Hisense U7GReviewed at $749.00 (55")
Ports & Connectivity9.0/10
OS, Apps and Features9.2/10
Price / Quality9.3/10
- Great brightness in both SDR and HDR
- Very good contrast
- HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support
- Two HDMI 2.1 ports
- Blooming visible
- Motion performance not so good
- Bad viewing angles
- Subpar audio output
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It seems that Hisense is a manufacturer that has drawn a lot of attention the last few years and for good reason. Their releases offer as much as the competition does but with prices that are unmatched by most other brands. For example we recently reviewed the Hisense U6G and to our knowledge this was the most cheap FALD TV on the market right now. And the same thing seems to apply to most of their new models. So in our Hisense U7G review today we will test the next release in their 2021 lineup and what more it does offer compared to its smaller brother.
Looking at the specs the U7G seems like a decent upgrade over the U6G across the board with many improvements and additions which certainly makes this unit a really strong contender for anyone looking for more than just a basic experience. The U7G cannot be considered a premium model but does come with many advanced features and if you take into consideration that it’s the first Hisense unit in the 2021 that adds a lot of gaming centric features makes its value even higher.
So what the new U7G has to offer? Once again we find a FALD backlight system on a VA panel but this time Hisense upped the refresh rate to 120Hz. Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision are still present but in addition we find Dolby Vision IQ along with IMAX Enhanced and DTS support. Other notable additions would obviously be the inclusion of HDMI 2.1, the U7G has two of them, while we find the same Android TV 10.0 as in the U6G. There are a few other minor changes and additions so keep reading to get the full picture.
When it comes to a TV’s success all depends on the price and Hisense seems to be really aggressive here. The U7G comes at a stunning $750 price tag for the 55″ and $1,100 for 65″ which are crazy low if you consider what you are getting. The U6G managed to offer a lot with an amazing price, does its bigger brother manages to repeat the same formula? Let’s find out…
Before we start we need to make a small observation concerning the model number that seems to have added some confusion. It seems that there are two different TV models with U7G being the one we have for testing and is released in the US market and a U7G Pro that seems to be a different model with different specs and has been released to some select markets but not in the US. Keep this in mind in case you see the Pro version somewhere.
Now as for the actual U7G, its design is not all that different from the one the U6G had. Being a FALD TV means that its thickness is in general bigger than usual without being too much to look bad on a wall. With a thickness of around 3.5″ (9.0 cm) the U7G will definitely extrude from the wall but in most cases this shouldn’t be a huge problem.
Its borders and bezels are thin enough and on par to other competing units. At the back we find all ports on the right side divided into two groups with one looking sideways and the other backwards. Very similar to the layout of the U6G but just a bit different positioning here due to the inclusion of different ports. The power connector is naturally kept separately on the left side while what is missing here, compared to the U6G, is the groove at the bottom that could help with cable management. Here we only get special clips in both corners to keep the cables together.
The Hisense U7G is using a typical bench type stand but unlike the U6G the one we have here do show slightly more premium in design. The legs sit almost at the edges of the TV but at least in the U7G there is an alternate position that reduces its footprint making it easier to place the TV in smaller furniture. The legs don’t have any special grooves in them as we have seen in so many other variants to help hide the cables, at least special clips at the back are helping a little, while their height should be enough to fit most soundbars below the TV screen without much trouble.
The remote that is included with the unit is different than the one we saw in the U6G. The one we have here is smaller and has less buttons which honestly we like more. There is no numerical pad here and the less buttons makes it feel less cluttered as any remote for a smart TV nowadays should be. The dedicated buttons are the same ones with six available for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube, Disney+, tubi and peacock.
The remote is made out of plastic and uses rubber buttons, its feel is in general good and while it is IR based which means it needs line of sight to work it can also be connected through Bluetooth in order to use its microphone and voice commands feature. Overall it is a nice remote even if a bit on the cheap side.
For the price asked the U7G is very decent in terms of quality. It is not the kind of TV that will wow you but it keeps a certain level of quality that is very characteristic of Hisense.
