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Hisense's flagship 4K TV should cost more than it does, and it's $350 off with this Amazon deal

The Hisense U8K is the brand's latest flagship model, offering premium-grade features and excellent picture quality at a more accessible price. And right now, you can save big on the 55-inch version during Amazon's Big Spring Sale.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
A Hisense U8K TV showing a spiral walkway
Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

What's the deal?

The Hisense U8K 55-inch TV is on sale for $748 at Amazon during the Big Spring Sale -- that's 32% off. 

Why this deal is ZDNET-recommended

I wasn't expecting much when I set up the Hisense U8K in my office/game room. But as I ran the TV through my usual gauntlet of tests, the U8K impressed me in every way that matters. With bright, vibrant images, and crisp audio, as well as customizable refresh rates and contrast calibration, the Hisense U8K is well worth the money, especially if you're a console gamer.

View at Amazon

While the Hisense U8K looks great in the photos I was able to take, it looks even better in person. Colors are vivid and bold, whites are bright, and blacks are about as dark as you can get outside of an OLED panel. Detailing is crisp and well-defined, allowing different visual styles to shine.

Also: The Amazon $150 50-inch TV deal is back by invitation only. Here's how to sign up

Setting up the TV is blessedly quick, going from box to streaming in about 10 minutes; though it may be faster if you have someone helping you. The T-bar feet feel solid and can be placed in two different positions: narrow or wide. This feature gives you more placement options, especially if you have a TV stand that's on the smaller side. I left my test model on the floor because that's where I have the most space for a 65-inch TV.

The mini LED panel boasts a peak brightness of 1500 nits, and while I don't currently have any testing equipment to confirm that number, I can say that you do get a very bright screen. That brightness is helpful in my office, which catches a lot of direct sunlight in the morning. The TV also supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, which help to enhance contrast and detailing, especially for upscaled content. The integrated speakers sound amazing for the price point, with music and dialogue sounding clear and clean. 

Also: The Amazon $150 50-inch TV deal is back by invitation only. Here's how to sign up

The best feature of the Hisense U8K is far and away its ability to support up to a 144Hz refresh rate at 4K resolution. All four of the HDMI ports support 2.1 connectivity, which means you'll get a base refresh rate of 120Hz. But two of the HDMI ports are able to support a 144Hz native refresh rate, making the Hisense U8K an ideal TV for gaming. 

Once you connect your game console, you have to manually enable the higher refresh rate, which can be done in the TV's settings. I do wish that the display setting would automatically enable, but having the option to switch makes sense for anyone who might still have an older console that can't support higher refresh rates.

A Hisense U8K TV showing a water-driven mill in a forest.
Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

I ran the U8K through its paces with Batman Forever and M3gan to see how the mini LED panel handled upscaling, and films or shows with darker contrast. I also connected my PlayStation 5, marathoning Persona 5: Dancing in Moonlight to push the 144Hz refresh rate and Dolby Vision HDR to their limit. While my brain and hands couldn't keep up with Our Moment in All Night Mode, the U8K was still showing smooth action and distinct shapes, which are crucial for rhythm games.

ZDNET's buying advice

The areas where the Hisense U8K really shines are console gaming and streaming. With the 144Hz refresh rate, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, Dolby Vision, and mini LED panel, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better TV at this price point. At around $999 for the 65-inch model -- it's on sale at the time of writing -- it's a great value for what you're getting.

Bear in mind that you'll need plenty of space for this TV, as it isn't available in a screen size smaller than 55 inches. While this size might not pose any problems for anyone who prefers to wall-mount their television, it can be difficult to find space for a large screen if you need a TV stand. That situation is especially true with a TV like the Hisense U8K, which has bracket-style feet rather than a central pedestal. 

If you don't think you'll ever need the higher native refresh rates, the Hisense U6K is another good option for upgrading your home theater, and it's even more affordable.

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