Bright enough for most rooms
Rich, accurate color
Good smart platform and features
Susceptible to light bloom
Troublesome motion handling
The U6H’s quantum-dot, full-array display delivers terrific contrast and rich, accurate color production—among the best in this price range. Its built-in Google TV software is a great pick for everyday streaming, and there’s also a surprising amount of gaming-friendly features here for the money.
The U6H is not without some blemishes. Fast-paced content is marred by poor motion handling, and there’s significant light bloom whenever bright and dark picture elements meet. And while the U6H is bright enough for well-lit rooms, it’s unable to produce the sort of brightness needed for impactful HDR.
That said, compared to some of its competitors this year, the U6H offers a bit more bang for your buck. Serious gamers and picture purists might be better off spending more money on a higher-end TV that better suits their needs, but anyone committed to shopping in this price range ought to take a long look at the Hisense U6H.
About the Hisense U6H
The U6H is available in four sizes ranging from 50 inches to 75 inches. Our review unit is a 65-inch model that we received on loan from Hisense.
Here’s how the series shakes out in terms of pricing:
- 50-inch (Hisense 50U6H), MSRP $599.99
- 55-inch (Hisense 55U6H), MSRP $699.99
- 65-inch (Hisense 65U6H), MSRP $899.99
- 75-inch (Hisense 75U6H), MSRP $1,399.99
While we don’t expect there to be major differences in performance between sizes, one thing to keep in mind is local dimming zone count.
Generally speaking, more local dimming zones are favorable, as they allow for tighter contrast control. However, the number of zones tends to increase proportionally to a TV’s size, so a higher zone count on a bigger TV doesn’t always translate to better performance.
Hisense reports that the U6H series features “up to 48” local dimming zones, so one can reasonably assume that the 75-inch model carries such a zone count, while the smaller-sized models carry fewer than 48. Without comparing every size in the series, it’s unclear how much of an impact each TV’s zone count is having (or not having) on performance.
With sizing and pricing out of the way, let’s take a look at the TV’s specs:
- Resolution: 4K (3,840 x 2,160)
- Display type: Full-array LED with local dimming and quantum dots (VA-style panel)
- HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
- Dolby Atmos: Yes (native decoding)
- eARC support: Yes (HDMI 1)
- Native refresh rate: 60Hz
- Smart platform: Google TV
- Color: DCI-P3 color space/10-bit chroma resolution
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): Yes
- Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Yes
- Processor: Hi-View Engine 4K
- Other features: AMD FreeSync (50-inch model only), Apple AirPlay, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Google Chromecast
The U6H comes with a new version of Hisense’s standard remote control, which features a handful of dedicated app buttons and a built-in microphone for voice commands. The remote is easy enough to use once you familiarize yourself with the button symbols, but the buttons are somewhat squishy.
For its price range, the Hisense U6H offers a standard set of connectivity options that will satisfy most people. All four of its HDMI ports support HDMI 2.1, though it's important to note they’re limited to 4K at 60Hz.
Here’s what you’ll find in a cutout on the rear of the panel:
- 4x HDMI 2.1 (4K @ 60Hz, 1x HDMI ARC/eARC)
- 2x USB 2.0
- RF connection (cable/antenna)
- Ethernet (LAN) input
- Digital audio output (optical)
- Composite input
- 3.5mm audio jack
Before testing each TV, we make sure the panel is on and receiving a continuous signal for at least 2 hours. Our 65-inch U6H received this standard warm-up time before any readings were taken. In addition, the TV received the latest firmware updates at the time of testing. (After research and consultation with other experts we’ve updated our warmup time from 24 hours to 2 hours which should be ample time for modern display technologies and also better approximates how real buyers use their TVs at home.)
For SDR tests, we’re using the U6H’s Theater Day picture mode. For HDR tests, we’ve chosen the HDR Theater picture mode. We’ve chosen these settings because of their accuracy, but performance may vary depending on which picture mode is enabled. For example, you might experience a brighter picture with different settings enabled, but it may interfere with color temperature and overall color accuracy.
