Hisense 65U7G Review | PCMag
We were in a golden age of affordable TVs for a while, with the TCL 6-Series and the Hisense H8G both offering fantastic performance at $1,000 or less for 65 inches. We’re seeing that shift a bit, with the H8G being replaced by the considerably more expensive U8G and TCL pumping up the price of its existing 6-Series. This inflation seems to be the trend across the TV industry, especially for models in this price range, and likely comes from a limited availability of components. With that in mind, the Hisense U7G series is a bit less expensive than the aforementioned models, but at $1,099.99 for the 65-inch 65U7G model we tested, it still doesn’t count as a cheap TV. It offers an excellent picture and lots of useful features like hands-free Google Assistant, though if you’re willing to spend an extra $200, the U8G is much brighter and a touch more colorful.
The U7G looks a lot like the U8G, if slightly less stylish. The top and sides of the screen are bezel-less, framed by a thin black plastic band that runs around the edges, like the silver band on the U8G. The bottom of the screen holds a thin silver bezel bearing the Hisense logo, with a trapezoid-shaped enclosure below it containing the TV’s far-field microphones and a small switch to disable them. The U7G sits on two dark gray V-shaped metal legs, which can be mounted out toward to the sides of the screen or closer to the middle thanks to four mounting points, letting you adjust to furniture that might be narrower than the TV itself.
The power cable attaches to the right side of the back of the TV, while all other connections sit on the left side. Four HDMI ports, a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm composite video input (a 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter is included), an antenna-cable connector, and a reset button face directly left. An Ethernet port, an optical audio output, and two 3.5mm ports for serial connections and service face directly back.
The remote is a standard black button-laden wand dominated by a circular navigation pad near the top. Power, Input, and Google Assistant buttons sit above the pad, along with a pinhole microphone. Menu and playback buttons, volume and channel rockers, and dedicated service buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix, Peacock, Tubi, and YouTube sit below. The remote connects to the TV via Bluetooth, so you don’t need to point it at the TV to use it.
(Photo: Will Greenwald)
Hands-Free Google Assistant
The U7G runs Android TV, just like the U8G. It isn’t quite as sleek as the Google TV interface on the Chromecast with Google TV and Sony’s TVs like the A90J, but it offers just as many features. All of the big names in streaming are available, including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Twitch, and YouTube, along with plenty of other apps in the Google Play store. Android TV also features Google Cast, so you can mirror your Android smartphone or tablet’s screen, or your Chromebook or PC’s screen, or any active Chrome tab to the TV.
Android TV includes Google Assistant, which you can access hands-free on the U7G by saying, “Hey, Google.” The built-in far-field microphones will recognize the wake phrase just like a smart speaker, letting you give Google Assistant commands without touching the remote (though you can also use the microphone in the remote without the wake phrase by pressing and holding the Google Assistant button).
Google Assistant is very useful, both for the TV itself and for general home convenience. You can ask it for information like weather forecasts and sports scores, directly control the TV, search for content, and control other smart home devices on your network.
Strong, But Not Superlative, Performance
The Hisense U7G is a 4K TV with a 120Hz native refresh rate. It supports high dynamic range (HDR) content in HDR10 and Dolby Vision. It features automatic low-latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rate (VRR), and AMD FreeSync.
We test TVs using a Klein K-80 colorimeter, a Murideo SIX-G signal generator, and Portrait Displays’ Calman software with methodology based on Imaging Science Foundation’s calibration techniques. Out of the box, displaying an SDR signal in Theater Day mode, the U7G shows a respectable peak brightness of 484.673cd/m^2 with a full-screen white field and 593.486cd/m^2 with an 18% white field. Black levels in this mode are 0.026cd/m^2, also good though not great. That contrast performance improves significantly with an HDR signal in HDR Theater mode, showing a full-screen peak brightness of 619.667cd/m^2, an 18% field peak brightness of 744.22cd/m^2, and a black level of 0.014cd/m^2, for a 53,159:1 contrast ratio. That’s quite good, but not as blazingly bright as the U8G (1,763.368cd/m^2 in HDR with an 18% field and a black level of 0.02cd/m^2 for a contrast ratio of 88,168:1).
The above charts show the U7G’s color levels with an SDR signal compared against Rec.709 broadcast standards and an HDR10 signal compared against DCI-P3 digital cinema standards. SDR colors are effectively spot-on out of the box in Theater Day mode, though this is less impressive than it might have been a few years ago; these days even budget TVs show accurate SDR color performance in the right picture mode. HDR colors are impressively wide and accurate, though the TV’s green reach doesn’t quite cover the full color space. The U8G pushes its colors just a bit further.
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Thanks to the U7G’s strong color performance, BBC’s Planet Earth II looks excellent on the TV. The greens of plants are lush and vivid, and look natural against the blues and blue-greens of the water. Fine details like fur can be easily discerned both whether they’re lit by sunlight or in the shade. It’s a vibrant, balanced picture.
Deadpool also looks very good on the U7G. The red of Deadpool’s costume looks saturated and accurate in the overcast opening scenes of the film. In the burning lab fight later in the film, the flames appear bright while shadow details can still be clearly seen in the same frame.
The U7G’s strong contrast makes the party scenes in The Great Gatsby look striking. The stark whites of the balloons and shirts stand out against the dark blacks of suits, while still preserving details like the suits’ cuts in most shots. Skin tones look natural and balanced, splashing color against the blacks and whites.
U7G Gaming Features and Input Lag
Gamers will be pleased by the U7G’s features and performance. The TV features auto low latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rate (VRR), AMD FreeSync, and a native refresh rate of 120Hz.
Those are all good signs, made even better by the TV’s input lag (measured by an HDFury Diva HDMI matrix) in Game mode of just 7.9 milliseconds, the same input lag we saw on the U8G. That’s well under the 20ms threshold we use to determine if a TV is among the best for gaming, though we’re considering lowering that threshold as we see more and more scores come in below 10ms. Also, make sure ALLM triggers or you manually go into Game mode when you play games, as the input lag in Theater Day mode is 103.4ms.
A Solid TV, More Expensive Than It Used to Be
The Hisense U7G is an excellent TV that sacrifices a bit of brightness and color range compared with the U8G to reach a lower price. At $1,100 for a 65-inch model, it’s still significantly more expensive than the H8G was at the same size, but for the performance and features it remains appealing. That said, we look forward to testing the Hisense U6G, which seems to be the most direct replacement to the budget-friendly wonder that was the H8G. For now, the Hisense U8G remains one of the best picks in the midrange, with a blazingly bright panel that offers a bit more color than the U7G. The two lines are otherwise identical, though, so if you want to spend a little less, the U7G is still a good choice.