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Hisense H8F 4K UHD TV (2019) review: Better color, better blacks, and better HDR

I was skeptical about Hisense’s move to array backlighting for its 2019 H8F 4K UHD TV series. Just last year, even the company’s second-tier H9F was side-lit, and first forays into technology don’t always turn out so great.

Well, the H8F may not be “great”—that’s $2,000 LG E8 and Samsung Q9—territory, but for just $500, you get the high-quality color, blacks, and HDR of a much more expensive TV. In fact, after 15 minutes with the H8F, I double-checked the price list just to make sure I hadn’t confused it with something else. I was that impressed. 

Design and specs

The H8F is a 4K UHD TV available in the 55-inch flavor reviewed here as well as 50- and 65-inch SKUs. The 55-inch model weighs about 30 pounds and measures 48.4 inches wide, by 28.1 inches high, by 2.4 inches at its deepest point. Add another 2.5 or so inches in height for the stand. It’s handsome, with a thin-bezel, and offers the first solution to a problem I ran into myself not so long ago—stand feet that are too widely spaced for the surface I wanted to set the TV on.

What Hisense did was simply add two additional mount points closer to the centerline to accommodate narrower platforms. Of course, this provides less lateral stability, but it’s generally longitudinal stability that’s worrisome with TVs. Hisense provides caps to cover the unused holes. 

The H8F is also wall-mountable via a 300mm x 200mm mount point using M6 screws. The electronics and ports are housed in the usual plastic gluteus maximus, which you can see in the side-angle image below.

side view facing right small Hisense

The H8F’s design is handsome and thin in all the right places. Electronics and ports are found in the lower portion, as they are on most TVs.

The port array consists of a single coax connector for antennas and cable, four HDMI 2.0a ports (ARC and CEC are supported), one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, RCA composite video and stereo audio outputs, optical S/PDIF audio out, and a headphone jack. There’s also 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 on board as well as 10/100Mbps ethernet. 

The H8F also supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There’s also a channel list, but no program guide.

Remote and interface

The remote is on the large size, but is more logically laid out and focused than many, and it’s easy to use. It’s not universal, but I actually like it better than the remotes that ship with Sony’s high-end TVs. That’s more of a comment on Sony than Hisense.

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