Processor technology used
As with their U6G, the U7G is a bit secretive about the kind of SoC or CPU being used, The only official statement we could get was that it uses a quad core processor that is equipped with Hisense’s Hi-View Engine 4K that is responsible for adjusting shadows and brightness for the best results possible.
Upscaling was very good depending the content at hand but in general with all the material we threw at it we didn’t notice any problems like artifacts from the up-scaling process. We tried all kinds of images in different resolutions and the TV did a very good job here. Also its noise reduction feature can be handy but we wouldn’t recommend it unless absolutely necessary as it can alter the image from its original state.
Lighting technology used
The U7G uses a FALD backlight system which may be better than the low end edge LED ones but has been surpassed this year by the new mini LED ones.
A FALD system in order to perform good depends on two factors, the number of dimming zones available and how fast each zone can change it’s light output. The more dimming zones used the better and more accurate light control the TV has but also the higher the price goes, that’s why they usually scale the dimming zones number depending on the model.
The effect on having low number of dimming zones can be seen when you see a very bright object on a completely dark background. If the TV has very few zones light will escape to the nearby pixels and create a visible halo around the object.
Also the light algorithms play a huge role as they control the response time of the various dimming zones. If the change is slower than it should be you will see what is called ghosting when a bright object moves very fast against a dark background.
In the U7G things are slightly better than what we had experienced in our U6G review. In the U6G the FALD backlight had some major problems due to the low number of dimming zones and obvious transitions between the zones. The U7G ups the number of zones from 32 in the 55″ size to 72 which certainly helps. Blooming is still very much visible and zone transitioning obvious but in the U7G they feel a bit better and not so distracting as in the U6G. Keep in mind that the bigger sizes use even more dimming zones so things should look almost on par to the 55″ size.
There is a reason why these Hisense FALD TVs are so cheap and one of the reasons is the low number of dimming zones used. The U6G went for as low as 32 zones making its FALD backlight system loose almost all its advantages due to that. The U7G fares a bit better but 72 dimming zones are still on the low side if you consider that many high end TVs were using a few hundred zones with their FALD systems.
Brightness / Contrast
Hisense is one of the few companies that is adding theoretical peak brightness numbers into their marketing campaign. And we were pleasantly surprised when we measured the U6G’s brightness even higher than what Hisense was marketing. For the U7G we get a theoretical rating of up to 1000 nits so let’s see if we can verify their claims.
Firstly we measured the SDR brightness over a 10% window and the number we got was 903 nits which is excellent and very close to what Hisense claims. SDR content does not have high brightness requirements to begin with so what the U7G can output is more than enough.
When it comes to HDR brightness over a 10% brightness we measured 921 nits which again is close to Hisense claims. Having such high brightness output allows the TV to display even smaller highlights with more intensity.
For our testing we used, as always for parity reasons, max local dimming and backlight settings. It is amazing that the U7G can go as high as it does and is in fact the only TV in this price that can get so bright. Really impressive in Hisense’s part.
The TV uses a VA panel and as a result contrast was rather good. When you enable local dimming things improve even further but not by much and the difference is not so noticeable as in other TVs which is a similar behavior to what we saw in the U6G. Also keep in mind that the 75″ size uses an IPS panel and this means that contrast is bound to be worse due to that.
Using a VA panel meant that the U7G would suffer a lot in terms of viewing angles. VA panels in general have trouble with this so it’s not a problem of the U7G in particular. Some manufacturers tend to use extra layers in order to improve upon this but the U7G doesn’t seem to be using any similar technology which is the same as we saw in the U6G recently.
As such the best angle we could get out of this one was about 30 degrees at maximum. Anything more and the image quality takes a dive pretty quickly. As such the U7G is not ideal for family use where many members will be watching at the same time from different spots. But since what is acceptable image quality is very much a personal thing we would suggest you to try it out in a local store in order to be sure if you like it or not.
Keep in mind that for the 75″ size Hisense has used an IPS panel and this will surely affect the viewing angles that one has. We could not test this size for ourselves but using an IPS panel means for sure that it will fare much better in this area.
