Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K TV (65R7) Rewiew
THERE’S MUCH TO LIKE WITH THE LATEST SERIES 7, BUT IT’S NOT THE BARGAIN THAT IT USED TO BE.
COLOUR PERFORMANCE WAS IMPRESSIVE WITH PUNCHY REDS JUMPING OUT OF THE MARTIAN LANDSCAPE. MEANWHILE, PANNING SHOTS WERE SILKY SMOOTH THANKS TO 200HZ MOTION SMOOTHING.
HISENSE SERIES 7 ULED TVs are a bit special because, not so long ago, they blitzed high-end competitors at both price and performance. However, the market moved on and the proliferation of HDR and OLED technologies saw the magnificent 7 struggle. Can 2019’s R7 variant recapture old glories?
It’s available in four sizes: 75-inch, 65-inch, 55-inch and 50-inch. This being Hisense, take these prices with a fistful of salt as they typically plummet immediately after launch. The TV is thin and so is the bezel. Four feet provide a solid base. It’s not as pretty as rivals but it doesn’t look particularly-cheap either. The remote is plasticy yet functional and responsive but the updated phone app offers few features and, disappointingly, no keyboard. The new ‘Vidaa U3.0 AI’ operating system takes a moment to launch and manifests as two ribbon-navigation bars. Scrolling is jerky compared to rivals but again, it’s functional. Netflix, YouTube, Stan, Amazon Prime and Plex apps are catered for but, sadly, SBS is the only Australian catch-up TV app. The AI moniker simply refers to Alexa and (forthcoming) Google Assistant compatibility. These are standard TV features nowadays so we’re not too worried about it becoming self-aware and enslaving us in our sleep.
In terms of performance, two things jump out quickly: it’s very bright but not particularly-well lit. On loading screens (and menus) where bright icons sit atop dark backgrounds, it’s common to see one-third of the screen blighted by bright backlighting bars – something we’d expect from cheapo TVs.
We braced ourselves for decimated picture quality with high-quality content but our fears were slightly assuaged. The opening credits of The Martian (the HDR 4K Blu-ray version) with their bright lights and black backgrounds provide TVs with a challenging technical test. The opening Fox Searchlight fanfare demonstrated bright, vibrant colours with good detail evident in bright areas. Light-bleed into letterbox bars was minimal... most of the time. However, when bright areas moved around dark backgrounds, noticeable backlighting-induced light-bleed and halo effects (plus some woeful banding issues) blighted significant-portions of the screen. Nonetheless, space scenes generally remained dark and detailed.
Colour performance was impressive with punchy reds jumping out of the Martian landscape. Meanwhile, panning shots were silky smooth thanks to 200Hz motion smoothing.
YouTube’s Costa Rica 4K 60fps showreel demonstrated excellent detail and panning ability. However, some scenes felt a little washed out thanks to the high brightness.
Dolby Vision-compatible content looked as good as we’d hoped with decent contrast and colour performance although scenes with significant darkness experienced more backlighting issues. Switching down to low-quality content: we were glad to see that Hisense’s historically-impressive upscaling performance was again evident.
Sound gets loud and punchy though it isn’t refined enough to make use of its Dolby Atmos compatibility.
Though we were disappointed with contrast, it does produce bright and colourful viewing most of the time. We expect it to settle at a very-affordable price, so while it’s certainly no OLED TV, it’s still a decent all-rounder.
65-inch 4K ULED TV, 4 HDMI, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 1, Ethernet, Digital Audio out, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos. Weight 35KG with stand.