. With a strong and vivid picture, great HDR for the price, and the Roku smart platform to sweeten the deal, this is undoubtedly one of the best televisions under £500 you can get right now.

AU

Hisense 65SX Dual Cell TV review: Hisense's new Dual Cell technology offers the best contrast levels of any LED/LCD television we've seen to date, achieving blacks approaching that of an OLED without sacrificing brightness. That said, the 65SX suffers somewhat from image processing issues.

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