On paper, the Hisense H8F 4K TV seems like it must be too good to be true. You get 4K visuals, HDR support and a whole host of excellent supporting features for a fraction of the price of most of the best TVs out there like the LG C9.
Now 4K TVs have been around for years now, so its not strange to see a budget 4K TV hit the market... but a budget 4K TV that supports HDR and uses ULED technology? That's a little bit more head-turning. ULED offers full-array local dimming for better picture quality, a technology that was reserved for top-end TVs only a few years ago.
Dolby Vision HDR is another welcome touch as this means you can enjoy the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus at their most visually stunning with more vibrant and varied colors gracing your screen. So, what's the catch?
Well we won't lie, there a couple of areas that let the side down (and we'll get to those), but all-in-all, we think the Hisense H8F is an absolute bargain.
Hisense H8F ULED TV review: Picture
- Excellent color range
- Dolby Vision
- Could be brighter
The Hisense H8F does offer some impressive specs, on paper, with everything you'd need thanks to that HDR and 4K support as well as ULED local dimming. The result is some really impressive colors when using that 10-bit Dolby Vision input. It also makes for decent range between blacks and whites.
Average price: $379.99 - $799
Sizes available: 50", 55" and 65"
Screen type: ULED
4K ready? Yes
8K ready? No
HDR type: Dolby Vision
Audio type: Dolby Digital Plus
HDMI connections: 4
Other connections: 2 x USB, 1 x Ethernet, Digital and analog audio out, Headphone out, Composite in, Tuner.
While the HDR performance does make for some really impressive color ranges, there is also some superb upscaling smarts that make lower quality inputs also look very good. The LED zones help to keep the dark areas black and the light areas bright with minimal bleed between the two. Edges are sharp, colors are punchy and the refresh rate is fast.
This TV comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, confusingly called Motion Rate 240, which does a decent job of smoothing out images even for faster video which is great if you're watching live sport or playing video games. Throw in the various modes and custom settings that you have access to, and you should be able to get your screen set up perfectly for any type of viewing.
Some users have noted that the peak brightness could be higher, as this would help to bring out the color punch even more. It also helps with realizing the full potential of an HDR input. This is a relatively minor complaint though.
Hisense H8F ULED TV review: Sound
- 30W Harman Kardon speakers
- Dolby Digital Plus surround
The audio on the Hisense H8F isn't something to shout about. But then very few slimline TVs do offer sound that gets you excited. That said the voice clarity is decent and the balance is well managed.
The problem is a lack of bass, something most modern TVs suffer from. This television does offer Dolby Digital Plus support but that's not massively impressive on the minimal amount of power the speakers can manage. That said, you can turn this up loud and the quality will remain decent, so this is very capable as a TV on its own.
We'd recommend you grab one of the best soundbars if you're looking to give the audio output a boost, or a complete home theater system if you have the money and space for one. You can connect these using either the HDMI or optical out ports and really boost your TVs audio capabilities.
Hisense H8F ULED TV review: Design and build
- Chromecast built-in
- Basic remote
- Awkward stand
The picture quality and audio output are pretty damn good for the price you're paying with the Hisense H8F, but you start to notice the budget of this TV creeping in with some of the design choices. There's nothing hideous or garish about it, in fact we'd say it's a great looking piece of kit with a slender design and small bezels around the screen.
The problem is that stand is a bit spaced out. As such you need a lot of space to accommodate the legs – so don't expect to perch this on the edge of a unit or discreetly in a cove area.
The other gripe we have with the Hisense H8F is the remote. There's nothing functionally wrong with it. It does the job and even has dedicated Netflix and YouTube buttons. But just look at it. it's ugly, hearkening back to designs from decades ago. It looks and feels like tacky piece of plastic and its clear that this is one area where costs were saved.
Previous Hisense TVs have had issues with dodgy Bluetooth when it comes to connecting wireless headphones, but this issue seems to have been resolved with the H8F. One user review on Best Buy noted that it was easy to get a Bluetooth headset hooked up and they had no issues with it disconnecting.
The operating system is great, with Android TV running the show. That means a huge selection of easily accessible Android apps are available to you, along with Google Assistant support. It also means lots of updates to make sure you're always getting the latest and greatest. You even get to enjoy Chromecast built-in and DLNA for all your streaming needs.
Should you buy the Hisense H8F?
If you're looking for a great 4K TV but don't want to shell out the big bucks, then the Hisense H8F is a fantastic choice. It has 4K visuals, HDR support and all the extras you'd expect in a premium 4K TV, but without the $1000+ price tag. Dolby Vision support, Chromecast and Google Assistant all come built in so it's the prefect smart TV for your home.
Of course if you want the very best brightness and clarity you'll need to pay more. The onboard audio is fairly average too, so audiophiles should consider something like the Sony A9G. Or you could just grab a separate sound system or soundbar to go with it and save yourself a small fortune.