For additional context, I also ran some tests in the U6H’s Filmmaker and HDR Standard picture modes, but those results are not reported below.
To get a sense of the TV’s average performance, we use a standard ANSI checkerboard pattern for most of our basic contrast tests. We also use white and black windows ranging from 2% to 90% to test how well the contrast holds up while displaying varying degrees of brightness.
Our peak brightness measurements are taken with sustained windows to represent the TV’s peak brightness over a sustained period of time. Specular highlights (like brief flashes of reflected light) might reach higher brightness levels, but not for sustained periods of time.
All of our tests are created with a Murideo Seven 8K signal generator and tabulated via Portrait Displays’ Calman Ultimate color calibration software.
I'll expand on our test results throughout the review, but for now, here are some key takeaways:
- HDR contrast (brightness/black level): 394.1 nits/0.06 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
- SDR contrast (brightness/black level): 384.6 nits/0.054 nits (ANSI checkerboard)
- HDR peak brightness (sustained): 517.5 nits (20% white window)
- HDR color gamut coverage (DCI-P3/10-bit): 92%
- SDR color gamut coverage (Rec.709): 98%
These tests were carried out with the U6H’s Automatic Light Sensor disabled and the Local Dimming set to High. In addition, its Color Temperature was set to Low, and the following picture settings were disabled: Motion Enhancement, Motion Clearness, Noise Reduction, Digital Noise Reduction, and Active Contrast.
What we like
Terrific contrast makes it suitable for most rooms
The Hisense U6H delivers a bright picture across all types of content, and it does so while maintaining deep, inky black levels. You won’t get the super-charged brightness of a high-end QLED TV, but unless you’re living room is drenched in sunlight, the U6H should hold up well.
During SDR content (cable TV, over-the-air broadcasts, and most streaming programming), the U6H’s full-field brightness settles in at around 350 to 400 nits. I even clocked small SDR highlights at around 500 nits. If you watch TV during the day, or if your living room is well lit in the evening, the U6H will serve you well. According to my test results, it’s not quite as bright as the pricier Samsung Q60B, but it gets brighter than the similarly priced Sony X80K.
The U6H reaches these commendable brightness levels while maintaining deep, dark black levels—even when there’s a mix of bright and dark elements on display. In the TV’s Theater picture modes, nearly every black level measurement I took fell into the 0.05 to 0.06 range. For reference, perfect black levels clock in at 0, while the Sony X80K's black levels tend to settle in the 0.2 to 0.3 range.
The U6H gets dark when it needs to, and critically, it stays dark, as the brighter portions of the image don’t lift the darker portions.
There are some drawbacks to how consistent these contrast figures are (which I’ll get into shortly), but the upside is that the U6H’s picture will hold up in nearly every room, day or night.
Accurate out-of-the-box color
I’d urge every U6H user to consider Hisense’s Theater picture modes (Theater Day and HDR Theater) for movies and shows, as it offers terrific accuracy even without calibration. Its white point is right where it needs to be and there’s very little color pollution to be found in neutral tones.
Filmmaker mode is similarly accurate, but I’d recommend avoiding it unless you’re watching a movie in a pitch-black room. It dims the picture significantly, to the point where colors look flat and washed out.
The U6H benefits greatly from its quantum-dot display, as its color production in HDR is phenomenal for a TV in this class. According to our lab tests, in the HDR Theater picture mode, the U6H covers about 92% of the HDR color gamut (DCI-P3). For reference, the Samsung Q60B QLED (which is currently priced higher than the U6H) covers about 84% of the same color gamut.
It might not seem like a big difference, but in real-world testing, I’m more impressed by the colors on the U6H during HDR content than the same sequences on the Q60B. They’re simply more lively. Reds and greens in particular look sensational on the U6H, and I felt compelled to spend most of my time in the lab watching bright, colorful HDR content.
It doesn't leave gamers in the dust
The Hisense U6H offers a robust set of gaming-friendly features for a TV in this price bracket. While the slightly pricier Samsung Q60B and the similarly priced Sony X80K skip Variable Refresh Rate and HDMI 2.1 altogether, the U6H offers VRR and four HDMI 2.1 ports. According to Hisense, the 50-inch U6H supports AMD FreeSync as well.
