Hisense U7QF 4K TV Review

Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support

by Phil Hinton - Updated:
SRP: £899.00

What is the Hisense U7QF?

The Hisense U7QF (U7QFTUK) is the company’s mid-range 4K ULED TV for 2020. It includes support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision and HDR10+, as well as a full array direct backlight, local dimming and quantum dot colour. 

It is available in screen sizes of 50- (50U7QFTUK), 55- (55U7QFTUK) and 65- (65U7QFTUK) inches. We are reviewing the 55-inch version, but the performance between the different screen sizes should be similar.

This was supposed to be the official TV of the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament which has sadly been moved to next year due to COVID 19, so the packaging of the TV is covered in Euro logos. There is nothing performance or design-wise that depends on the association with the Euros, it's just an unfortunate occurrence that the sponsorship and branding no longer tie in.

This is, however, a feature-packed mid-range ULED TV with many features adding real performance gains to the picture quality for a TV at this level of the market, so let's take a closer look.

Design, Connections and Control

The Hisense 55U7QF sports the company’s usual high standards of build quality which do set a benchmark at the price point and market level. You could mistake it for a far more expensive model.

Hisense 55U7QF


There is a silver edge to the bottom of the screen which also ties into the U-shaped stand design. The rear legs of the stand do provide cable management so you can run cables out of sight from the front of the TV.

  You could mistake it for a far more expensive model

Obviously being a FALD LED LCD TV there is no ultra-slim screen design, but at the same time you don't watch the TV from the side, so the extra girth shouldn't be an issue here. Everything feels sturdy and well screwed together. 

Hisense 55U7QF


The connections are at the rear and face sideways and rearward. Sideways we have RF DVB/T and DVB/S Antennas, three HDMI 2.0 inputs, an optical digital output and two USB 2.0 ports. Rearwards we have a forth HDMI 2.0 input, Composite video and audio RCA jacks and an Ethernet port. There’s also built-in Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi for wireless connections. The HDMI inputs support 4K/60p 4:4:4 inputs with HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR compatibility. HDMI 1 is also ARC compatible.

Hisense 55U7QF


The remote control supplied with the Hisense U7QF is a long black plastic affair with raised buttons for easy use. The button placement is intuitive and everything you need to control the TV and change settings is all well laid out and easy to find. There are also direct-access buttons for various VOD services at the bottom of the unit, which fits neatly in the hand and is easy to use. 

Features and Specs

The Hisense 55U7QF uses a 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) 8-bit + FRC panel that is 60Hz. It also uses a full-array direct LED backlight with quantum dot technology and has 72 independent dimming zones. Controlling these 72 zones is a local dimming algorithm designed to maximise contrast performance and reduce instances of blooming around bright objects. 

Related: What is HDR10+?


The U7 uses a quad-core processor for its operating system, which feels slick and fast with no hanging or crashing.
  
Hisense 55U7QF

Hisense uses its own VIDAA U 4.0 smart platform which, while relatively simple, is clean, intuitive and responsive. It offers support for a number of streaming services, including YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Hisense claims that the FALD lit U7QF has a peak brightness of 600 nits for HDR playback. It supports wide colour gamut (DCI-P3/Rec.2020) and high dynamic range (HDR10, HLG - Hybrid Log-Gamma -  HDR10+ and Dolby Vision). This means that the U7QF should be able to handle any currently available HDR format used in broadcast, streaming or disc formats. We will cover this in more detail in the performance area of the review.

Related: What is Dolby Vision?


The U7 has an audio system based on stereo speakers and 20W of amplification. It also supports Dolby Atmos, with internal decoding built-in and an immersive experience created through the application of psychoacoustic processing. In day to day use, we didn't have any issues with the sound system performance with voices sounding clear and distinguishable, with a good stereo soundstage to either side of the set. Bass performance was lacking as you would expect and there is no easy way to add an external subwoofer to the TV. But overall, for normal living room duties, it has a decent enough speaker set up and of course, you can add a more powerful off-board multi-channel system at any time.

Related: What is Dolby Atmos?


Measurements

Out of the Box

As we do with all our reviews, we measured the out of the box settings to find those that get close to the industry standards that are used to master all TV and film content. The idea is that every TV should have at least one picture preset which can display TV and film content as it was mastered and intended to be seen.

