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Hisense U8QF 4K QLED TV: All the perks of 4K at a pocket-pleasing price

Stuart Pritchard
19 Apr 2021

Hisense’s flagship delivers killer 4K resolution backed by a bevy of top TV technology

Pros 
4K resolution
100+ local dimming zones
HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Cons 
Motion blur issues
No 4K at 120Hz playback
Detail loss in darker scenes
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Originally targeting the budget end of the UK market, Hisense upped the ante considerably when it launched its flagship U8QF TV in 2020. It may be from a lesser-known company, but this 4K HDR QLED television is perfectly capable of taking on the more established big brands, and it has a starting price that will really appeal to the purse strings.

Available in 55in and 65in variants, the minimalist design of both the TV and its boomerang-style stand is pleasing to the eye, even if the body may seem surprisingly thick for a 2021 set.

The U8QF is full to the brim with all the smart tech you’d expect from a modern 4K TV. There’s complete HDR support for stunning, impactful image quality, easy app access to all the usual streaming services, and Amazon Alexa support built in for extra everyday convenience. It also has a surprisingly competent sound system comprising two 10W front-firing speakers that have been tuned specially for the Hisense by JBL.

Packaged with a slender, ergonomic remote control that features dedicated Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Freeview Play and Rakuten TV buttons, the Hisense U8QF is a well-conceived, solidly built and easy-to-operate 4K option.

Hisense U8QF: Key specifications

Screen sizes available:55in (55U8QF), 65in (65U8QF)
Panel type:QLED (VA-type LED LCD)
Resolution:4K/UHD (3,840 x 2,160)
Refresh rate:120Hz
HDR formats:HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
Audio enhancement:Dolby Atmos, Dolby Audio (MS12)
HDMI inputs:4x HDMI 2.0
Streaming services:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Freeview Play, YouTube, Rakuten TV etc.
Tuners:DVB-T2/T/C/S2/S, Freeview HD
Wireless connectivity:Wi-Fi 802.11ac, dual-band (2.4G & 5G), Bluetooth
Smart platform:VIDAA U4.0

Hisense U8QF: What you need to know

Is your lounge screaming out for a sizeable screen that comes blessed with all the bells and whistles but won’t break the bank? Then the Hisense U8QF might just be the telly for you.

An Ultra HD Premium-certified 4K smart TV, the Hisense U8QF has over 8 million pixels, while its quantum dot technology allows it to produce over 1 billion colours. Utilising a bright, direct-lit LED panel with Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) to control its contrast and brightness across over 100 dimming zones, the TV’s tech stats certainly stack up well against similarly priced rivals. Meanwhile, Hisense’s proprietary VIDAA U4.0 smart TV platform is perfectly intuitive and runs seamlessly.

There’s a good array of both rear- and side-facing connections, with no fewer than four HDMI 2.0 inputs, two USB ports, plus all the usual RF, optical digital audio, CI slot, composite video input and stereo audio line input suspects to keep you well connected.

However, this is also where we hit something of a downside, as the aforementioned HDMIs don’t support 4K at 120Hz High Frame Rate (HFR), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) or Auto Low-Latency Mode (ALLM), features that next-gen gaming console fans will be looking for in a TV. So it’s perhaps not the box of choice for PS5 and Xbox Series X gamers, but one more geared towards those who want the best film- and TV-watching experience without having to sell the car.

Coming round to the picture, if you’re expecting great things from a 4K QLED panel with FALD lighting across 100+ dimming zones, you’ll be vindicated – the Hisense U8QF produces pictures that are exceptionally bright, vivid and natural-looking.

To really appreciate what the U8QF is capable of when it comes to colour, we suggest giving the likes of Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces, Pacific Rim or Avatar a blast to see those colours really pop. And with support for HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG, the U8QF has you covered for High Dynamic Range no matter where your HDR content comes from.

All pretty impressive, then? Well, yes. However, the Hisense does appear to have some difficulty with the darker side of scenes, losing detail in the murk at times. Not a huge issue for those who enjoy the lighter, brighter side of television, but it can be a mood killer for fans of horror and moody movies about a bloke who dresses like a bat.

The other issue is with the U8QF’s motion blur, which can get quite tedious, especially when watching sports. Luckily, the motion rate can be adjusted in the TV’s settings with modes including Clear Motion and Smooth, so some tinkering will help to iron things out a bit.

Moving onto the often thorny issue of sound, many smart TV manufacturers still stuff their TVs with tinny speakers that deliver little in the way of an awesome aural experience, expecting owners to simply add a soundbar instead. However, Hisense has addressed the audio head-on by imbuing the U8QF with a 20W front-facing sound system – tuned by JBL, no less – to deliver room-filling cinematic sound. Dolby Atmos surround sound is also supported, with pretty impressive built-in internal decoding, to make the U8QF as impressive on the ear as it is on the eye.

READ NEXT: The best TV to buy in 2021

Hisense U8QF: Price and competition

Starting at £769 on Amazon for the 55in option, Hisense has been not so much ‘competitive’ in its pricing as ‘aggressive’, really going after the big brands. The 65in variant, at £949 on Amazon, is also a lot of TV bang for your buck, and to get a comparable model from another brand with a similar price tag is going to be a big ask. But, as ever, other options are available.

Samsung’s 2020 Q70T 4K QLED, for example, is 55 inches of pure televisual pleasure, with excellent HDR playback powered by its Quantum Processor 4K, striking cinematic colours, automatic adaptive brightness settings, a wealth of connections (but no HDMI 2.1, alas) and Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant all vying to assist. Now priced at £790 on Amazon, it may only have a 60Hz refresh rate, but it’s certainly a viable alternative to the U8QF.

As is the Sony KD55X70, priced at £545 on Amazon, featuring Sony's 4K X Reality Pro picture engine and Motionflow XR 200Hz technology to keep even the most rapidly running scenes smooth and watchable. The X70’s Triluminos Display produces vivid real-world colour, keeping images nicely natural, while all the usual easy access to streaming services comes as a given. Okay, you’ll find fewer connectivity options and a lower refresh rate, but just look at that price tag.

For those who want to indulge in some next-gen gaming, you’re going to need to secure 4K at 120Hz High, Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low Latency Mode features. To this end, the 55in Sony X900H might be more up your Xbox Series X street, as this king of 4K comes blessed with support for that essential-to-smooth-gaming 120Hz refresh rate, along with VRR for seamless play and ALLM for an all-round easier transition from movies to games. And the price for all this added gaming goodness on top of a seriously smart TV that’s packed with top-end tech? £768 at Currys PC World – currently down £131 from £899.

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