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Hisense 55U6G 55-inch QLED Ultra-HD Smart Android TV Review: Mid-Range Winner?

Hisense announced its entry in India in mid-2020, and has slowly but steadily expanded its product range here to include options in multiple price categories. Interestingly, the company is also an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for other brands, but has turned its focus to products marketed under its own brand name in India. Its latest range of mid-range large-screen full-array QLED TVs includes the Hisense 55U6G 55-inch QLED Ultra-HD Smart Android TV, which I’m reviewing here.

Priced at Rs. 59,990 in India, the 55U6G is part of a new range from Hisense. The company has also launched 65-inch and 75-inch full-array QLED TVs, priced at Rs. 84,990 and 3,99,990 respectively. With Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support, full-array local dimming, and the full-fledged Android TV experience for smart connectivity, the Hisense 55U6G promises a lot in the mid-range segment, for users looking at slightly better performance than what you would get from budget LED TVs. Is this the best television under Rs. 60,000 that you can buy right now? Find out in this review.

hisense 55u6g qled tv review android tv Hisense

The Hisense 55U6G QLED TV runs on Android TV 9, with the new stock Google TV-like user interface on top

 

Hisense 55U6G QLED TV design and specifications

Quantum-Dot LED (QLED) TVs are typically positioned higher than LED TVs because of the superior technology in the display, and this also tends to show in their more premium design. Although slightly better looking than the Hisense A71F series from 2020, the 55U6G TV doesn’t look quite as impressive as some other premium QLED televisions such as the Mi QLED TV 4K or OnePlus TV Q1.

That said, the television’s design is discreet and inoffensive, with the screen dominating the front and the Hisense logo small enough to not really stand out significantly. There are thin borders, making for a high screen-to-body ratio, and this naturally keeps your attention on video content, as it’s supposed to be. The back of the TV is reasonably slim near the top, with the bottom expectedly a bit thicker. There is also a texture at the back, but this is unlikely to be seen in day-to-day use, especially if the TV has been wall-mounted.

Connectivity on the Hisense 55U6G QLED TV is decent, with three HDMI 2.0 ports; two USB Type-A ports; one Digital Optical Audio output (Toslink); and one antenna socket, all facing to the left of the TV. There are also some ports facing the back; these are AV In (RCA), 3.5mm audio out, and Ethernet. If you have the TV wall-mounted as I did, access to these ports will be difficult because of their positioning, and cables will likely bend and twist significantly even once connected. HDMI ARC is supported on the HDMI 1 port.

It’s possible to either wall-mount or stand-mount the Hisense 55U6G television, with both sets of hardware included in the sales package. The table stands are simple to install, but the size of this television and the wide footprint of the stands mean you’ll need a large table to place it on. Hisense offers free installation with every purchase.

The Hisense 55U6G QLED TV supports HDR up to the Dolby Vision format plus Dolby Atmos audio, and full-array local dimming with 72 dimming zones. The television has a peak brightness of 700nits, a screen resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, and a refresh rate of up to 60Hz across resolutions. Sound output is rated at 24W through a standard box speaker system. There’s 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a quad-core processor to run the Android TV software.

Hisense 55U6G QLED TV remote and features

While we do tend to see better features and fancy remotes on premium televisions, the Hisense 55U6G offers only the typical basic features and specifications seen on most televisions. These include dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, built-in Chromecast functionality, HDMI CEC, and Google Assistant support, to name a few. This TV doesn’t have any specific features for gaming, such as HDMI 2.1 support or low-latency modes.

The remote of the Hisense 55U6G QLED TV is very similar to the one I saw on the 50A71F series, and is powered by two AAA batteries which are included in the box. There are hotkeys for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, and Disney+ Hotstar, as well as a button to invoke Google Assistant, and a D-pad to navigate the interface and control playback. Other useful buttons include the Home and Back keys, volume controls, settings, and a button to quickly select the input source.

hisense 55u6g qled tv review remote Hisense

The Bluetooth-enabled remote can be used to invoke Google Assistant on the Hisense 55U6G QLED TV

 

For connectivity, the remote uses both an infrared emitter and Bluetooth; the latter allows the remote to be used for voice commands to Google Assistant, and also means that you don’t have to point it directly at the TV. Turning the TV on from standby requires the IR emitter, but all other functions once the TV is on, including volume adjustment and turning it off again, worked with Bluetooth. Commands go through as long as the remote is within about 3m of the TV.

Hisense 55U6G QLED TV software and interface

Many manufacturers, including Hisense, rely on Android TV to power their smart televisions, and the quality of the platform adds great value to the overall experience a TV offers. The Hisense 55U6G runs on Android TV 9, which is a bit dated. Many devices now come with Android TV 11. However, this doesn’t have too big an impact on the user experience, since the stock Android TV user interface is largely the same across versions.

Although I started out my review with the old stock Android TV interface, I received an update to the new Google TV-like Android TV UI a few days after setting the TV up. This isn’t the Google TV user interface that’s seen on the new Google Chromecast and Realme 4K Smart Google TV Stick; it’s Android TV, but with a revamped user interface.

