Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (2024)

At a glance

Expert's Rating

Pros

  • Excellent colour and contrast
  • Affordable(ish)
  • Low latency game mode

Cons

  • Irritating software (outside the US)
  • Bulky remote
  • Few fancy features

Our Verdict

The Hisense U6K sets are a no-frills Mini-LED offering, netting buyers the great display tech at a lower price than rivals. There aren’t many fancy features, and the VIDAA software shipped outside the US isn’t great, but the bang for your buck is hard to beat.

Price When Reviewed

From £999 | Model reviewed £1,299

Best Prices Today: Hisense U6K (2023)

Product

Price

Price comparison from Backmarket

Hisense’s U6K series sticks to the company’s recent success with relatively affordable TVs, offering the latest and greatest Mini-LED display technology at a price few rivals can match.

Picture quality is great for the price, so long as you’re happy with a 60Hz refresh rate, though software is variable: while US models run the excellent Google TV operating system, my UK review unit is powered by the much less appealing VIDAA OS.

Design & build

  • 55 or 65in sizes
  • Slim build
  • Enormous UK remote

There’s not too much to say about the design of the U6K, which is pleasingly simple. The range is available in either 55- or 65in sizes, and I’ve reviewed the larger model in the range – officially the 65U6KQTUK going by the full model number.

A slim bezel runs right around the display, only fractionally thicker on the silver-y bottom edge, which also boasts the Hisense logo. Nothing here is designed to grab your attention, making sure that the display itself is always the focus.

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (8)
Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (9)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (10)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Dominic Preston / Foundry

The TV ships with a pair of impressively slim feet, and my 65in model included two different mounting points, so you should be able to work the positioning around the size of your TV stand, sound bar, or other obstacles.

VESA wall-mounting is also supported, though the mount is sold separately, and the TV is slim enough that it can sit fairly flat against the wall if you so desire.

Nothing here is designed to grab your attention, making sure that the display itself is always the focus

What’s a bit less impressive is the remote shipped with my UK model. It’s absolutely enormous, fitting in a ludicrous 12 pre-programmed shortcut buttons at the top (three or four is typical), and yet somehow doesn’t even include a dedicated settings button.

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (11)
Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (12)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (13)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Dominic Preston / Foundry

For what it’s worth, the US remote appears to be much more compact, though I’m not sure how it varies in other markets.

Picture & sound quality

  • Mini-LED display
  • 60Hz and 4K
  • Not the brightest panel

The selling point of the U6K is that it offers a relatively affordable Mini-LED panel – backlighting tech that can deliver some of the great contrast and colour separation of OLED without the cost (or the risk of burn-in).

The panels here are in a standard 4K resolution and refresh rate of 60Hz, so there’s nothing too exciting there.

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (14)
Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (15)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (16)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Dominic Preston / Foundry

What matters is that you get excellent contrast and colour reproduction from the U6K, with deep blacks and rich, vibrant hues across whatever you watch.

It supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and HLG standards, so covers a fairly wide gamut of HDR content.

The only downside here is that the panel isn’t as bright as more expensive alternatives. That means it doesn’t deliver the absolute best HDR around, which demands a brighter panel, but also that daytime viewing can become an exercise in glare reduction.

The panel may cap out at 60Hz – you’ll have to spend more for a 120Hz panel TV that can make the most of the PS5 or Xbox Series X – but it does support variable refresh rate from 48-60Hz for smoother gameplay, albeit without support for either AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync.

What matters is that you get excellent contrast and colour reproduction from the display

Instead, the focus of the official game mode – which can activate automatically on compatible inputs – is lower latency, able to drop as low as 8ms for smooth performance when a console is connected.

As for audio, the set supports Dolby Atmos, so when paired with compatible speakers should be capable of delivering impressive surround sound.

When not paired with speakers, the built-in audio is as you’d expect: a little thin and unsatisfying, but good enough if you’re not fussy. A basic soundbar will still represent a considerable audio upgrade though.

Ports & features

  • Three HDMI 2.0 ports
  • Voice control remote

The Hisense U6K packs a fairly typical port selection, though the HDMI options may disappoint a little: even the larger 65in model is limited to just three HDMI 2.0 ports, which will be enough for plenty of users but may frustrate those, like me, with an array of games consoles and streaming sticks.