With the current HDR war you really have to choose which camp you want to follow as not many brands support all available HDR protocols. It’s either Samsung’s HDR10+ or Dolby Vision that Sony and LG support which is really a shame as we don’t get the chance to choose all of them at any time. Thankfully Hisense is one of the few brands that are not supporting any specific camp and instead went ahead and added everything in their releases.
As such the U7G supports not only the basic HDR10 but also HLG which is used for streaming content and both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision which use dynamic metadata for a much better image quality outcome. This is a huge one in our books. Not being bothered to choose between a specific HDR protocol surely opens up much more high quality content. And while HDR10+ content is still not as widely available as Dolby Vision is, we are seeing more and more content releasing lately. And with Samsung’s support, be certain that even more will come in the future.
Additionally the U7G comes with Dolby Vision IQ. This basically uses an external light sensor on the body of the TV and can automatically adjust the Dolby Vision dynamic tone mapping according to the ambient light in the room and also according to the material that is displayed on screen at each moment. Obviously this can be turned off if you don’t want the TV to go ahead with such processing that can really change the final outcome of the image.
Next comes the color performance as the U7G supports wide color gamut with more vivid colors and lifelike shades. This is possible as the TV comes with Quantum Dot technology which is an extra layer on the panel that many high end TVs are using in order to increase the number of colors that can be displayed on screen. The U7G also comes with Ultra Color Enhancer technology as Hisense calls it.
Now, according to our measurements the U7G covers about 94% of the DCI-P3 color space which is really good for its price. On the wider REC.2020 color space we got 73% coverage and once again very good numbers all things considered. These numbers are really close to the U6G we had tested recently and shows some consistency in Hisense’s part.
In terms of gradients the U7G was good but slightly worse than what we had seen in the U6G which was a bit surprising. The U7G seemed to have banding in almost all shades with the green ones being the most obvious. We don’t know if this was a problem with our TV or the U7G has this problem in general but this definitely was a disappointed fact.
We were disappointed when we saw that the U6G was missing a motion interpolation feature and thankfully the U7G includes all the standard settings. Coming with a 120Hz panel instead of a 60Hz one does mean good things in terms of how the unit performs with certain content.
There is also the usual Motion Interpolation feature that can smooth motion and remove blur and judder from fast camera movements. Motion interpolation was ok in slow scenes but when things got crazy we did notice a lot of artifacts that would degrade the overall image quality. Unfortunately Hisense’s implementation doesn’t seem to be as capable as some other brands. Obviously using very aggressive settings will make the familiar “Soap Opera Effect” to appear so keep this in mind when you are adjusting its settings.
We also get Black Frame Insertion (BFI) which basically is a motion interpolation technique that inserts a black frame between every two individual frames and this can really create much smoother motion. But while the end result is pretty good there are some downsides to this with the most obvious being the lower brightness being displayed due to the black frames. The U7G showcased the same kind of problems with BFI as we saw in the U6G and as a result there was obvious image duplication due to crosstalk.
The U7G does support FreeSync VRR so if you have devices that support this like an Xbox console then you will greatly benefit from this gaming feature.
Overall the U7G showcased many of the same problems with saw in the U6G. At least we do get motion interpolation here in addition to a 120Hz panel and VRR support so things are a bit better in comparison.
With the U7G having HDMI 2.1 ports it means that it can be the ideal TV for any gamer. But its more than just having the new ports that matters as input lag is a major characteristic for any TV that wants to offer a lag free experience. From our tests, both in 1080p and 4K resolutions, we got an average of 15.6ms which may not be the best we have seen but it can be considered low enough for even the most demanding of users.
The number above was obviously possible in Game mode. Outside of Game mode we measured 124.1ms average in both 1080p and 4K resolution which is ok and on par to what we have seen in many other brands.
We should also not forget to mention that the TV supports Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) that can be used with any devices that support that like the PS5 and Xbox consoles and can greatly benefit users. Unfortunately there is no HGiG mode available here.
For the purpose of this review we connected our PS5 to the U7G and went for a few laps in F1 2021. In a few words our gaming experience was excellent. The U7G responded very fast to all our commands with no noticeable delays. If you are playing fast action games then the U7G will really not disappoint you.
