A cheap TV will require you to compromise, although not nearly as much as you may think. Hisense's U6H ULED TV is a budget model that offers exceptional color performance due to the use of local-dimming LED backlight LCD and quantum dots. It also runs Google TV with hands-free Google Assistant, and supports Apple AirPlay.
Although the official price of this 65 inch model is $899.99, we have seen it for a lot less. It has a poor contrast, so it doesn't really stand out against slightly more expensive models such as the Hisense U8G ($1,299.99), however it is still worth enough to win our Editors Choice Award for budget TVs.
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Although the U6H is unassuming, it looks very elegant and budget-friendly. The U6H avoids plain black bezels and instead uses a thin, black plastic band around the panels. A quarter inch thick black borders divide the edges of the glass from the active screen. The bottom screen has a quarter inch-wide bezel made of brushed metal and features a Hisense logo in its middle. The TV's far-field microphone array, infrared sensor and trapezoidal switch are located under the bezel.
Two inverted V-shaped legs of gunmetal-colored steel support the TV. Standard VESA screws are provided for mounting the TV on a wall.
Except for the connector to the power cable, which is on the right-hand side, the rest of the ports are located on the left side. They face mostly left. Three HDMI ports (one Ethernet), two USB ports and an antenna/cable connector are all available on the left side of the rear panel. There are also four 3.5mm ports that can be used for service, headphones, video input and serial control. An Ethernet port and an optical output port face back are the fourth HDMI ports.
The black, rectangular remote uses a plastic material and sports a large, white, circular navigation pad near the top. Power, input, settings, user account, and Google Assistant buttons sit above the navigation pad, along with a pinhole microphone and indicator LED. Volume and channel rockers and playback controls reside below the navigation pad, while dedicated service buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, Peacock, Tubi, and YouTube are further down.
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Google TV is used by the U6H to provide its interface and other connected features. This interface is also available on some TCL TVs and Sony TVs. You can access all the major streaming video services including Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV. You can also screen-mirror via Apple AirPlay 2 or Google Cast. This is especially important since AirPlay is not available on Chromecast with Google TV.
Google TV also enables Google Assistant, which lets you search for content; control both the TV and compatible smart home devices; get useful information like sports scores and weather; and perform other tasks with your voice.
The U6H features a far-field microphone array on the bottom edge of the screen, so you can use Google Assistant hands-free simply by saying 'Hey Google' followed by your command. Alternatively, you can press the Google Assistant button on the remote and speak into it.
You can turn the TV off by manually turning the knob next to the LED indicator lights on the bottom. This causes the LEDs' yellow glow to be irritatingly bright. The only way to turn these lights off is through Google TV's settings. This will shut down Google Assistant completely, including the remote. Hisense will hopefully add a setting that adjusts LED brightness through a firmware update, but until then you need to balance privacy and possible distraction.
Hisense U6H 4K TV has a 60Hz refresh speed. The TV supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision content. It also has hybrid loggamma (HLG) support. The antenna/cable tuner is included, however it does not support the ATSC 3.0 standard.
Tests of TVs were done using the Klein K-80 colorimeter (Opens in new window), Murideo SIX-G signal generation (Opens in new window) and Portrait Displays' Calman program(Opens at a different window). The U6H features an LED backlight system with local dimming and a quantum dot layer—features we rarely see in a TV at this price. The U6H surpasses all expectations in picture quality, particularly in color performance, for TVs in this price bracket.
The above charts show the U6H's color levels with an SDR signal in Theater Day mode compared against Rec.709 broadcast standards, and with an HDR signal in HDR Theater mode compared against DCI-P3 digital cinema standards. SDR colors were spot-on out of the box, with only some very slight drift in the reds to complain about (effectively perfect white balance makes up for it). This is a very good performance for a budget TV, but this level of color accuracy has become increasingly common in the past few years.
