Hisense U7QF QLED TV Review

A razor-sharp 4K television with only a few minor issues.

The Hisense U7QF is a razor-sharp 4K television that offers a lot for its mid-range price, including an image that looks just as good upscaling HD sources as it does in native 4K.

While some motion control issues – and some half-baked smart features – keep the U7QF from greatness, it is still an excellent choice for a new 4K HDR television.

  • Pros
    • Sleek design
    • Sharp 4K picture
    • Universal HDR support
  • Cons
    • Only 8-bit HDR
    • Some motion judder
    • Half-baked smart features

The Hisense U7QF is a razor-sharp 4K television that offers a lot for its mid-range price, including an image that looks just as good upscaling HD sources as it does in native 4K.

With prices starting at £599 (approximately ₱41,142) for a 50-inch model, it includes wide HDR support and Dolby Atmos passthrough to a compatible soundbar – which, given the built-in 20W speakers, you’ll probably want to invest in.

However, some compromises have been made to keep the Hisense U7QF’s price so low, which is most noticeable in its imprecise motion control.

While you won’t get true 10-bit HDR, the 8-bit+FRC solution looks pretty spectacular for the most part, and it’s safe to say that this 4K TV strikes the right balance of price and performance, despite the trade-offs.

It’s also a handsome television, with a bold, angular TV stand that makes no attempt to conceal its support on the sides – and extensive app support, save for the absence of Disney Plus.

Some of the new features on the VIDAA U platform, such as an embarrassing Art Mode imitator that pulls sketches and drawings from DeviantArt, and a VIDAA Free app that simply redirects you to YouTube videos, do not land quite as well as others.

These blemishes are easily overlooked, and the U7QF is more than adequate for everyday television viewing.

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Price and availability

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The Hisense U7QF is currently available in the United Kingdom in 50-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch sizes.

The 50-inch model is £599 (approximately ₱41,142), the 55-inch model is £699 (approximately ₱48,010), and the 65-inch model is £999 (approximately ₱68,615).

This pricing categorizes it as low-to-mid-range: neither a budget model nor a truly high-end set.

However, as the follow-up to the flagship U8QF Quantum Series, you should anticipate more than last year’s affordable U7B ULED.

Design

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The Hisense U7QF excels in one area: hardware design.

It achieves a sleek appearance through the use of a thin bezel and an angular two-tone base with subtle diagonal lines – as well as a trapezium-shaped stand that lends it a futuristic appearance while providing more stability than a pair of feet would.

Four HDMI 2.0 ports are included, one of which supports ARC for audio distribution to an external soundbar or speaker.

While you will not receive the advanced versions of these technologies (HDMI 2.1, eARC), they will more than suffice.

  • Sleek TV stand
  • HDMI ARC
  • Inessential remote app

The remote is slim and tall, with ridged plastic buttons that click satisfyingly.

Although there is a lot packed into a small space, the design feels relatively unique, which is noteworthy in a crowded television market.

Additionally, you’ll find dedicated buttons for Netflix, YouTube, Rakuten TV, Amazon Prime Video, and Freeview Play – essentially all of the apps you’re likely to use – providing plenty of convenient shortcuts.

You can download a companion mobile app, RemoteNOW, though we wouldn’t recommend it.

Once downloaded, it enables you to browse VIDAA U’s available content and transform your touchscreen into a trackpad for navigating app icons or playback controls displayed onscreen.

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

Although the app is closed, it continues to run in the background, and we had to ‘force stop’ it to prevent it from consuming too much RAM on our phone.

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Smart TV (VIDAA U)

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Hisense utilizes a variety of different smart TV platforms, depending on the model, including third-party Roku and Android TV.

The U7QF, on the other hand, runs a proprietary operating system called VIDAA U.

VIDAA U has an extremely clean interface, aided by the fact that it employs a dedicated home page rather than an icon overlay, as Panasonic’s My Home Screen or LG’s webOS do.

All app icons and recommended titles are large and readable, and there is a relatively simple function for organizing apps – with one exception.

  • Clean interface
  • No Disney Plus
  • Poorly-made art mode

Netflix is the top-left app on the home screen, and it’s odd that it’s the only app whose position cannot be changed.

During setup, we were even prompted to watch Netflix, indicating that the dominant TV streaming service paid a premium to maintain a prominent position on the 2020 Hisense TVs.

Generally, app support is adequate. You’ll find industry heavyweights such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Freeview Play, Britbox, Chili, Deezer, and Plex, as well as BBC News / BBC Sport. However, Disney Plus is nowhere to be found.

What makes VIDAA U particularly noteworthy in 2020 is the addition of two new services: VIDAA Free and VIDAA Art.

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The former is a one-stop shop for free video content, though it appears to be only repackaged YouTube videos, rather than the more robust free TV streaming services offered by Samsung TV Plus or Rakuten TV.

