Hisense U7H 85-inch 4K UHD TV review: The ultimate Super Bowl splurge

You’ve heard the saying: money can’t buy happiness. But do you know what it may be used for? A ridiculously huge television. And the 85-inch Hisense U7H makes me overjoyed. Everything looks better when it’s almost cinema-sized, including sports, movies, and sports movies. You’re paying a premium to get from 65 or 75 inches to this massive surface, but is it worth it? Yes, in a nutshell. If you can afford it and have the space in your living room, this is a terrific TV. My Hisense U7H review is below.

This is now Hisense’s sole 85-inch model; the U6H and U8H series also reach 75 inches. However, you should use a tape measure before deciding on this size; see my story “Can a TV Be Too Big?” to understand more.

You should also check for space for a soundbar, which I suggest for all TV purchases. Of course, the U7H has built-in speakers, but they’re small and powerful, and they just don’t do justice to a screen this huge. If you’re looking for some inspiration, these are the top soundbars of 2023.

Hisense U7H: Is it simple to set up?

It takes at least two persons to unpack and put up this beast of a TV. If you don’t want to wall install it, a stand at least 18 inches deep is required, as the two provided feet span 17.8 inches. Fortunately, you can set these feet 55.1 or 24.4 inches apart, which is convenient if you have a deep but narrow tabletop.

My TV stand, like many others, is about 14 inches deep. To stand on its two feet, the Hisense U7H requires at least 18 inches, one of which is displayed below. (Yahoo Photo/Rick Broida)

I love that the provided rapid installation guide includes customer support information, such as a toll-free number, hours of operation, a service email address, and a QR code that can be scanned to access a much more comprehensive instruction manual. I strongly advise you to use it because the printed guide only covers the fundamentals.

The Google TV operating system powers the U7H, which should look and feel familiar to Android phone users. It’s the second best TV OS out there in my opinion, easier to grasp and use than Amazon’s Fire TV but not as simple as Roku. The good news is that the U7H has four HDMI ports (two of which are HDMI 2.1, which is vital for gaming), so you can plug in your preferred streaming device – Apple TV, Fire Stick, Roku, and so on – while still having room for cable boxes and game consoles.

(As an aside, I use a Roku Streambar Pro, which is not only a terrific soundbar but also my favourite Roku interface. I occasionally return to Google TV to use the built-in Chromecast, which allows me to cast material from my phone or streaming tablet.)

Whatever you choose, you must finish the Google TV setup procedure, which is time-consuming and oftentimes agonizing (because there are so lots of questions to answer and settings to configure). You will also require the Google Home app on your smartphone. If you don’t already have it, you’ll need to download it, set it up, and so on. Even after all of this, I had to wait what seemed like a lifetime for the TV to download and install numerous apps.

The U7H offers hands-free voice controls via Google Assistant, but you can also configure it to recognize Amazon Alexa instructions if you like (although setting it up is a hassle). As much as I like this feature, I am unable to fully utilize it due to my Roku usage. When I ask Google or Alexa to “Play ozark on Netflix,” I can only do so within the Google TV operating system. But that’s a software constraint, not a limitation of the TV itself.

As with other new TVs, you should spend some time adjusting the visual settings to your preference. For example, the first thing I do with each new television is disable motion smoothing, which causes the dreaded “soap opera” effect. To my delight, the U7H required just minor visual tweaks, at least for my preferences. Everything else was stunning straight out of the box. Speaking about which…

An 85-inch TV may completely outperform your furnishings and even your entire living room. (Yahoo Photo/Rick Broida)

Hisense U7H specifications and picture quality

Quantum Dot, Dolby Vision, Local Dimming, and other terms are used in modern television terminology. I feel that few people understand and care about any of this; you simply want a bright, colourful image that looks excellent in all lighting circumstances. So I’m concentrating less on the finer points of technology and more on the bottom line: What did I think of NFL playoff games, Mythic Quest (AppleTV+), Welcome to Wrexham (Hulu), and The Batman?

Answer: a lot. No, not at all. Even with smoothing features turned off, the U7H has no issue portraying the action in fast-paced soccer smoothly. Welcome to Wrexhama is a documentary series about the “other” football (ie soccer), with bright green on the surface and bright blue and red on the players’ shirts (ie uniforms).

The Batman, a famously gloomy entry for the Caped Crusader (and I don’t mean the narrative), had superb contrast in situations that would trip smaller TVs, such as overhead spotlights catching crooks on rainy nighttime streets. This film is mostly in shadows, yet I never had any problem seeing what I was supposed to see.

Surprisingly, the only visual anomaly I came seen was in Mythic Quest Season 3. Several episodes feature sequences in an all-white corridor with apparent gradation (called posterization) on the walls. To be clear, I examined the identical scenarios on the Google TV OS (rather than Roku) and discovered that the banding of white colours is scarcely visible. When I was checking through the visual settings on the TV, I saw that several options were greyed out. Who is the perpetrator? My Roku Streambar was set to 4K HDR at 30 frames per second, not 60. After I made this update, the settings were restored, and the posterization issue was almost completely resolved. Consider that.

You may argue that utilizing a TV’s built-in operating system over a plug-in option is preferable, and I’ll grant that you’re less likely to encounter strange situations like these. Aside from that, the U7H performed admirably in all other areas (with the Roku, I mean). It’s bright when it needs to be, dark when it needs to be, and pleasantly coloured throughout.

I’ll let the remote ring, though, because it lacks specific fast-forward and rewind buttons (use the directional pad for that) and isn’t illuminated. I believe that a $1,800 television should have a remote that is visible in the dark. It offers six streaming service shortcuts, whereas my Roku remote only has four.

Should you purchase the Hisense U7H?

I’ll just say it: this is my favourite television I’ve ever examined. Granted, I prefer mid-range and entry-level devices, but the U7H is surprisingly outstanding for the price.

But here’s the thing: you’re now paying a significant premium for an 85-inch screen. The 75-inch U7H, which is almost similar in practically every way, is presently $700 cheaper at $1,098 (and sometimes reduced to $900). Yes, it is 10 inches shorter on the diagonal, but it is still rather large for most living rooms. In any case, you receive a two-year warranty, which is rare for a television. It means a lot to me.

I have no reservations about recommending the Hisense U7H, regardless of size. It’s a little difficult to set up, as with many current TVs, but once you get beyond that, it’s smooth sailing. Whether you want a huge screen for the Super Bowl or a screen capable of showing series like cinematic justice The Mandalorian, this TV will make you very pleased.

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