If you gathered a bunch of “all-rounders” in the TV space together, Hisense would be the majority of the players and their Q8 series of TVs are the pick of the bunch – in this review I consider just how good the Hisense Q8 is considering features and price.
I’ve always been a massive fan of Hisense TVs, their ability to offer a high value for money proposition make them a must in terms of your consideration.
In the past, I’ve awarded Hisense TVs as our Best TV of the year – not just on their features and picture quality, but on bang for your buck.
Fast forward to 2020, and my Hisense Q8 Review
Straight up, this TV design is not made for entertainment unit usage along with a soundbar. The two triangular legs that extend out from the centre of the screen give it an excellent, and certainly a premium look.
But they don’t allow space for a soundbar right there in front.
Perhaps because this is a premium product the assumption is this will go on a wall almost every time.
I love the triangular legs, doing something different in terms of design matters – there will be many a TV purchased based on the design people see in stores.
Hisense Q8 Picture Quality
The Hisense Q8 series doesn’t leave you lacking in any way. Hisense call it full array local dimming pro – this means the number of “areas” on the screen being lit by LED lights behind it are increased, this helps enhance the blacks on screen.
Likewise, the screen has a 200 Smooth Motion Rate, so its the product of choice for fast action movie lovers and sports fans.
You’ve got Dolby Vision HDR as well as Dolby Atmos Audio, and if you’re wondering how good the picture is compared to other big brands – this is a QLED.
Hisense choose to market these as ULED for their own differentiation, encompassing a range of technology. But at it’s core, this is a QLED screen, so remember that when comparing to other brands at the same price.
And it works. The blacks on screen are impressive, the blooming into black areas from coloured areas is very minimal, in fact hard to spot.
Colours are bright, Viewing angles are excellent.
It’s hard to fault – and for an LCD/LED screen it is at the top of the quality scale so you will not be left wanting, unless you’re striving for OLED quality, for which you must have some really great eyes to spot the differences in daily use.
Want to talk to your Hisense Q8 TV? out of the box there’s Amazon Alexa capabilities so you can talk to Alexa, get information like weather, control your smart home and importantly search for content across the TV.
Google Assistant capability comes when paired with an existing Google Assistant speaker.
Honestly, I’m not yet at a point where I find talking to a TV that great. I get that it’s a standout feature to set one TV apart from another, but it’s not a deal breaker for me yet.
If I were Hisense, I’d market Remote Now way more than Alexa or Google.
This is Hisense’s hidden gem and it’s available on the Hisense Q8.
If I have to ask someone where the Remote is one more time I’ll go mad.
But now, I just ignore the fact the remote is missing, and open up my smartphone.
I can control every single function of the TV using my phone. Just so great – and not something every TV offers, so it’s a legit unique selling point.
Hisense Q8 User Experience: VIDAA 4
This will grate on Hisense, but I think Vidaa 4 is a step backward.
Hisense’s own operating system is a cracker, its fast, slick, and really clear tile style user experience.
However the upgrade takes away a simple thing, and moves Hisense further away from their main competitors LG and Samsung.
When you press the home button while watching a show, VIDAA now takes over the entire screen, with no transparency to see through to what you’re watching.
I know the previous version threw the tiles well over the top of my show, but it was still there, and I liked that.
If anything, VIDAA (now a separate business to Hisense) should be looking to move the OS closer to LG and Samsung.
Pressing Home on both those brands brings up a menu on the lower third of the screen, allowing you to navigate while still having a clear view of what you’re seeing – it feels a better approach overall.
I get that this is better, it’s a step up, it does feel snappier, and it’s by no means a reason not to buy the Hisense Q8 – but
Netflix, Amazon Prime, Stan, ABC, SBS even Tubi! And a bunch of lesser known strange apps you’ll never even look at.
But no Kayo, No Disney Plus, No Binge, so there’s a big gap there. Hisense sell more TVs than almost any other company, so it’s win win for both the streaming services and Hisense to have more apps.
As someone who gets asked “which TV should I buy?” more than 10 times a week, the question of what you watch is number 1.
If you need Kayo for sport, then Hisense is a complex offering. You need an Apple TV or Telstra TV or something to make that simple. But that seems ridiculous when it’s a smart TV.
I hope like heck Kayo and others come to VIDAA and not just VIDAA 4.
Bottom line, this is a smart TV, but it’s not in the top class at school – yet.
Conclusion – Should I buy the Hisense Q8?
Yes. It’s got an outstanding picture quality, high level smarts, amazing Audio (tuned by JBL and forward firing). Plus it looks the part.
If you’re mad for Kayo or Disney, that is a big negative here. But as a TV this thing continues Hisense’s tradition of batting way above average.