Hisense H9F 4K Smart TV Review
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The Hisense 4K H9F TVs are part of the company’s high end LCD range. The TV features full array local dimming and comprehensive smart TV features. The set is available in 55 inces and 65 inches. Both versions largely feature the same technology, save for a few differences, like less dimming zones in the 55 inch iteration.
The set is all black with a thin border which is customary for most TV sets on the market today. Setting up the TV is pretty straight forward, even for the 65 inch version. In the box you’ll find a center-mounted stand providing a sturdy base. The feet on the center mount extend from the middle so you don’t need an extra wide table top to place it on. For those that prefer wall mounting, that is also an option as the set is light enough at 43.7 pounds.
You’ll find pretty much every port you’d expect in a modern day TV. There are 4 HDMI 2.0 ports which you can use to plug in your games consoles, blu-ray players, laptops etc. You have 2 USB ports, a digital audio port for compatible sound systems and also a mini headphone jack. For completeness, there is also a composite RCA-audio cable available.
To round off connectivity you’ll also benefit from an Ethernet port. On the wireless front of course there is also built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
To boost colour reproduction, this set uses quantum-dot film. The backlighting features 132 local dimming areas for enhanced contrast projection and supports double HDR colour formats, namely Dolby Vision and HDR 10. You’re not able to manually switch the HDR modes on and off as the TV does that automatically. You can, however, switch off auto brightness and contrast, something which the TV is also capable of switching between back and forth automatically based on lighting conditions.
Several pre set picture settings are on hand here. A welcome feature is that you can save specific picture settings for each input. For example – you may choose to have your blu-ray player input set to Theater mode while using a completely different picture setting for your games console input.
The H9F shines when it comes to accurately projecting colours. Dark, murky scenes are depicted very accurately as well as foggy backgrounds. Delivering realistic colours and shading seems to be this TV sets forte.
Contrast and black level projection also deserve honourable mentions. Buildings in dark backgrounds can stand out prominently. This seems like a simple observation, but such things can be very hard to make out in TV sets that use edge lighting or have fewer dimming zones. Deep black areas of pictures also look bold and equally impressive.
On the downside, when watching pictures where there is subtle shading, there are some banding problems. This is most prominent where there are similar colours on screen displayed at the same time like red and orange for example.
Currently, most of the video content on offer out there is in standard HD resolution, which is usually upscaled to 4K by a lot of the Ultra HD TVs on the market. I’m pleased to report that the Hisense H9F does a fantastic job in upscaling. You’ll almost never notice any dropouts or distorted pictures, and the end result is as smooth as you could want it.
For the gamers out there, I’d like to note that the display response lag time sits at 19.7 milliseconds. Not the worst response time you’ll come across, but it can be slightly cumbersome to play the most fast paced games.
This TV comes with two 15-watt speakers, which is passable. The set uses dbx-tv to deliver sound, as opposed to Dolby. You benefit from seven pre-defined sound settings such as music, concert, stereo etc. The set also comes with a wall mount sound setting, to deliver optimal sound performance when the TV is mounted to a wall.
As with most other smart TVs, the sound setting makes a difference to the viewing experience. For example, sound played through theater mode are more vibrant and widened in scope, whereas music mode delivers more of a surround sound effect. These are options a lot of users will be familiar with based on their experiences with past TVs they’ve owned.
Regrettably, overall, this TV lacks dynamic range in terms of sound and has low bass response. It is definitely a TV set that will benefit from the addition of a soundbar.
The Android TV operating system is in the engine room for this TV set. This allows you to download a wide arrange of apps for streaming. Apps are consistently being added to the Google Play store as well, so users will never be short of new apps to try out.
The interface is very user friendly and easy to follow, allowing users to scroll through apps and inputs with the utmost ease.
Voice control has made the cut for this TV as well, allowing users to search for specific apps and videos through verbal commands. Amazon Alexa functionality is supported as well, but not built in unfortunately.
There’s nothing too complicated with the remote that comes in the box. It’s simply laid out and straight forward to use. You also have specific buttons for Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play which is very handy.
Another positive feature of the remote is that it connects to the TV using Bluetooth and not infrared. This means you don’t even have to point the remote towards the TV to navigate. The remote isn’t backlit, so users need to make sure they use it under good lighting conditions to be able to see what they are pressing.
The Hisense H9F packs a big punch with enhanced colour formats which includes Dolby Vision, and full array back lighting.
Smart features are also a strong area for this TV as it benefits from Google’s Android TV platform. You’ll be able to enjoy all the latest apps and use voice control via Google Assistant. Granted the video processing could be better and gaming performance could be improved. All in all a great effort by Hisense.
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