  Out of the box, the Hisense U7QF is impressive.

On the Hisense 55U7QF, the best out of the box present was Cinema Night with gamma set to BT.1886 and all noise reduction and other image manipulation features switched off. Ultra Smooth Motion and Clear motion were also switched off and the Local Dimming was left at default in Cinema Night mode.

We use Calman colour calibration software, a Murideo Seven Generator and Klein K-10A meter for measurement and calibration.

Hisense 55U7QF

Looking at the greyscale results and the accuracy on offer for an out of the box preset is reasonably good. There are a few small issues with too much green at various stimulus points as well as a lack of red at certain points. This does add to the DeltaE errors raising them above the visible threshold of three. However, with actual TV and Film content, we didn’t find the slight yellow tint to be objectionable or overly obvious as the image had a nice warm tone overall. Gamma is just a tad high at 10% stimulus and again at 90% but this doesn’t result in any visible issue at the higher end of the scale. With blacks and shadow detail there is a slight crush.

Hisense 55U7QF

The Rec.709 HD colour gamut results are very good indeed for an out of the box preset and DeltaE errors are well below the visible threshold of three. This level of accuracy for a mid-range TV is excellent with absolutely no issues visible within TV and film content. Colours appear natural with superb lifelike skin tones. Out of the box, the Hisense U7QF is impressive.

Calibrated

The Hisense U7QF has a number of calibration controls available including a 2 and 20 point white balance for greyscale correction, a gamma adjustment for gamma calibration at 5% levels as well as a full Colour Management System (CMS). We should be able to fine-tune the image to reference levels if these controls work. We have had issues in previous years with the software not being 100% and adjustments not being made correctly. With these 2020 models, those issues are resolved.

Hisense 55U7QF

Looking at the greyscale results, we have managed to achieve absolute reference level results with our maximum DeltaE error of 0.7 which is well below the visible threshold of three. This means there are no errors at all and the greyscale is incredibly accurate.

Hisense 55U7QF

Moving to the Rec.709 HD colour gamut results and with the white point corrected we also have a near reference result with just two small errors seen on the graph. However, our DeltaE errors are an average of 1.73, so well below the visible threshold of three and we couldn’t see any issues with TV and film viewing. These are impressive SDR results from the Hisense.

HDR Results

We measured the peak brightness of the Hisense U7QF in the most accurate HDR picture preset at D65 white and this came in at 560 nits on the industry-standard 10% window. It did go slightly higher than this at 25 and 50% window sizes before rounding off at 551 nits on a full field.

Hisense 55U7QF

The variances at most window sizes can be put down to the local dimming algorithm and its approach to anti-blooming at the 1, 2 and 5% window sizes, which were significantly lower than at 10% and above. We have seen the same approach to this from Samsung with their FALD sets.

Hisense 55U7QF

Looking at the PQ EOTF tracking to ST.2084 and we can see that the Hisense tone mapping is a little brighter than it should be from around 80 nits and then has a linear roll-off to its peak brightness. It handles 1000 and 4000 nit content in exactly the same way.

Hisense 55U7QF

Coverage of the Wide Colour Gamut of DCI-P3 is also good but not quite wide enough at around 90% of full coverage. Tracking within our saturation graph above is decent from 75% saturation and below, with some points close to reaching the correct coordinates, but the gamut coverage is restricted slightly at all points. However, we didn’t notice any major issues with colour within HDR content we viewed on the Hisense, it just wasn’t quite as rich as some of the better (and more expensive) Quantum Dot TVs on the market.

Hisense 55U7QF

We measured BT.2020 coverage at 65% XY and 67% UV. P3 measured 90% XY and 92% UV.

Hisense 55U7QF

Performance

The Hisense U7QF is a 55-inch LED LCD TV which uses a Full Array Local Dimming (FALD) backlight with 72 separate zones. We found panel uniformity to be decent with some darker corners and outer edges and a slightly brighter centre when showing a 100% brightness field and a darker centre and lighter edges on a 5% field. These issues were not visible with the vast majority of viewing materials in normal use.

We did encounter some very mild DSE (Dirty Screen Effect) on occasions and some banding when the image panned across a single colour background, such as with some shots in live football games. This is once again a limitation of the technology and is mild on the Hisense, but we have to mention it for completeness. We didn’t notice banding within any other content.

