The Hisense E7K delivers accurate pictures and comprehensive features for gamers but is held back by limited brightness and image clouding
- Comprehensive HDR support
- Extensive gaming features
- Excellent image accuracy
- Not that bright for HDR
- Cloudy backlight
- Blacks can appear grey in a dark room
The Hisense E7K PRO is a mid-range LED LCD 4K TV with support for every HDR format and a sound system that decodes Dolby Atmos. Gamers will be particularly interested in its ability to handle frame rates up to 144Hz, combined with HDMI 2.1 inputs and an extensive set of other gaming-related features, making this a tempting possibility for discerning punters on a budget.
Hisense E7K Pro review: Key specifications
|Screen sizes available:||55in 55E7K Pro|
65in 65E7K Pro
75in 75E7K Pro
|Resolution:||4K/UHD (3,940 x 2,160)|
|HDR formats:||Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10, HDR10+ Adaptive, HLG, IMAX Enhanced|
|Audio enhancements:||Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual:X|
|HDMI inputs:||HDMI 2.0b x 2, HDMI 2.1 x 2|
|Tuners:||Terrestrial and satellite|
|Gaming features:||Game Bar, ALLM, VRR, AMD Freesync Premium, 4K/144Hz|
|Wireless connectivity:||Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay|
|Smart platform:||VIDAA U (7.0)|
|Freeview Play compatibility:||Yes|
|Smart assistants:||Built-in Amazon Alexa|
Hisense E7K PRO review: What you need to know
The Hisense E7K PRO is a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) HDR smart LED LCD TV that comes in 55in, 65in and 75in screen sizes. It’s a mid-range model in the Hisense 2023 lineup, uses a 10-bit 144Hz panel with a direct LED backlight plus quantum dot filters, and it’s competitively priced.
The TV uses the brand’s VIDAA U 7 smart platform and handles every HDR format: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ Adaptive, and Dolby Vision IQ. There’s also support for eARC, along with Dolby Atmos decoding, Alexa built-in, and a comprehensive choice of streaming video services.
The gaming features are also impressive, with two full bandwidth HDMI 2.1 inputs that support ALLM, VRR, and frame rates up to 4K/144Hz, along with Hisense’s Game Bar, and support for AMD Freesync Premium. A very low input lag rounds out an impressive gaming package.
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Hisense E7K PRO review: Price and competition
The Hisense E7K PRO is competitively priced for what is a mid-range model within the brand’s range. You can buy the 55in version reviewed here for £849, the 65in model will set you back £1,099, and the 75in screen size retails at a very reasonable £1,399.
In terms of competition, the most obvious choice is probably the 55in TCL C745K, which also offers an LCD panel combined with a direct LED backlight and quantum dot colours. It includes similar gaming features and HDR support, and best of all it’s a bargain at only £649. The larger models are equally aggressively priced, with the 65in model costing £799 and the 75in option setting you back £1,099.
If you’re looking for other alternatives that are also slightly cheaper, there’s the 55in Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED at £749, or the 55in Samsung Q60C, which cost £600 at the time of writing. Both these TVs offer an impressive level of performance, although neither has the same level of gaming prowess.
Hisense E7K PRO review: Design, connections and control
The Hisense E7K PRO sports a simple but elegant design, with a thin black bezel around the screen, and a wider strip along the bottom where the speakers are housed. The TV sits on two widely spaced dark silver feet, but if you’d rather wall mount there are 200 x 200 VESA fixings.
The rear of the panel is finished in patterned black plastic, and there’s a combination of rear- and side-facing connections. The majority of inputs are the latter, but unfortunately, they’re only 95mm from the edge, which means cables can be seen poking out the side when viewed from the front.
There are four HDMI inputs (2 x HDMI 2.1 and 2 x HDMI 2.0), two USB ports, terrestrial and satellite tuners, a CI (common interface) slot, optical digital output, Ethernet port, an AV adapter, and a headphone jack. There’s also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay 2 for wireless connectivity.
All of the HDMI inputs support 4K/60Hz, HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision, but only the two HDMI 2.1 inputs can handle 4K/144Hz, ALLM and VRR. One of the HDMI 2.1 inputs also supports eARC, meaning you can’t simultaneously connect two next-gen gaming consoles and a soundbar.
The remote is a simple black plastic affair, but it’s comfortable to hold, easy to use with one hand, and intuitively laid out. All the buttons are present and correct, including a multitude of direct access keys for all the main video streamers, as well as Freeview Play, VIDAA TV, and Deezer.
Hisense E7K PRO review: Smart TV platform
The Hisense E7K PRO runs the VIDAA U 7 smart platform, which is well-designed and intuitive to navigate thanks to an interface that presents content in a layered fashion. A quad-core processor provides sufficient horsepower, and there’s also built-in Amazon Alexa.
Along the centre of the home screen are the apps, with promotional material above, and rows of recommended content below. Down the left-hand side are icons for searches, inputs, settings, and notifications, plus extensive file support for anyone wanting to stream their own content.
The system is slick, customisable and easy to navigate, with a comprehensive selection of video streaming services that includes Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+, and YouTube. There’s also Freeview Play, which provides all the UK TV catch-up services and integrates into the EPG.
Hisense E7K PRO review: Image quality
The Hisense E7K PRO might be a mid-range model, but it includes a 4K panel with an LED backlight and Quantum Dot colour filters. It can also handle frame rates up to 144Hz, which should deliver better motion handling, and prove popular with PC and next-gen console gamers.