VIDAA Art, on the other hand, appears to be a rehash of Samsung’s Art Mode – a feature on Samsung’s designer televisions that allows you to display classic artworks and paintings on your screen when the TV is not in use.

Unlike Samsung’s version, however, the majority of images are taken from the fan art website Deviant Art, giving the impression of a pirated app or one that was unable to obtain the broader image rights it desired.

Additionally, you cannot maintain a static image, which means you are forced to cycle through various images against your will.

Although these features are in their “early stages of development,” it’s probably best to give them a wide berth for the time being.

Additionally, the Hisense U7QF turns on via an HDMI input, which is convenient for gamers or those who spend the majority of their time with a streaming stick or 4K Blu-ray player but may be irritating for those who simply want to go to the home screen at startup.

Picture quality

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When it comes to HD video, the Hisense U7QF excels at upscaling it for its 4K display.

The classic British comedy Hot Fuzz appeared sharp and detailed – free of the grainy filters that frequently accompany subpar upscaling – while also demonstrating the U7QF’s exceptional brightness control.

Whether viewing dimly lit pubs, gleaming after-dark car headlights, or sunlight streaming through an office window, this Hisense set was fully capable of focusing up to 700 nits peak brightness where it was needed, without noticeable blooming in surrounding pixels.

700 nits isn’t a lot in comparison to the 1,000-2,000 nits of some new Samsung TVs, but the U7QF makes the best of what it’s given.

  • Universal HDR support
  • 8-bit + FRC
  • Some motion judder

4K HDR video looks just as good, with stunningly natural skin tones and vibrant color in general.

When watching Netflix’s #BlackAF (Dolby Vision), the 4K image is razor-sharp and capable of rendering both the rich red of a patterned blouse and the dull khaki of a tracksuit as sharply accurate colors (important for a show with such a well-dressed cast).

Additionally, the purple and blue wash in a nightclub scene demonstrates a depth of color that exceeds SDR.

Television Television set LG 4K resolution Sony

However, it’s worth noting the level of HDR that this Hisense TV is capable of generating.

You’ll find universal HDR support here, matching the inclusion of Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG on Panasonic televisions (hybrid log gamma).

However, true HDR requires 10-bit color and 1,000 nits of brightness, which the U7QF falls short of.

Instead of 10-bit, you’ll find 8-bit + FRC (frame rate control), which attempts to emulate the larger color palette of 10-bit.

This is accomplished by rapidly flickering between two color states, creating the illusion of a third color between the two.

It’s a clever workaround, but keep in mind that you’re not getting the real thing, and it can result in some onscreen flicker that we’d prefer to avoid, though it’s largely negligible.

The U7QF’s primary weakness is in its motion control.

Sudden camera movements or even simple cuts to a new scene can cause the frame rate to drop, introducing artifacts that cannot keep up with the camerawork.

When watching Jason Statham’s The Mechanic, rapid movement caused sections of the screen to lag behind others.

Thus, the U7QF is not the best choice for thrillers and action films, though this is a minor flaw that will not ruin your casual viewing experience.

With a sub-20ms input lag, this set should also perform adequately for gaming, though there are better gaming TVs on the market – and the lack of motion control means this may not be the best TV for games like Call of Duty: Warzone or Apex Legends.

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Audio performance

The Hisense U7QF has audio potential, even if it will require some additional equipment to realize it.

The integrated speakers deliver a maximum output of 20W (2x10W in stereo), which is to be expected at this price point.

While mid-range drivers have a limited frequency range, they are completely harmless.

For one thing, there is little bass here, but the sound is never harsh or grating, and it holds up well at higher volumes.

However, do not be misled by the mention of Dolby Atmos support.

While the set is compatible with Atmos, the benefit will not be audible over the set’s built-in speakers.

What you can do, however, is connect the television to a soundbar via HDMI ARC and listen to the surround sound format the way it was intended to be heard (that is, if the speaker is a Dolby Atmos speaker).

Should I purchase the Hisense U7QF television?

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Buy it if…

You desire an attractive television
The Hisense U7QF features a sleek design and an angular stand solution that looks great even when the TV is turned off.

You desire superior upscaling
The U7QF brings HD sources up to the same level of brilliance as native 4K, with a pleasingly crisp resolution.

You desire HDR capability and vibrant color
While this is not true 10-bit HDR, Hisense’s 8-bit+FRC solution still looks significantly better than standard SDR.

With universal HDR support, you can also watch in Dolby Vision or HDR10+.

Don’t buy it if…

You desire a true 10-bit high dynamic range (HDR)
You’ll only get 8-bit here, with some fancy FRC processing attempting to close the gap, and the 700 nits brightness falls short of the 1,000 required to truly showcase HDR.

You desire acceptable audio
The U7QF features only two 10W speakers and requires additional audio equipment to utilize the set’s Atmos capabilities.

You desire swift motion
The U7QF struggles with fast movement at times, and while it is capable of quick course correction, it may be the best choice for edge-of-your-seat action films or sporting events.


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