I know for a fact how interested many of you are in Hisense TVs. Nearly 300,000 of you have watched my reviews of two other Hisense televisions, and tens of thousands more have read the blog reviews. Hisense is a popular brand and only growing. The company’s newest 4K TV is the Hisense U78KM MINI LED or just the U7. In this Hisense U7 review, I’ll take a look at what you get with this TV, (and I’ve opted for the 55-inch size in my home), what it’s like to set up, and how it is to navigate around the TV’s interface. I’ll also show you the video quality.
I’d like to thank Hisense for sponsoring this post. Though they are paying for my time, they have not told me what I have to say or what I can’t say about the TV, and I got to test it how I wanted it. So you can consider these thoughts my own.
Hisense U7 Smart 4K TV
The Hisense U7 is a great, reasonably priced candidate for a higher-end 4K TV with plenty of bells and whistles.
- Video quality is sharp, detailed
- Navigating the Google TV interface is intuitive
- Google Assistant can control TV or smart home
- The feet on the TV can be narrowed to your personal space
- Reasonably priced for a higher-end MINI LED product
- Expensive for some?
Hisense U7 MINI LED TV: What You Get
The 2023 Hisense U78KM is a mini-LED TV with a speedy 144 Hz refresh rate and ultra-high definition 4K resolution display. Translation? Whether it’s action movies or sports viewing, that high frame rate kills motion blur so you get a clearer, very sharp video picture that seems hyper-realistic. The U7 is powered by a Google TV interface, and we’ll get to more about that in a few moments.
What is Highsense Mini-LED TV?
A quick aside about mini-LED TVs… Old-fashioned TVs just used one giant light source in the back so the video was grainy and washed out. With millions of lights behind the U7, mini-LED technology uses ever smaller pinpricks of light as the backlighting source to help refine the video and make it much sharper and more realistic.
Colour and Light
There are also two other things to cover that help with how the brightness and colour display.
The Hisense U7 has 1500 nits of peak brightness which is on the higher end of the brightness scale. You want a bright TV since it makes the video easier to see, especially in brighter, sunnier spaces. A brighter TV also helps the contrast pop.
The U7 also has HDR or High Dynamic Range support which is a technology that replicates colour a lot better. Hisense mini-LED 4k smartTVs support all major formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDRIO+, and HLG.
So to sum up, you’re getting a very bright-capable, ultra-high resolution, colourful TV that has a fast refresh rate.
Hisense 55U78KM (the number in front of the U7 just denotes its size in inches) sells for about $1,200 CAD and I’ve seen it for under $1,000 which is a very attractive price since mini-LED displays with that kind of refresh rate normally sell for far more, so I am interested to see how it actually performs.
What’s in the Box
The stuff that comes with the Hisense 55U78KM TV is par for the course. You get a pair of feet, a power cord, and associated paperwork.
You can set the feet at two different widths to accommodate narrower furniture which is nice.
You can also wall mount it.
A remote control with batteries included also comes in the box. The remote has all of the standard control buttons plus a few extras including shortcut buttons for popular streaming channels.
Ports & Inputs
When it comes to the inputs, you’ve got lots of options including 4 HDMI ports (2 at 60Hz and 2 at 144 Hz; if fast refresh is needed make sure to plug into the right ones).
There’s also a USB for thumb drives, Antenna/cable TV input, and ethernet. For audio you’ve got an aux jack for headphones as well as an optical digital audio connection.
Also of note is a microphone built into the front centre for using voice commands. A switch on the bottom turns that off.
Set up is virtually non-existent; plug it in, follow the prompts to connect to your home’s Wi-Fi, and pair the remote when it asks you to. I was watching TV in less than 5 minutes.
Google TV Operating System
This TV has Google TV pre-installed. The Google TV interface is essentially the operating system for your set so that it can search, stream and play content.
Google TV means full access to the Android TV Google Play Store, support for sideloading APKs if you are into that, Google Assistant integration and Google Chromecast screen mirroring baked right in.
Can I use an iPhone with a Google TV?
Although the Chromecast feature favors Android devices, you may use an iPhone’s AirPlay screen mirroring feature on the Hisense 55U78KM as well! You can even use your Android or iPhone and the Google Home app to use your phone as the remote control.
Yes, LG and Samsung boast their own polished TV operating systems and have all the major online streaming apps but if you have some unique use cases such as playing RetroArch or installing your favorite VPN app, Google TV OS is your best bet.