Black bars within HDR 2.40:1 movies, for the most part, did remain black but light bleed was also seen with bright objects close to the bars and could be distracting when watching in a dark room. However, when viewing within a normal living room with ambient lighting it was less noticeable. We also encountered signs of blooming when bright objects appeared on screen with a darker background, such as subtitles and this was most noticeable with HDR content.

Viewing angles are not a strong point on the Hisense and as soon as you get over 20 degrees off-axis colour and gamma start to drift noticeably. Ideally, you should be sat almost directly on to the U7QF to get the best image quality on offer from this TV. This is one of the technical limitations of LED LCD technology. There is a feature within the menus that suggests it improves the viewing angles, but in reality, it adjusts the gamma curve to give the impression of an improved image rather than implementing any physical device to improve matters.

... when sat head on, the image performance is very good and on a par with some much more expensive peers.

The local dimming is effective for the majority of content, but be aware that quick changes in scene brightness can catch it out and there is a delay in applying the correct degree of image dimming. However, we found that living with the U7QF didn’t highlight any major issues with the vast majority of content we viewed, it was only really noticeable with some tricky film content.

The video processing in the Hisense U7QF is powered by the Hi-View Engine which helps with motion and scaling of images. We found the upscaling to be good with only the odd instance of ringing around fine lines in some test patterns, but this was not visible in the vast majority of HD content we viewed.

Motion is also decent with only the odd instance of judder with some 24fps material, but this will only jump out at those looking for it, as it is very subtle. Using the Ultra Smooth Motion controls adds in frame interpolation and Soap Opera Effect (SOE) and the higher you go, the more artefacts are introduced to moving objects within a scene. Care should be taken if you are going to experiment with these settings for sports viewing and so on. You can also use the custom mode and adjust the blur and judder controls to suit your tastes. Clear Motion has its own slot on the menu and adds in flicker to improve motion, however at 25/50hz it is just too much for long viewing sessions.

Moving to actual viewing material and we found the image quality and accuracy to be very good on the U7QF. SDR content looks very good indeed with excellent colour saturation and lifelike skin tones. Blacks are deep when viewed straight on with only the odd instance of crush in difficult mixed scenes. Watching in normal living room lighting and we simply couldn’t fault the Hisense when handling the heavy lifting of Homes Under the Hammer and other daytime fodder. Film viewing was also a good experience with SDR content looking colourful and with plenty of dynamic range. As a living room workhorse, the Hisense would be an excellent choice with an image that looks natural and accurate when set up correctly.

  We didn’t have any issues at all with VIDAA which stands up against other providers such as Android.

When switching to low light conditions you do start to notice some of the limitations of LCD technology, especially if moving off-axis, but with SDR content we again found the U7QF to be a strong contender with TV and film content. Black bars in darkroom viewing do start to look a little lighter with SDR content, and light pollution can become a problem when switching to HDR 2.40:1 content. But remember we are being picky here when reviewing and in real life circumstances, for the majority of consumers, the Hisense performs extremely well with SDR content.

Moving to HDR and again the Hisense surprises with a nice degree of dynamic range and good backlight control in normal living room conditions. Local Dimming High is the default setting used and introduces some aggressive dimming to some scenes. The usual Gravity torture test (Sandra Bullock floating off into the darkness of space surrounded in stars) catches it out with lots of star crushing present, but we didn’t expect it to pass that test anyway. Adjusting the strength of the local dimming can remove some of the aggressive crushing if you find it annoying, but we really only noticed it in very few tricky scenes and deliberate stress testing.

In a well-lit room, HDR content once again looks accurate with stunning colours and nice dynamic range on offer. Blacks look good with some shadow details present and skin tones remain impressive. We didn’t notice any trailing of fast-moving objects and motion was also decent with only the odd frame skip visible when looking for it. Black bars did light up more when bright objects were close to them in a scene, but in normal lighting, it wasn’t too distracting, and as a movie watcher I was probably more drawn to issues than your regular viewer.

Dolby Vision works very well with the Hisense and using dynamic metadata does improve the HDR performance to give you back more details in the specular highlight areas of the HDR image where they can get blown out with HDR10, HLG and HDR10+ content. As most streaming services now provide DV content as well as a growing catalogue of UHD Blu-rays, you should be able to get the best out of the U7QF.

