This Hisense 4K TV Isn't Perfect, But The Price Just Might Be

Image: Hisense

Hisense' Series 7 left quite the impression when it entered the market back in 2017 - and it left us excited to see what it would do with the 4K HDR 65-inch series 8. With a higher price point, it seemed to be making a play for some of the more expensive brands and models in market.

While there is lots to like here, there is room for improvement. But with the price tag its currently rocking - you may not care about the issues.

Hisense Series 8 65-inch TV (65P8)

WHAT IS IT?

A 65-inch 4K HDR TV that has had a good price drop

PRICE

$1,996 (JB Hi-Fi) - $3,000

LIKE

Good price, sleek design, nice 4K picture

NO LIKE

Blacks and processing aren't the best and the user experience could use some tweaking

Just The Specs, Please

You can find the full run down of specs here.


What's Good About It?

Pricing

Originally coming to the market at around $3,600, you can now pick up the 65P8 for under $2,000 from JB Hi-Fi. Even so - without the sale price its $2,700 - almost $900 cheaper than what it was a few months back.

This isn't bad at all if you consider the size and 4K capabilties. Honestly, the price drop is a smart move considering the other competitors Hisense as to contend with at the original price point.

With this healthier dip in price, it could be a tipping point for some people when it comes to choosing an 4k HDR TV but not wanting to pay top dollar.

Everyday TV

We'll get into some of the imperfections of the 65P8 in a moment, but despitr them - this is not a bad TV at all. If you're a regular TV user who isn't particularly concerned about perfect black levels or top of the line image and processing quality - you're likely to be quite happy with this.

The 65P8 does just fine and I happily watched movies and gamed without any issues once I had the settings I liked. Frankly, I was too busy hunting cult members in Far Cry 5 to notice anythuing other than my gun and the beautiful digital landscape in front of my eyes.

The Netflix and YouTube buttons on the remote were also appreciated, They are becoming increasingly expected on modern TVs, so it's nice to see them here too.


Design

At 65-inches, this bad boy takes up some room. And yet, with its thin bezels, hidden ports and silver four-legged design - it looks sleek. Understated even. It even managed to look nice when shoved on top of a table in our messy work studio.

Don't have room? You can also wall-mount it if you have the inclination and capability in your home.


Picture Quality

For anyone who is really serious about picture quality, you may have some issues with the backlit display and its effect on the blacks. Depending on which mode you have it in, or which manual display features you're playing with - they can look a little washed out and grey.

But while the display is far from perfect, it's not bad at allfor the price point and it's somewhat unfair to compare it to top-of-the-range Samsung and LG TVs.

If you're worried about muddiness, I would recommend stearing clear of HDR Cinema mode. This is where you will really notice the washed out colours and loss of texture and fine detail. It looks like someone has slapped vaseline across the screen like a 1940s movie.

On the flip side, I also sometimes found that HDR Dynamic mode went too far in the other direction, making the picture over-exposed. It looked like the sharpness and brightness has been pushed way up with no real benefits. That being said, ordinary Dynamic mode looked quite good too if you're looking for something where the colours pop.

I tested this in 4K with Preacher and Planet Earth II on Stan and they looked stunning. Comparatively, Cinema Mode looked awful - like a thick yellow smog was filling the screen. You're better off watching in Football Mode than Cinema.

If you want to keep things simple, the good old fashioned Standard Mode hit the sweet spot well for me. It wasn't perfect, but it made for pleasant viewing. It and Dynamic are definitely my pic of the bunch.

Of course, you can always fine tune these settings to your taste with the advanced settings feature.


What's Not So Good?

Image: Tegan Jones/Gizmodo Australia

Processing

While the picture may have looked quite good (depending on the mode), the processor did seem to struggle during high action sequences for both 4K and non-4K content types.

There was distortion during the chase scenes I streamed of The Fast and the Furious that made them look fuzzy and distorted. And I had similar results with Deadpool, which was running off a blu-ray on my PS4 Pro.

This was even more noticable when it came to upscaling lower quality content from YouTube and streaming services.

Abd while I didn't get to test this myself - I wonder how the processor would handle high action sport. After all, Hisense was a World Cup partner with these televisions earlier this year and has a Football (read: sports) mode built in. Would the TV be able to handle it?


Interface

Image: Shameless self promotion

Like most manufacturers in the smart TV market, Hisense is pushing for an interface that users will want to spend time in natively, rather than relying on consoles or a NVIDIA Shield to deliver all their content to them.

And while Hisense' version of this looks nice, it could use some work.

My biggest issue was with the browser functionality, which requires you to move the cursor via the directional buttons on the remote. It was clunky and made the whole experience slow and annoying.

This won't be a problem if you use Hisense' RemoteNOW app, but it wouldn't work or detect the TV during my testing. To be fair, I was told that an update would fix this, which I didn't have time to complete during my review.

So let's allow some leeway here and assume that the update helps matter. Even so, it would be nice to have a smoother functional experience withthe remote itself without relying on a companion app.

There were also apps such as ABC iView missing during my review period - it wouldn't even let me watch it in the web browser. Sure, I could cast it - but we're getting into a lot of effort at that point.

But despite these negatives, the mirror sharing worked well. It connected easily and swapped between vertical and horizontal seemlessly. That being said, I don't think this is ever something I would ever personally use. But if you're into that kind of thing - it was great.


Should You Buy It?

Image: Should I or shouldn't I?

If it was still at its original price I may have advised against, because for a few hundred dollars more you could get something better from the likes of Samsung. But it's difficult to ignore that sub $2000 price tag.

When it comes to picture quality its a no brainer - it's not perfect you're still getting really beautiful looking 4K HDR for what some would consider a steal. My main concern is the everyday functionality when it comes to the app and browser. They need work and having things like that annoy me everyday is far more of a turn off than black levels and muddiness in certain modes.

The good news here is that apps and software can be updated quite easily. And when it comes to browsing, you can always look into a wireless mouse and keyboard that specifically designed for TVs. Who is going to use a remote regularly for this, really?

And while I know not ever retailer is selling them that cheaply as JB Hi-Fi, most are sitting at around $2,700 - $3,000 now, and that may just be worth considering.

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