We all have the friend who is seemingly always watching something, whether it's the latest critically-acclaimed mini series or reruns of their favorite comfort show. And in my group, that friend is me. Because I have to have background noise or conversation when working, I often blow through a television series in record time. But prior to owning a TV, my personal laptop was working overtime. I was also never allowed to host movie nights because of my lack of a screen. I considered a projector, but when Hisense asked if I'd like to test their new U8K Series - Mini-LED ULED Google TV, I scheduled a Pride and Prejudice viewing party immediately. Read on for my full break down of Hisense's U8k television from unpacking the box to how the screen looks throughout the day.
Installation and Set-Up
The box was shockingly easy to unpack (yay for good package design!). And despite the box stating that it was a two-person job, I didn't struggle to unpack, lift, place, and install the television with only one drop scare. Because I coordinated directly with the brand, I was able to schedule a four-hour delivery window, and the delivery driver called me 30 minutes prior to arrival. However, if you purchase from a third party like Amazon or Walmart, you can choose between delivery and a pick-up location that suits you. I live in an elevator building in New York City, and he brought the TV right inside and placed the box down.
Because I wasn't mounting the television to my wall, I installed the legs in a mere minute or two with the provided Allen wrench. Once placed and plugged in, all that was left to do was peel off the screen's protective layer. As a Google Home user, the TV set up was seamless with my Google Home app, and I was able to complete all necessary steps using only my iPhone.
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Design and Features
Size and Specs
I opted for the 55-inch U8K with Mini-LED Backlight LCD TV display which measures at 48.5 inches wide, 30.5 inches tall, and 12.6 inches deep. The Hisense U8k is a Smart TV ingrained with Google TV technology and the Google App Store. The TV is also Bluetooth compatible, but I haven't yet needed to test or connect to that feature (I'm fairly anti-Bluetooth in general, and prefer corded connection for speakers and other devices).
Colors and Display
Being so used to watching every cinematic masterpiece on my 13-inch MacBook, any screen would be an upgrade. The Hisense features a dimmable screen with a 3840*2160 resolution. You can choose between three picture settings, and adjust the brightness as needed. However, I don't have curtains, so watching dark shows or nighttime scenes has proven difficult at times during the day, even with the brightness on the brightest level. This could also be a directorial problem (we all remember squinting at the TV through the entire Battle for Winterfell). But I haven't experienced any weird glares, in fact, the TV has an anti-Glare and low reflection screen TO prevent TV glares from getting in the way.
Sound and Volume
Ask any of my friends (or my ENT), and they'll tell you that I can't hear worth anything. Subtitles are my best friend, and my phone yells at me about my volume levels weekly. However, with this TV, I never surpass volume level 15 (out of 100). Action sequences are crisp and clear, and soundtracks never get in the way of the dialogue. Even in groups, it's rare that the volume reaches over 30. The television itself is equipped Dolby Atmos and IMAX Enhanced audio with a 50w output power. Spotify sounds just as good as HBO's hit Sunday series.
Available at Best Buy and Amazon for $749.99, this television is competitively priced for models similar in size and visual/audio quality. While it is an investment, any television set is, and the abundance of features and possibilities in this model make the price worth it.
Pros of the Hisense U8 Series TV
- Equipped with Google Assistant for voice-activated commands making it easy to find any app or show without having to scroll for ages (or remember how to spell it).
- Dolby Atmos and IMAX Enhanced audio for clear as crystal sound and audio whether you're streaming music or watching the latest blockbuster.
- Customizable picture modes and dimmable brightness for the perfect visual no matter the time of day.
Cons of the Hisense U8 Series TV
- Without curtains, dark scenes are still difficult to see in the middle of the day.
- The TV's design is less sleek and doesn't blend seamlessly with my decor as some of the other, more design-oriented models out there.
- The price is on the higher end for TVs of that size.
As someone who would prefer to be curled up in bed while watching anything, the Hisense television has me spending more and more time in my living room because of the improved viewing experience. I like how easy it was to add all of my favorite streaming services and even my Spotify account. It pulls my "continue watching" queue from all the apps for a seamless experience that combines all the platforms whenever I try to decide what show to pick back up. The best part is that the picture is clear from any angle, whether I'm working on the floor, or watching from the side while cooking dinner. Plus, my friends are overjoyed to no longer have to crowd around my laptop for movie nights.
Kate McGregor is House Beautiful’s SEO Editor. She has covered everything from curated decor round-ups and shopping guides, to glimpses into the home lives of inspiring creatives, for publications such as ELLE Decor, Domino, and Architectural Digest’s Clever.