The U6H’s HDMI ports are limited to 4K gaming at 60Hz, so folks who are in the market for a TV that can play Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 games at 120fps (eventually) will have to spend up on a TV with 4K/120Hz ports (like the Hisense U7G). Nevertheless, the inclusion of Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate is refreshing to see in this price range.
Google TV is a welcome addition
It might not be our favorite smart platform in the game (that honor goes to Roku), but Google TV is quickly cementing its second-place status here at Reviewed. The U6H implements the Google-based smart platform well—from navigation to overall functionality.
Yes, there’s plenty of sponsored content on the home screen to contend with, but the software is laid out in aclear manner, and the U6H is quick enough that navigation doesn’t feel sluggish.
If you intend to forgo a dedicated streaming device in favor of your TV’s built-in smart platform, the U6H will serve you well.
What we don’t like
Not a TV for showcasing HDR
As much as I enjoyed watching HDR10 and Dolby Vision titles on the U6H, I didn’t notice much of a difference between SDR and HDR content. So while the U6H manages to maintain a consistently brighter-than-average picture in both SDR and HDR, there isn’t a significant leap in brightness when HDR kicks in.
HDR is about more than just brightness, however, and all of the HDR10 and Dolby Vision content I watched looked quite respectable. That said, this is not the TV to buy if you were hoping to have your socks knocked off by all of the tantalizing Dolby Vision content on Netflix or Apple TV+.
Susceptible to light bloom
I appreciate what the U6H’s full-array backlighting brings to the table (namely, excellent contrast), but the system falters while tracking brighter picture elements overlaid on dark backgrounds. In these instances, halos of light can be seen dancing around the brighter objects.
On-screen menu options, subtitles, and dark film sequences suffer from light bloom the most, and the effect is exacerbated when viewing the U6H from an off-axis position.
Troublesome motion handling
The U6H’s Achilles heel is its motion handling. Fast-moving objects (like Google’s rotating ball graphic that appeared on the screen five minutes into the initial setup process) often come with judder, which can have a negative impact on sports and action movies.
Setting the TV’s Motion Enhancement setting to Film cut down on some of the judder during 24fps content, but the other settings smoothed the motion out too much for my liking.
Upscaled content suffers
While I enjoy watching native 4K content on the U6H, I’m less enamored with upscaled 1080p content, whether streamed or sourced via Blu-ray. The picture is often fuzzy, and the edges of characters and objects lack definition. For whatever reason, upscaled content looked even worse during black-and-white sequences, like the opening sequence of Casino Royale.
I imagine this is mostly to do with Hisense’s picture processing, as many of the same titles looked better on some of the mid-range TVs I’ve reviewed of late (the Sony X80K, for instance).
If you intend to watch a fair amount of HD (1080p) content—like cable TV or older Blu-rays—keep in mind that the U6H has trouble squaring that resolution with its 4K display.
Should you buy it?
Yes—unless you want better motion handling or advanced gaming support
The Hisense U6H delivers more for the cost than most TVs in its price range. On average, it looks better than the Sony X80K, it's roughly on par with the Samsung Q60B, and it’s the only TV of those three to offer Variable Refresh Rate. That said, both the X80K and the Q60B have much better motion handling than the U6H, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to motion judder.
Gamers who are shopping for a TV that’ll last them several years into the future might want to spend a bit more on something like the Hisense U7G or the 2021 TCL 6-Series with Google TV, as both of these TVs support 4K gaming at 120Hz (something the U6H does not).
If your budget is locked into this price range, however, there aren’t very many new TVs that offer this much value for the money. The only TV I can think of that comes close is last year’s TCL 5-Series with Google TV, which is quite similar in terms of performance and features. The U6H is a tantalizing option in a highly competitive space, and its value will only go up with future sale pricing.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Staff Writer@Reviewed
Michael Desjardin graduated from Emerson College after having studied media production and screenwriting. He specializes in tech for Reviewed, but also loves film criticism, weird ambient music, cooking, and food in general.
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