Despite its direct LED backlight, the E7K PRO has no independent zones and thus no local dimming capabilities, resulting in blooming around bright objects. The uniformity is also patchy, with clouding in the image, but viewing angles are good and there are minimal screen reflections.
The E7K PRO ships in the Standard picture mode, but this suffers from an excess of blue energy in the greyscale, a gamma that’s all over the place, and slightly over-saturated colours that result in average DeltaEs (errors) of 12.5 for the greyscale and just over nine for the colours.
Switching to the Filmmaker mode fixes all of this, with a very accurate greyscale composed of equal amounts of red, green and blue, and an average error of 0.9. The gamma tracks around 2.35, and the colours hit their saturation targets, with an average error of 1.4.
The visible threshold for errors is three, and since the Filmmaker mode is well below that target, it makes the E7K PRO’s images pleasingly accurate, with clean whites, healthy skin tones and natural colours. The weak point is the blacks, which appear more like a grey in a darkened room.
The video upscaling and processing is generally good, with the E7K PRO mapping lower-resolution content to the native 4K panel. The resulting images are clean and bursting with crisp detail, while the processing minimises any unwanted artefacts in heavily compressed material.
The overall motion handling is also excellent, with no blurring on fast-paced sports action, and smooth judder-free movement on 24p content that retains a film-like quality. With higher frame rates the E7K PRO delivers exceptional clarity with even the most frenetic gaming motion.
Hisense E7K PRO review: HDR performance
While the Hisense E7K PRO is a solid performer with SDR, it’s not as impressive with HDR. The primary reason for this is that it’s not particularly bright, with a peak luminance of only 360cd/m2 on both a 10% window and full-field pattern. These results are the same whether in Dynamic or the more accurate Filmmaker mode.
In the latter mode, the greyscale is very accurate, and the tracking against the HDR target curve is excellent, ensuring highlights aren’t clipped and blacks are free of crush. As a result, whites also appear clean, while the colours are free of any skew thanks to the lack of greyscale errors.
The use of quantum dot filters means the E7K PRO covers the majority of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, reaching a healthy 94%. The colours also closely match their targets at various saturation points, ensuring that the overall pictures look natural while also retaining plenty of punch.
The lack of brightness is less of an issue as long as the tone mapping remains effective, and here the E7K PRO does well. Content graded at 1,000 nits appears correct with no crushed blacks or clipped highlights. Dolby Vision also looks excellent, with correctly tone-mapped images.
However, when running through the same demo footage in HDR10+ there are signs of some clipping, and the same is true with content graded at 4,000 and 10,000 nits. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but the chances are that most HDR content should look correct, if lacking some pop.
The E7K PRO also supports Dolby Vision IQ and HDR10+ Adaptive, where the tone mapping can be adjusted based on the measurements from a light meter, allowing the HDR to generally appear brighter overall when watching in ambient light, even if purists will prefer watching in the dark.
The HDR performance on this TV is generally good thanks to the accurate greyscale, colours and tone mapping, but the limited brightness does rob the images of some of their impact. However, watching The Flash is certainly an enjoyably bright and vibrant experience on the E7K PRO.
To test the Hisense E7K PRO we used Portrait Displays Calman colour calibration software.
Hisense E7K PRO review: Gaming
The Hisense E7K PRO is a top choice for gamers, with Game Mode Pro and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) combining to detect a games console and switch to the low latency mode, which measured an excellent 13ms, although even in Filmmaker mode it’s still only 21ms.
The E7K PRO also supports high frame rates up to 4K/144Hz with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), and AMD Freesync Premium, allowing PC and console gamers to enjoy smooth gaming. A pop-up Game Bar provides info on the TV’s gaming status, such as ALLM, VRR, frame rate and HDR.
There’s no danger of image retention or screen burn-in with an LCD panel, and the overall performance is excellent thanks to the low input lag, detailed 4K images, and incredibly smooth high frame rate motion. In addition, HDR pops thanks to rich colours and accurate tone mapping.
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Hisense E7K PRO review: Sound quality
The Hisense E7K PRO includes a 2.1-channel speaker system based around a pair of front-firing drivers and a built-in subwoofer at the rear. There’s also support for Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual: X, which use psychoacoustic processing to create the perception of improved audio dimensionality.
The overall sound quality is very good, with the speakers and sub driven by sufficient power to allow the E7K PRO to go loud without distorting. The soundstage has some width while remaining balanced, and both the treble and mid-range are capable enough to handle most mixed audio.
There’s good clarity to the overall delivery, ensuring dialogue remains clear and focused on the screen, while the sub adds a bit of bass. However expectations should be managed, and if you really want a soundstage with the scale to match a big screen consider investing in one of the best soundbars.
Hisense E7K PRO review: Verdict
The Hisense E7K PRO is an impressive mid-range 4K TV that offers a great selection of features at an affordable price. The SDR performance is very good, aside from some blooming and clouding, and while HDR lacks a degree of brightness, it remains accurate and vibrant.
It’s a particularly good choice for gamers, with every enhancement imaginable and a very low input lag. Whether you’re a film fan or a competitive gamer, this capable TV has you covered, although you can get a very similar experience for less from the TCL C745, which leaves the E7K Pro in a slightly tricky spot.