Google TV uses a simple box-style navigation system that lets you see a lot of options at a glance. You’ll also find all of the now standard streaming services included here like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Disney+, Crave, CBC Gem, AppleTV, and many more. Google TV will also suggest shows and channels for you.
Video quality: Hisense U7 mini-LED
The video quality on this Hisense U7 TV is outstanding. For starters, the picture absolutely fills the screen, with virtually no bezel or frame. The colours are spectacularly vibrant and the level of detail is unreal.
Watching amazing 4K demo videos will really give you an idea what this TV can do in terms of sharpness, colour, and overall power, but watching regular TV shows and movies is how most of us will use this, and not surprisingly that looks fantastic too.
Whether darker dramas or lighter nature viewing, the TV puts up a great picture.
Hisense 55U78KM comes with several interesting features making this a TV really fit for a modern home.
Google Voice Control
Naturally since is a Google-powered television, you can expect help from the Google assistant.
Not only will the assistant control your TV and search for content for you, you can also use it to control smart home devices like lights.
The Hisense 55U78KM uses what’s called the Hi-View Engine which uses a special deep-learning algorithm for optimizing picture quality according to the given scene.
The Hisense mini-LED 4k smart TV uses two 10W stereo speakers, which is about standard. I always recommend a sound bar with any flatscreen TV simply because internal speakers don’t have the space to be able to match a home theatre audio system. I’m using a Polk Audio Sound bar that I already have in my media room from a previous review here, but Hisense also makes soundbars with subwoofers too.
Like most modern smart TVs, the Hisense 55U78KM supports Dolby Atmos content. Just keep your expectations in check because you’re not going to hear 3D and overhead sound via the TV’s internal speakers; it will just act as a pass-through for the signal when you connect a compatible sound bar or Atmos-capable speakers.
Smooth 144 Hz VRR Refresh Rate
Hisense actually offers a small family of TV products with Mini-LED 4K displays and the Hisense 55U78KM is the most affordable TV in the company’s Mini LED lineup to have a 144 Hz VRR (variable refresh rate) panel.
Refresh rate is an important specification to consider because you might not need it if you just want to stream Netflix or your other favorite streaming services, but if you’re a gamer this will be very important. I’m absolutely not into gaming, so I’ll simply pass on the info here: Xbox One S/X, and PS5 gamers as well as PC gamers (if they have the appropriate specs) will take advantage of the 144 Hz VRR to play supported games with far better smoothness without the annoying motion blur.
Like I said, just make sure you plug the game console into one of the two HDMI 2.1 ports as the other two ports have the HDMI 2.0 spec. (You also need an HDMI 2.1 cable which isn’t included in the box and your PC’s GPU should support HDMI 2.1 as well to utilize the feature.)
Even if you don’t have the latest-gen gaming hardware, the 55U78KM offers a Game Bar feature that lets you adjust the picture’s size, aspect ratio, and position to suit your game with real-time input lag stats. The 6ms response time does mean that cheaper gaming monitors will have a slight edge in input lag but as a large 55-inch TV, the 55U78KM is a solid budget gaming TV.
If you have a Wi-Fi 6E router like the TP-Link Archer AXE75, the Hisense 55U78KM can hop on the speedy 6GHz band for faster networking speeds. This might not be a huge deal if you don’t already pay for a super-fast Internet connection, or plan on using the built-in Ethernet port for networking, but the extra wireless speed benefits mean you can stream 4K video in your local network without a hitch.
It also helps a lot if you want to use remote play technologies such as Steam Link or Parsec (available as separate Play Store apps) to stream and play games from your PC with minimal to no lag. This is also a feature you won’t find in the Hisense 55U68KM model as it only offers dual-band Wi-Fi 5.
I do not have a Hisense U7 soundbar so I can’t comment on how it performs but if you plan to buy one with this Hisense TV, you get the added convenience of controlling both devices with the same remote control. The TV also provides a slick user interface for easily configuring the sound settings to your liking.
Overall review: Hisense U7 MINI LED TV
Overall the Hisense U7 is a great candidate for a higher-end 4K TV with plenty of bells and whistles and a lot of higher-end technology—but at a reasonable price.
The video quality is sharp, detailed and colourful, and a joy to watch. Navigating the Google TV interface is intuitive and it’s easy to find anything I need with some surfing, swiping or speaking.
Google Assistant can control either the TV or your smart home too. Even the fact you can narrow the feet on the TV to your personal space is a thoughtful detail.
In short, this 55-inch Hisense U7 checks all the boxes for me and I think it will for you too.