Once you turn the lights down, more issues surrounding the FALD and LCD technology become apparent with more blooming noticeable around things like subtitles and bright objects like white spaceships against the darkness of space. It is possible to mitigate against some of these issues and making sure your viewing environment is suitable for this type of TV display will help.

A normal living room with good lighting or some bias lighting behind the screen if you want to dim the room down will help, but not eradicate all the issues. Again, we are assessing from a performance standpoint and mentioning everything we have found to give you more information to make your decisions. The Hisense is a very good living room workhorse that will suit a wide range of consumers and some enthusiasts.

  Moving to HDR and again the Hisense surprises

The sound quality was decent from the built-in speakers and certainly good enough if you are not a big movie fan. Dolby Atmos is available and creates a decent enough soundstage for the average living room. Bass is lacking but that is to be expected with a TV speaker system, but the soundstage is wide and dialogue is intelligible at all times. Any off-board soundbar with a sub will better the performance, but as a workhorse for normal TV duties, the onboard system is certainly good enough to start with.

Rounding-up on the performance side of things is the gaming capabilities of the U7QF which are decent, with input lag coming in at 17ms in both SDR and HDR modes as measured by the Murideo Seven Generator. HDR gaming was also good, however, there are no HDMI 2.1 features available on the Hisense like VRR or ALLM.

Smart TV is provided by the company’s own VIDAA U4 system and we found it very easy to use and responsive. You have all of the major apps such as Netflix, Rakuten, Prime Video, Britbox and YouTube and in 4K HDR for those capable. There is no Disney+ or Apple TV+ but we don’t think that will be a major stumbling block for most consumers. Plus, we have Freeview Play available with all the UK catch-up services all in one place with their own dedicated page and service. We didn’t have any issues at all with VIDAA which stands up against other providers such as Android.

Verdict

The Good

  • Good out of the box accuracy
  • Excellent calibrated accuracy
  • Very good colour performance with SDR content
  • FALD backlight
  • Dolby Vision and HDR10+
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Freeview Play and Decent Smart TV
  • Very good build quality
  • Value for money for normal living rooms

The Bad

  • Some crushed blacks
  • Some judder on 24fps material
  • Viewing angles are poor
  • Some blooming with HDR content

Hisense U7QF 4K TV Review


The Hisense U7QF is a very good midrange LED LCD that uses Quantum Dot technology and also has Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HLG and HDR10 capabilities along with Dolby Atmos sound onboard. The smart TV system is intuitive and fast with a decent selection of apps as well as Freeview Play and all the UK catch-up services. Gaming input lag is also decent at 17ms but it doesn’t have all the HDMI 2.1 goods for VRR or ALLM.

The FALD backlight and local dimming system are also good with 72 dimming zones available and a decent algorithm which, in a normal living room, provides a very good performance. Image accuracy is also very good with excellent calibrated images and decent HDR performance thanks to Dolby Vision dynamic metadata.

If you are an enthusiast you will be aware of the downfalls with LCD technologies and using them in a dark room, and there is no difference here, but as a living room workhorse the Hisense is very good indeed. The vast majority of consumers will never push the U7QF hard enough to really find all the niggles we did and as such it will be a perfect choice for many. Viewing angles do mean it isn’t really suited to those sitting well off-axis, but when sat head on the image performance is very good and on a par with some much more expensive peers.

At its price point and market segment, the Hisense does offer value and performance for the vast majority of viewers using it in a normal well-lit living room, with decent gaming performance and all the latest HDR formats for streaming content and 4K Blu-rays. As such we feel it deserves a recommendation on those merits, hardcore enthusiasts probably need to look elsewhere, but you already knew that.
Recommended

Scores

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

.
.
.
7

Screen Uniformity

.
.
8

Colour Accuracy

.
9

Greyscale Accuracy

.
9

Video Processing

.
.
.
7

Picture Quality

.
.
8

SDR Picture Quality

.
.
8

HDR Picture Quality

.
.
8

Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box

.
.
8

Picture Quality Calibrated

.
9

Sound Quality

.
.
8

Smart Features

.
.
8

Build Quality

.
9

Ease Of Use

.
.
8

Value for Money

.
.
8

Verdict

.
.
8
8
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

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