Key changes include redesigned settings and preferences menus, large banners on the home screen with viewing suggestions and recommendations from various apps, and a content-centric approach to what’s on the home screen. There are various lists from across apps and services such as Netflix, Hotstar, and Apple TV; it’s very similar to the old Android TV UI, but there is not as much curation as on Google TV. You can also access quick settings largely focused on picture and sound parameters from within content, as well as the full settings menu from the home screen.

Apps and services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Apple TV, and YouTube all offer familiar experiences. There is also access to the Google Play Store for more apps and games, and a number of key apps come preinstalled on the TV. The experience is therefore quite familiar at the app level, and the new user interface was also quite easy to learn and get used to. I didn’t face any issues with the software or UI during my time with the TV.

Hisense 55U6G performance

The Hisense 55U6G QLED TV has a fairly standard design and feature set, as you might expect from a 55-inch LED television priced below Rs. 50,000. However, Hisense does offer a couple of key features that help set this TV apart from more affordable options; it has a QLED screen which promises better picture quality, as well as 72 local dimming zones that will help improve contrast and black levels.

As with any large-screen Ultra-HD television with HDR support, the Hisense 55U6G QLED TV is best used with high-resolution HDR content. Dolby Vision content expectedly looked considerably better than everything else on this television, with the bright QLED screen bringing out the colours and impact of the format. I watched varied content across OTT services and resolutions, including the third season of Narcos: Mexico, Kim’s Convenience, Schitt’s Creek, Clarkson’s Farm, and a live stream of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, among other things.

hisense 55u6g qled tv review f1 Hisense

Although Ultra-HD HDR content looks best on the Hisense 55U6G QLED TV, live-streamed F1 was good to watch as well

 

Narcos: Mexico brought out the absolute best in the Hisense 55U6G, with a bright and vibrant picture that was considerably better than what I’d only recently seen on the more affordable Mi TV 5X. Colours were reasonably accurate, and the TV even managed to capture the essence of the cliched sepia wash for scenes in Mexico, particularly those involving the character of Amado and the city of Juarez.

That said, high-resolution content did reveal some motion issues, with fast-paced scenes showing a few artefacts. This wasn’t as serious an issue with slow scenes or even faster scenes with low-resolution content. When they did happen though, artefacts and mild stutter in the picture tended to distract from the otherwise decent picture quality.

Although Dolby Vision content looked the best, HDR10+ content from Amazon Prime Video wasn’t too far behind. Clarkson’s Farm and The Grand Tour: Lochdown were sharp and detailed, with the dramatic videography of the latter showcased well. The high peak brightness of this television made for good viewing experiences both in daylight and at night. Even Ultra-HD standard dynamic range content appeared similarly sharp and detailed, with the obvious differences in brightness and colour quality being the only real points of note.

Black levels and contrast were good on the Hisense 55U6G television, largely thanks to its full-array local dimming. Although the effect wasn’t as impressive and intuitive as on some high-end televisions, or even what I’ve seen on the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro, it does make a noticeable difference to the overall viewing experience. Blacks didn’t quite feel as ‘black’ as they should have, but they were far from the more grey-looking dark zones seen on affordable LED televisions.

Although not specified by Hisense, the 55U6G appears to use a VA-type LED panel based on the quality of viewing from wider angles. Colours started to appear washed-out from even just 30-40 degrees off the centre, and it’s best to place yourself within this somewhat narrow range. The black uniformity and contrast do make up for this, though.

hisense 55u6g qled tv review ndtv Hisense

Android TV lets you access the Google Play Store to download various apps, including the NDTV app which can be used to live-stream content

 

Performance with full-HD content was decent on the Hisense 55U6G; shows such as Schitt’s Creek and Kim’s Convenience as well as live-streamed Formula 1 looked about as sharp and colour-accurate as can be expected, thanks to the quality of the quantum-dot LED display. Standard definition content was upscaled well and the TV is decent for occasional SD viewing, but like most 55-inch TVs, such content doesn’t look anywhere near as good as on a smaller full-HD or HD TV.

Sound on the Hisense 55U6G QLED TV is tuned to suit voice-based content. Voices sounded clean and detailed even at low volumes, and there were no significant volume spikes or harsh notes at any point during my review. That said, this television isn’t very loud and isn’t very capable with energetic or action-packed soundtracks either. The sound is quite ordinary compared to what you’d get with a proper soundbar or speaker system such as the Sony HT-S40R.

There is support for Dolby Atmos, and this can be activated or deactivated through the audio settings. Unlike on most televisions, this is not detected by apps, and works through the television’s own operating system. Turning it on did have a small effect on the openness and width of the soundstage, but it didn’t sound quite as good as on the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro which detects Atmos content at the app or file level.

Verdict

Quantum-dot is more than just a fancy keyword, and many manufacturers are putting this technology to good use. The last couple of years have seen brands such as Xiaomi and OnePlus get into the business of QLED TVs, and Hisense entering the space has resulted in even more choice for the buyer. The Hisense 55U6G is a good follow-up to the A71F series, thanks to the benefits of QLED technology including a bright, sharp, and vibrant picture. The reliable and familiar software, good remote, and generally hassle-free usage experience add to the overall quality of this television.

If you’re looking for a mid-range television and have a budget of around Rs. 60,000, this is among the better 55-inch options you can buy right now. Slight issues with artefacts and stutter in some kinds of content aside, there isn’t much to complain about with the Hisense 55U6G TV. It’s a safe, capable option for the price.


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