4K, i.e. Ultra HD, is now the de facto standard for TVs today. In fact, the consumer adoption rate for 4K resolution occurred three times quicker than Full HD/1080p, and companies like Hisense are ready to capitalize with offerings like the H6 Series 4K TV. This display (specifically the 55H6E) includes all of the modern trappings like HDR and motion-enhancement in one bright, seemingly beautiful LED screen.
In fact, the only thing that might throw you off is that uncharacteristically affordable $399 price-tag. There has to be something wrong with it, right?
You’d be right to judge because we’ve personally seen the dangers of attempted loss leader TVs firsthand. Fortunately, the 55H6E escapes most of these caveats. The general style of the TV mimics the now-common glossed appearance of a thin bezel with two legs on each end, for chic and inoffensive tastes.
Move to the sides however and things get thicker near the bottom at 2.9 inches (9.6 inches with legs) and houses all the necessary ports that include three HDMIs, RCA/component inputs, optical, headphone, and USB. Internet connectivity for smart TV apps can be supplied by ethernet LAN or wireless 802.11ac.
The remote is standard fare and is a little long in your hand, but everything you need is in your reach. Expect the usual array of number, volume, and playback buttons if you’re not using an AV receiver or set-top box. And since this is a smart TV there are quick access button to apps such as Netflix, Vudu, and some timely exclusives like the 2018 FIFA World Cup — most of which are enabled for 4K.
4K and HDR Performance
I want to jump into the rest of this review headfirst because you’re probably going to do the same based on pricing alone. Normally, I’d say this type of thinking is premature but I was genuinely satisfied after viewing the 55H6E after adjustments. The out-of-box image was surprisingly good thanks largely to a built-in upscaler that can improve the image to something 4K-like, it works well enough and provided a distinct bump in quality for 1080p material. Black levels were moderately acceptable, appearing believably dark despite only making due with DLED technology.
HDR is another notch that helps the 55H6E achieve a relatively stellar picture. The color gamut is wide that you will be able to notice added depth in hues, and after adjustments the H6 pops without totally oversaturating images. Many people expecting a vivid transformation will find that the H6 does an adequate job overall, and that’s good enough for the money spent.
Motion Rate 120
One feature that Hisense is touting is “Motion Rate 120”, which is own their branding of refresh rate enhancement. We’ve seen companies advertise similar features throughout the years but not all refresh rates are created equal. Most manufacturers sold the notion of ever-higher refresh rates, or called “effective” refresh rates. Usually this will involve some sort of interpolation (artificial frame insertion) with additional video processing in order to simulate 120 Hz and reduce unnecessary judder.
I’ll just say that the 55H6E has it, and depending how your eyes perceive motion you’ll either love it or hate it. Since we personally loathe this and the associated “soap-opera effect” we opted to leave it off during the remainder of testing.
Real World: In My Eyes
But does it all come together for everyday viewing and gaming? Why yes it does, and works just as nice for an alternative desktop PC entertainment monitor. It’s probably not the most conventional solution but as complement to a PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, or gaming PC this is a cheap guilty pleasure. Coming from almost anything full HD the presentation will be beyond initial expectations, centered on the dynamic color range while the 4K upsampling sharpens the physical details to a distinguishable level.
Even without native content the 55H6E still offers a decent upgrade with the aforementioned resolution upscaling — admittedly, the increase is very small but noticeable for your TV watching experience. Streaming UHD/4K content is a better suited choice with basic smart TV functionality and navigation being smooth (for a TV), app loading is reasonably quick and Amazon Alexa compatibility is an option if your home is already connected.
For me to talk about TVs it has to be at least good bang for the buck, and the Hisense H6 Series 4K TV (and its equivalent 43”, 49” 50”, 55”, 60”, and 65” models) is worth looking at. It’s a fantastic choice if you’ve been eagerly waiting for UHD/HDR TV to dip below a weekly paycheck, or want easy access to your favorite smart apps. As a whole, Hisense hits a sweet spot among 4K TVs and just might be one of the better brands you’ve never heard of.