My surprise at the HDR colors was so great that I thought my equipment might be malfunctioning. This 65-inch, sub-$1,000 TV has never shown color so accurate and wide. The color coverage is almost complete in the DCI-P3 space. There's very little skew. Excellent white levels are also available. Its color level is comparable to the LG C2OLED, which we consider our Editors Choice TV, but it costs three times more.
The contrast is not as impressive, but it's still better than what you would get from a TV budget. We measured peak brightness with an SDR signal set to Theater Day mode, and the backlight on maximum. This corresponded to a white-field white screen of full-screen resolution. The 18% white white field had a white field whiteness of 401 nits and white-field whiteness at 520 nits.
The peak brightness of an HDR signal was slightly brighter at 411 nits (for a full screen field) and 588 nits (18% field). It is bright enough for budget TVs, but not as bright as higher-end models such last year's Hisense U8G (1,763 nits with an 18% area) and the TCL 6-Series4K Google TV (1.189 nits with an 18% area).
It doesn't seem to get as dark as the models mentioned above. The black level is 0.04 nits when using an SDR signal, and 0.03 with an HDR signal. This gives an HDR contrast ratio that equals 19,608:1. It is still quite impressive for a budget TV but it's a big step up from the more expensive Hisense U8G (88.168:1) or TCL 6-Series (595,977:1). The U6H also had a lot of light-bloom and high contrast edges.
BBC's Planet Earth II shows the strong color performance. While the greens of plants look lush and diverse, the sky and blues are natural. Under direct sun and shade, fine textures can be easily seen on trees and animals. Because of the TV's low contrast, the image doesn't look nearly as lifelike or pop as higher-end televisions such as the Hisense U8H or LG C2, Samsung QN90B or Samsung QN90B. It still looks great for the price, and is miles ahead of budget TVs such as the Amazon Fire TV Omni or Toshiba C350.
The red of Deadpool's costume in the overcast opening scene of Deadpool looks vivid and well-balanced. Later, in the burning lab fight scene, shadow details appear clear, while the yellows and oranges of the flames look bright. The scene again looks a bit flatter than it does on TVs with higher contrast numbers, but it doesn't appear muddy or washed-out.
The U6H has some difficulties coping with the starkly contrasted party scenes in The Great Gatsby. If the frames are not clear enough, black suits may look blurred or muddy depending on how they're framed. This can make it difficult for the lapel contours and cuts to be clearly seen. The whites of the balloons, shirts and splashes in color can still be seen against darker backgrounds. The skin tones look balanced and warm. These are not complaints, but they do compare to more expensive televisions. This is one of the most beautiful pictures we have ever seen in this price range.
The U6H is not packed with extras for gamers. The U6H supports variable refresh rate (VRR), however, the 60Hz panel doesn't look very impressive. It also does not support Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. It has a high input lag. We measured latency in Game mode at 11.1 milliseconds with an HDFury Diva HDMI matrix (Opens in a new browser).
It won't affect your gaming experience and it would have been excellent even a few years back. However, the TV's input lag doesn't exceed 10ms which is what we use to determine if a TV's best performance for gaming.
Hisense U6H has some of our favorite colors in a low-cost TV. You also get the Google TV interface, which supports Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast. Although the TV lacks the same visual impact as the U8G's superior-tier U8G last year, the U8H may fill this niche. Although the U6H's 65 inch model is priced reasonably, we have seen the U6H on sale for hundreds of dollars.
This makes it a great deal despite some minor shortcomings. You could also spend more on the brighter, more vivid Hisense U8G and TCL 6-Series 4-Series 4K YouTube TV. Although we have not yet tested the U8H it seems like a promising alternative. The U6H performs better than the pricier TVs and it is our Editors Choice Award for budget TVs.
- Amazingly accurate and wide-ranging color performances
- Google Assistant interface for Google TV
- Apple AirPlay Support
- Mediocre contrast
- Gaming performance slightly sluggish
Even though it has lower contrast, the Hisense U6H delivers some of our favorite images on a budget TV.