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Hisense U7QF Review – A premium 4K TV for a reasonable price.

Hisense U7QF Review – Premium 4K TV for a reasonable price.

Choosing a new TV is always a headache. Over the past ten years, a lot has changed: Full HD has been replaced by UHD, all TVs have become smarter and have got their own operating systems, and manufacturers brag about incomprehensible words like HDR10 and Dolby Vision on the boxes. For this reason, many buyers are still in no hurry to update, being content with proven devices with thick frames..

But now 2020 is coming to an end, and very soon the premieres of the new generation consoles will take place. All of them support pictures from 4K to 8K, and, like the PS3 at the time, they promise to make the ultra-clear picture format the new standard. Well, now it’s definitely time to take a closer look at the new thing, but in the conditions of a turbulent economy, few can afford both a set-top box and a TV. Hisense U7QF exists just for those people who want to keep up with the times, but also not be left without pants. Will Hisense’s flagship model be the golden mean? Let’s figure it out.

In recent years, 4K TVs have ceased to be considered a gimmick and have filled our stores. The main players, who have been on the market for a long time, remain kings, but their best models always belong to the premium segment, where prices, if not astronomical, are very biting. As for the middle segment, then it will not work out here either: as a rule, people also rely on familiar brands. This, however, is fraught: from the outside it may seem that such models are no worse, especially since the coveted HDR10, Dolby Vision and UHD logos are everywhere, but it is worth digging deeper, and it turns out that they are deceiving us: the brightness of the backlight is simply insufficient for HDR and the picture may be sharp, but faded – no better than your old Full HD TV.

Therefore, here, as in the case of smartphones, I most often turn my attention to relative newcomers who are just beginning their attack on the market. At one time, this is how Xiaomi and Huawei turned from upstarts into companies with a worldwide reputation, and in the same way Hisense can now be confidently called one of the leading TV manufacturers not only in China (where Hysense has long dominated), but also in the world. where it is ranked fourth in sales.

Hisense U7QF delivery set.

In a large cardboard box we will find the TV itself, snugly nestled in the mountains of foam, a remote control, two AAA batteries, a power cable, a warranty card, a metal stand and four screws to it.

When you study TVs on the Internet, one thing is impossible to understand – the scale. And the 55-inch unit (the 65-inch model exists, but is not sold in Russia) is impressive in its size, so I do not recommend installing it alone. However, this process is short-lived: just take out the device and “plant” it on a monolithic leg. The leg needs to be screwed on, although even without this the TV stands very firmly and does not stagger.

The remote control is the most common here, with infrared and Bluetooth modes. There are no special bells and whistles, and the design is standard, without unnecessary minimalism in the style of Apple TV. The buttons are easy to find, even in the dark, and they are all easy to press and in the right place. The only thing, it’s a pity that there are no functional buttons (multi-colored), which are useful when navigating in programs. At the very bottom is a block of buttons for quick access to applications. In our case, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and the built-in media player. I used to think that such blatant advertising of these services was useless, but I have to admit that turning on Netflix with one click is very convenient. Someone will complain that the remote is not adapted to our realities – they say, any ivi will be more popular than Amazon, but this is all subjective. For example, I use just the services that the remote mentions.

Design, layout and positioning.

Hisense U7QF is the most recent flagship of the company in our market. It belongs to the premium line, as evidenced by both its technical characteristics and assembly. It is simply impossible to determine its price in appearance – it looks much more expensive than it costs. It’s hard to find fault with the exterior: the frameless slim design, graceful monolithic leg, build quality and materials immediately make it clear why this is a flagship. The TV fits into any interior and does not seem bulky, even despite the (in my case – 55-inch) diagonal. Coming up with a cool design for a device that’s 98% screen isn’t easy, but Hisense has succeeded.

Both the leg and the body are metal, and very pleasant to the touch, although a plastic back is hidden behind, from below. It’s not scary: hardly anyone will see it, let alone touch it. I do not deny that making the TV metal is not at all necessary: ​​this is not a smartphone that we always turn in our hand, but a stationary device. But it is for this reason that such a case seems to be an additional luxury, but the metal support just adds peace of mind..

Hisense 50U7QF with a 50-inch screen will cost you 39,999 rubles, and with a 55-inch diagonal – 44,999 rubles. More than a reasonable price, especially considering the current exchange rate. As a bonus, each customer will receive three months of subscription in the ivi online cinema, whose application is already preinstalled.

Screen and picture quality.

Hisense classifies the display type as “ULED”, that is, it is an LCD panel with improved parameters, which are influenced by the operation of the Hi-View chipset and special algorithms for scaling. We sell TVs with 50 and 55 inches diagonal (60 Hz). Full-matrix local dimming is used here – further proof of the pedigree of this model. After TVs with Edge LED backlighting, this is a real revelation: the ubiquitous black bars in films remain black, not gray, and when in the series at some point the image darkens, the TV seems to “turn off” – this is very impressive, if you have not encountered it before with such technology. Peak brightness is 700 nits and standard operating is 400. That’s enough to see the benefits of Dolby Vision technology.

The viewing angles are not very good here – as soon as you step aside, the picture starts to brighten, but this is natural. There is even a special function in the settings to improve the viewing angles, but if it helps, then not much.

Hisense has always prided itself on its upscaling technology, and I understand why: The Hisense U7QF is capable of pulling almost any source. At one time, the transition from SD to HD was very painful, but this time you won’t have to throw out the old Blu-Ray – the TV significantly improves the picture, so much so that it is not immediately distinguishable from native HD. Even games on the base PS4 and Xbox One look good! For example, Tetris Effect benefits greatly from deep blacks and bright backlighting: in a dark room, it feels like wearing a virtual reality helmet..