Image quality impressions
Overall you have to judge the U7G according to the price that it is selling at and to be honest there is hardly another competing brand that offers the same features as we get here with the same price tag. The U7G is a generous upgrade over the U6G we saw recently almost across the board.
The TV had great upscaling capabilities, very nice and lifelike colors, great contrast, excellent brightness and low enough input lag that will please you either you are a casual or a serious gamer. The TV supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+ which is a major plus in our books while Hisense added Dolby Vision IQ also for good measure.
On the other hand the number of dimming zones is still low enough to make the FALD system real justice. This results in visible blooming while the zones transitions are still very much noticeable. Viewing angles were not so good as per usual with all VA panels while there was some obvious color banding across almost all shades. Motion had more problems than we would like while there is no HGiG mode available once again.
Although the U7G still has some major weaknesses for the price asked we cannot but be happy with what the TV is capable of. You will hardly find another model that has everything the U7G has at the same price.
Next in line is sound performance and from what we see the U7G features a pretty standard 2.0 channels audio system with a total of 20 watts of power (2 x 10 watts) which is the normal for this category. The included system is adequate for casual viewing but in general it cannot offer anywhere near the kind of immersion of a surround system.
There are a few sound modes to choose from but they don’t make a lot of difference to be honest. You also have the ability to output either from the TV speakers, through the eARC connection or even to some Bluetooth enabled speakers. At least with the inclusion of eARC the U7G can pass-through not only Dolby Atmos but also DTS:X to an external device like a soundbar or AV receiver.
The U7G supports not only Dolby Atmos but also DTS and IMAX Enhanced which not many brands do anymore. Although with a 2.0 channels system you should not expect much in terms of what the TV itself can do at least these are available for those interested.
We tried various content and we more or less got what we were expecting to. The TV can get loud enough and provide clear voices and dialogue but when it comes to surround performance it fails to create any kind of enveloping soundstage as everything remained firmly at the front. Also pushing the volume to higher levels did made some distortion to appear in certain moments.
We cannot say we were impressed here as the U7G misses the hardware needed to perform accordingly. At least the inclusion of an eARC port along with support for Dolby Atmos, DTS and IMAX Enhanced ensures that you can pass almost all kinds of audio to any device you may have that performs better than the TV itself.
Ports and Connectivity
As we mentioned above the U7G comes with two sets of ports located at right side of the back panel. Those looking sideways include four HDMI ports, two USB ports, an audio/video input that needs a special adapter to be used, a headphones jack and the antenna/cable connector. At the other group we find an Ethernet connector, a digital audio output, a serial port and a service port.
One of the major differences between the U6G and the U7G is that the U7G actually comes with two HDMI 2.1 ports which means they can support up to 4K@120Hz. The other two ports are the older HDMI 2.0 and so they can support up to 4K@60Hz signals. One of the HDMI 2.1 ports is also getting eARC which is a step up from the ARC found in the U6G. This means that the U7G can pass-through not only Dolby Atmos but also DTS:X to another audio device like a soundbar.
There is also a USB 3.0 alongside the USB 2.0 which is a plus if you have big files with high bitrates while in terms of wireless capabilities the U7G comes with built-in WiFi (802.11ac) along with Bluetooth but once again we cannot say what version has Hisense included as it is not mentioned anywhere.
The major addition here is obviously the HDMI 2.1 ports which makes the U7G a very capable gaming TV. Adding a USB 3.0 is also a plus and not frequently seen in this price range.
OS, Apps and Features
Hisense has been using the Android TV platform for their TVs but unlike Sony that switched to the Google TV interface, Hisense decided to use the standard Android TV platform once again. And in 2021 we have reached Android TV 10.0 which is not all that different from last year’s edition in terms of usage and UI presentation. The U7G is using exactly the same OS as the U6G so there are no differences here. Any changes compared to the U6G we will make sure to mention them wherever needed.
Unlike webOS and Tizen the Android TV platform takes the whole screen when you enter its home screen and you get various selections on the top and left of the screen. Customization is also possible in certain parts of the layout that could help you organize various tiles and icons to your preference.
With the latest Android TV 10.0 version we had once again a very smooth and lag free experience across all its menus and UI settings. As was the case with the U6G, during our time with the U7G didn’t reveal any major problems with navigating around the menus and settings. Small delays here and there were seen but nothing that could distract from the whole experience.
