Hisense U6K: Complete Review
The Hisense U6K has emerged as a compelling contender in the realm of budget-friendly yet feature-rich smart TVs. With its sleek design, vibrant display, and a host of advanced functionalities, the Hisense U6K series has garnered attention for delivering an immersive viewing experience without breaking the bank. Offering an array of sizes and resolutions, this television line caters to a diverse range of entertainment preferences, making it a sought-after option for those seeking quality performance and affordability in their home entertainment systems.
- Excellent color and contrast
- Affordable (sort of)
- Low latency gaming mode
- Irritating software (outside the US)
- Bulky remote control
- Few fancy features
The Hisense U6K sets are a no-frills Mini-LED offering, giving buyers great display technology at a lower price than rivals. There aren’t many fancy features, and the VIDAA software that ships outside of the US isn’t great, but the investment is hard to beat.
- 55 or 65 inch sizes
- Slim build
- Huge UK remote control
There’s not much to say about the U6K’s design, which is pleasingly simple. The range is available in 55 or 65 inch sizes, and I have reviewed the largest model in the range, officially the 65U6KQTUK with the full model number.
A thin bezel surrounds the screen, only slightly thicker on the silver bottom edge, which also features the Hisense logo. Nothing here is designed to catch your attention, ensuring that the screen itself is always the center of attention.
The TV ships with an impressively slim pair of feet, and my 65-inch model included two different mounting points, so you should be able to work out positioning around the size of your TV stand, sound bar, or other obstacles.
You can also mount the TV on a VESA wall, but keep in mind that the stand is not included. The TV is thin enough to sit flush against the wall if that’s what you prefer.
What’s a little less impressive is the remote control shipped with my UK model. It’s absolutely huge, fitting into a ridiculous 12 pre-programmed shortcut buttons on the top (three or four is typical), and yet somehow it doesn’t even include a dedicated settings button.
For what it’s worth, the US remote appears to be much more compact, although I’m not sure how that varies in other markets.
Image and Sound Quality
- Mini LED panel
- 60Hz and 4K
- Not the brightest panel
The U6K’s selling point is that it offers a relatively affordable Mini-LED panel: backlight technology that can offer some of the great contrast and color separation of OLED without the cost (or risk of burn-in).
The panels here have a standard 4K resolution and 60Hz refresh rate, so there’s nothing too exciting there.
What matters is that you get excellent contrast and color reproduction with the U6K, with deep blacks and rich, vibrant tones in everything you watch.
It supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and HLG standards, so it covers a fairly wide range of HDR content.
The only downside here is that the panel is not as bright as more expensive alternatives. That means it doesn’t offer the absolute best HDR, which requires a brighter panel, but also that daytime viewing can become an exercise in glare reduction.
The panel may be capped at 60Hz (you’ll have to spend more for a 120Hz panel TV that can take full advantage of the PS5 or Xbox Series smoother, although without support for AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync.
Instead, the focus of the official game mode, which can be automatically activated on supported inputs, is lower latency, capable of dropping as low as 8ms for smooth performance when a console is connected.
Audio-wise, the set supports Dolby Atmos, so when paired with compatible speakers, it should be able to deliver impressive surround sound.
When not coupled with the speakers, the built-in audio is as you’d expect: a little thin and unsatisfactory, but good enough if you’re not picky. However, a basic soundbar will still represent a considerable audio upgrade.
Ports and Functions
- Three HDMI 2.0 ports
- Voice remote control
The Hisense U6K offers a standard range of ports, but the HDMI options might not meet everyone’s expectations. Even the largest 65-inch model only has three HDMI 2.0 ports. While this should suffice for most users, it could be frustrating for individuals like myself who have multiple game consoles and streaming devices.
That’s especially true if you decide to use one of those three HDMI ports for its eArc functionality, connecting your soundbar that way, although the digital audio output gives you another option here.
There are also two USB ports for connection and power, a headphone jack, Ethernet for wired Internet, AV input, antenna jacks, and a common interface card slot.
The TV doesn’t include many notable or unique features, but a nice bonus is that the remote supports voice controls.
- Run Google TV or VIDAA
- VIDAA feels basic
- Performance a little unreliable
The software side of the U6K is complicated to review, simply because it is so variable.
US models of the TV ship with Google TV, a simple, clean operating system that I haven’t tried on a TV myself, but have heard good things about.
My review model, and the model sold in the UK and Europe, instead runs Hisense’s own VIDAA operating system.
The good news is that it supports most of the major apps you’re likely to need, and the big names like Netflix and Disney+ are pre-installed for your convenience. The only omission I saw was the UK Now app, which wasn’t available at all.
UK viewers may also be a little miffed to discover that the ITV and Channel 4 apps here are versions of FreeviewPlay, which don’t support live TV streaming, but otherwise there’s little to complain about.
I’ve been more frustrated by the overall performance. Setting up the TV took me several tries because it repeatedly refused to connect to my Wi-Fi network.
It’s slow to recognize remote inputs at times, so it feels sluggish, and once it simply stopped recognizing the remote until I turned the TV off and on to reset it.
I primarily tested it while connected to a Sonos soundbar using an optical cable. However, this setup resulted in an unexpected side effect.
The Hisense U6K offers the best of Mini-LED at an affordable price, with some of the best contrast and color you’ll find on any TV for around a grand.
Still, if you want to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to display quality alone – an admirable goal when buying TVs – then it’ll be hard to beat, especially if you’re a US buyer.
- Sizes: 55/65in
- Tested model: 65in
- Screen technology: Mini-LED ULED
- Resolution: 3840×2160 4K
- Refresh rate: 60Hz
- HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
- HDMI: x3 (2.0)
- Tuner: TDT Play
- Operating system: VIDAA or Google TV