All this is very important especially for our realities, because we still have catastrophically little UHD content on television. For example, all football is broadcast in HD at best, and I was afraid that I would not get pleasure from watching on a 55-inch screen, but no: both Match channels and even the English Premier League from Okko (which never boasted of a special quality) look great.

But of course, I highly recommend consuming UHD content. Where can I get it? Well, Blu-ray discs are a priority, which guarantees the best picture quality. Nobody canceled and online cinemas, most of which are already preinstalled. I actively used Netflix, Amazon Prime (the new season of “Boys”!) And YouTube – here you will find a lot of high-quality content for an excellent test drive of the new product. If you want to impress your guests, immediately turn in Our Planet from Netflix.

The TV has an anti-aliasing function that is very important to many. By default, the TV itself selects which mode is logical to use, but I myself am used to customizing everything for myself. So, “Kino” is well suited for films and TV series, where you should not twist the parameters too much in order to avoid the “soap opera effect”. But in documentaries about nature, you can select the “Standard” mode. There is also a special game mode that turns off all post-processing to reduce the latency, which here does not exceed 17 milliseconds. As I mentioned, there are no problems with video games – not even with HDR, although keep in mind that variable refresh rate and ALLM are not supported due to the lack of HDMI 2.1 connector..

In general, the image of Hisense U7QF is not satisfactory. I have no complaints about color rendition or brightness.

Sound is a perennial problem with most modern televisions. As soon as the fashion for ultra-thin cases went, the sound quality only began to decline, and the soundbars turned into a downright necessary accessory. The sound in Hisense U7QF is handled by two stereo speakers of 10 W each. They cope with their work, but no more – of course, you should watch Hollywood blockbusters with full-fledged acoustics, although there is enough volume here, and you don’t need more for most television programs or even series. I checked the HDMI ARC connector and was pleased: making friends with the TV even with old receivers or soundbars will not be a problem, although it’s a pity that support for a more modern eARC is not declared.

Please note that if you are just now switching from HD to UHD, then you will have to update not only the TV, but also the receiver. Old models simply do not pass 4K signal and therefore are not suitable for anything in the PS5 era, especially since this console will lose an optical audio jack. You can adjust surround sound through HDMI ARC, but only if the sound is produced by the TV itself. If you want to connect a Blu-Ray player or other UHD device, then you will have to be content with either imperfect SPDIF, or look closely at a modern receiver.

Smart features and VIDAA U4.

“Haysens” continues to develop its own operating system, and VIDAA U4 is installed on the TV. She will be unfamiliar to people who have never dealt with Hisense before..

Many necessary applications are already preinstalled on the TV, such as online cinemas Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Okko and ivi, and YouTube, of course. Many are accessed with one touch of the remote control, but there is also a central “hub” that immediately shows interesting news in each service. I’ve mostly used Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and they worked great – no complaints. The image is immediately loaded with the best, HDR, Dolby Vision and everything. From my own experience, I will say that the same “Netflix” is better adapted here than on the Xbox One. Didn’t expect it – it’s nice. Yes, no one canceled all kinds of set-top boxes, but nothing will interrupt the speed and convenience of Netflix, which turns on at the speed of traditional television..

The TV can be in standby mode or completely turned off. When he sleeps, he turns on almost instantly, and applications are not unloaded from memory, and you can immediately return to watching the series on Netflix.

But not everything works so well. Russian Okko continues to disappoint me. I already have an unpleasant experience with this online cinema, and I would like to say that I am surprised at how it is optimized for Hisense U7QF, but I cannot; Moreover, I am sure that this is not the fault of the programmers of the Chinese company, but our guys. What’s the matter? The problem is that the pre-installed app refuses to play 99% of UHD content. I have a subscription, and the application immediately offers to use it, but … almost always the movie is either “temporarily unavailable” and even lacks a play button, or it just crashes. I contacted Okko’s technical support and other owners of this device, and so far I have drawn disappointing conclusions: while ordinary users tell me that they have already been informed that “the TV is not supported”, Okko has been working for a week (!) do not find what to answer me. Think.

The built-in media player promises to eat everything, but in fact, UHD content is not very fond of. In our test, movies from 40 to 80 GB worked for about 10 minutes, after which endless downloads began – and this is from an external media. Unpleasant, but traditional for all TVs – even those that are twice as expensive. Here (as in the case of Okko, most likely) an external media player will come in handy. Chromecast with Google TV is just coming out the other day.

Despite the fact that VIDAA U4 works very quickly and immediately offers many of our services, I can’t really admire it. This is not Android TV, and most of the apps we are used to are not here. In other countries, the TV supports voice control using Alexa, but we have not yet announced support for Alice or other assistants.

In general, navigation through all sorts of settings is very convenient, but sometimes I came across small flaws in the firmware: for example, it turned out that if you play with the quick enable settings, you can inadvertently permanently disable … anti-aliasing. Very strange bug of the latest firmware. The power indicator is also questionable: under the Hisense logo on the front of the TV there is a red LED that almost never lights up. In the settings, I have it deactivated and it is not visible either when the TV is turned on, or when it is resting. Nevertheless, every morning the TV greets me with a red light. Which goes out after switching on and returns the next day. Try to figure it out.

RemoteNOW smartphone app.

VIDAA TVs support a smartphone app called RemoteNOW. It can be useful for those who want to manually adjust every aspect of the image (it is more convenient to do this on a smartphone), as well as for those who, for example, want to use the browser using the mouse and keyboard functions. This is more convenient than typing with arrows on the remote control..

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