If there is one thing that Android has in abundance that is definitely the huge support from developers. Through the included Google Play you can find literally thousands of apps that you can download and use except from the pre-installed ones. There is so much content available that you will definitely find the ones you are looking for and the list goes on and on.
Some of the most prominent names are all accounted for including Google Play TV & Movies, Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Video, Sling TV, Hulu and Youtube as well as Pandora, Tidal, Google Play Music, Spotify or iHeartRadio. As always some of them are region dependent so make sure the ones you are interested in are working in your area.
Chromecast is also available here and it gives you the ability to stream content from other Chromecast enabled devices like mobile phones and tablets directly to the TV. Voice control is also present but it seems that it is a bit limited compared to other competing models. By that we mean that although you can use the remote’s built-in microphone to give commands to Google Assistant for Amazon Alexa you will need an external Alexa enabled device to work.
We have seen the same thing in some other Sony TVs that were using Android TV also and probably has to do with the fact that it’s using Google’s Android system and thus having Alexa built-in was not possible. With voice control you can issue various commands to the TV but functionality extends far beyond that as you can control any smart devices you have in your house also.
The difference we find here compared to the U6G is that the U7G has another microphone built-in into the main body and thus you can use voice control without the need to use the remote. This way you can have a complete hands free experience that was not possible in the U6G. Also in case you don’t want this microphone to be active all the time Hisense has added a switch that you can turn off. In this case you can use the remote’s microphone only whenever you want to.
There is also a built-in media player available that you can use to playback various video and audio content from an external storage connected to the USB ports. The one in the U7G seems to have more capabilities in comparison to the one we tested in the U6G. The player in the U7G can support many different types like MPEG, MP4, MKV, AVI, FLV and WEBM and all these containers can be used with different codecs thus giving the U7G great flexibility.
Most of the files we tried out played just fine with only a couple of them having a few problems with glitches and these were mostly some very high bandwidth files that are not very often to find. Overall we were very pleased with the player’s performance and although it will not replace any dedicated media hub it can certainly work just fine in most cases.
The U7G comes almost with the same feature set as the U6G but with a couple of additions here and there. You get all the basics of smart Android TV and with its price it’s hard to find anything major missing.
If the U6G was an amazing low budget offering then the Hisense U7G is an excellent all around TV. It surely ups its game compared to its little brother considerably in order to offer more of everything and if you combine that with the price asked then Hisense has a real winner here. What made us an impression with the U6G was what was offered for the price asked and we cannot but think the same here. The amount of value you get for the price asked simply cannot be offered by most other competing brands.
Since many of you will ask for the added cost the U7G, compared to the U6G, offers more dimming zones, more brightness, a 120Hz panel which results in better motion and also adds motion interpolation, you get Dolby Vision IQ and Game mode Pro, two of its HDMI ports are HDMI 2.1 with all the game centric features like ALLM and VRR, there is eARC for passing-through Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio signals, there is additional support for DTS and IMAX Enhanced content and lastly it has a built-in microphone for a completely hands free experience.
As for the U7G specifically we can say that we are very satisfied with how the unit performed. Nice upscaling capabilities, great brightness in both SDR and HDR, very nice colors, excellent contrast, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support, HDMI 2.1 along with many gaming features and a very stellar Android TV 10.0 makes up for a very interesting offering if you consider the price asked.
On the other hand the FALD system still has trouble as the number of dimming zones is still low, even if more than double in the U7G compared to the U6G. This results in blooming being more visible than what we would like it to be while the zones transitions are more evident also. Banding was also a problem in the U7G, even more so than in the U6G which was slightly disappointing. Viewing angles were mediocre due to the VA panel being used while motion performance was not as stellar as we were hoping for. As for audio you will get the basics but don’t expect anything more out of it.
Closing we would call the Hisense U7G an amazing TV for mixed usage. Either you are a movie fan, a gamer or just want it for family use the U7G has a bit of everything that will keep everyone satisfied. It is not perfect but at the price this one is it’s hard to find a competing model with the same characteristics.