That’s especially true if you decide to use one of those three HDMI ports for its eArc functionality, connecting up your soundbar that way – though the digital audio out gives you another option here.

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (17)
Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (18)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (19)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Dominic Preston / Foundry

There are also two USB ports for connection and power, a headphone jack, Ethernet for wired internet, AV in, aerial sockets, and a Common Interface card slot.

The TV doesn’t pack many standout or unique features, but one neat bonus is that the remote supports voice controls. On the US Google TV models that will mean the Google Assistant, but Amazon Alexa is included on my model instead.

Software

  • Runs Google TV or VIDAA
  • VIDAA feels basic
  • Performance a little unreliable

The software side of the U6K is tricky to review, simply because it’s so variable.

US models of the TV ship running Google TV, a simple and clean OS that I’ve not tested 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 OS.

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (20)
Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (21)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (22)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Dominic Preston / Foundry

I’ll be blunt: VIDAA is clunky, ugly, and slow. It’s clearly built around ad slots, but right now even they don’t work – the top banner on my home screen is made up of six identical slides advertising the operating system’s own app store.

The good news is that it supports most of the core apps you’re likely to need, and the big names – such as Netflix and Disney+ – are pre-installed for convenience. The only omission I spotted was the UK’s Now app, which wasn’t available at all.

UK viewers may also be mildly annoyed to discover that the ITV and Channel 4 apps here are the FreeviewPlay versions, which don’t support live TV streaming, but otherwise, there’s little to complain about.

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (23)
Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (24)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (25)

Dominic Preston / Foundry

Dominic Preston / Foundry

I’ve been more frustrated by general performance. Setting the TV up took me several attempts because it repeatedly refused to connect to my Wi-Fi network.

It’s slow to recognise remote inputs at times, so feels sluggish, and once simply stopped recognising the remote at all until I power cycled the TV to restart it.

I’ve mostly tested it connected to a Sonos soundbar over an optical cable, but setting it up this way had the unexpected side effect that whenever I raise or lower the audio a pop-up appears warning “This feature is currently unavailable” – even though it does successfully change the volume.

I’ll be blunt: VIDAA is clunky, ugly, and slow

None of this is a real dealbreaker, and I’m sure buyers will get used to the software’s quirks, but it’s the main thing that makes this feel like a cheaper TV than it actually is.

Price & availability

The Hisense U6K starts from $579/£999 for the 55in model, rising to $799/£1,299 for the 65in version.

That’s competitive enough pricing in the UK where it’s also available from Very, but it’s exceptional in the US – especially considering that US models run better software.

For comparison, the cheapest Mini-LED (Neo QLED) model from Samsung’s 2023 range starts at $1,199/£1,399 for a 43in size.

That makes buying advice vary too. US buyers will struggle to do better for the price, or to find a good Mini-LED panel for less.

In the UK and elsewhere, the U6K isn’t such a knockout. It’s a good buy, and is still solid value for the screen quality, but the smarter move may be to look at one of last year’s OLED or Mini-LED flagships, often now available for a similar price – the 2022 LG C2 OLED is a prime example.

Check out our best TV round-up for more high-end options, or best budget TVs for cheaper models that come in under $500/£500.

Verdict

The Hisense U6K offers the best of Mini-LED at a budget, with some of the best contrast and colour you’ll find in any TV for around a grand.

The trade-off is that this is a no-frills set – it’s 60Hz, has few special features, and outside the US is hampered by Hisense’s lacklustre VIDAA operating system.

Still, if you want the best bang for your buck when it comes to display quality alone – an admirable aim when TV buying – then this will be tricky to beat, especially if you’re a US buyer.

Specs

  • Sizes: 55/65in
  • Model tested: 65in
  • Display technology: Mini-LED ULED
  • Resolution: 3840 x 2160 4K
  • Refresh rate: 60Hz
  • HDR support: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
  • HDMI: x3 (2.0)
  • Tuner: Freeview Play
  • OS: VIDAA or Google TV
Hisense U6K (2023) review: Mini-LED, mini price (2024)

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