We recently had an opportunity to try a preproduction 65RG (65″) model at a Hisense office in the Sydney CBD. It has a lot of features built-in but is it good enough to be your main TV? Let’s analyse it’s strengths and weaknesses to find out.
- Size: 65 inches. 55 and 50 inch models also available.
- Operating System: Android TV 8.0.
- FreeViewPlus: Yes
- Google Assistant and Alexa: Google works already. Alexa partly, will be fully enabled by late 2019
- Casting/Mirroring: Chromecast built-in
- Panel Type: Edgelit 4K LED. 8 bit + FRC
- Refresh Rate: Claimed 100hz Smooth Motion. Actual 50hz.
- HDR: Dolby Vision HDR.
- HDMI inputs: 3
- HDMI 1 type 4K@60Hz with HDCP version 2.2: HDMI 1, HDMI 2
- HDMI 2.0 compliant input: HDMI 1, HDMI 2
- ARC -Audio Return Channel: HDMI 2
- CEC- Consumer Electronics Control via HDMI: Yes
Of course the main strength of this TV is that the operating system is Android TV, not a Hisense proprietary one.
With Android TV comes access to the biggest range of smart TV apps including the usual Netflix, STAN, YouTube etc via the Google Android TV Play Store as well as Chromecast Built-in which makes it easy to view any content from a Chromecast capable app on your Android phone.
Voice control to do things like change the volume, switch HDMI ports or search for content in popular apps like YouTube is built-in via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Alexa currently requires a linked Alexa speaker but a patch should enable this within the TV by late 2019.
In terms of connectivity this group of TV models has every option you could hope for including built-in Bluetooth, Chromecast, TV Antenna socket, USB sockets (3.0 and 2.0), Optical digital audio output (SPDIF), Headphone jack, Ethernet Port, WiFi (b to ac 2.4 or 5Ghz) and DLNA.
Hisense offers a 3 year manufacturers warranty on all it’s TVs, two years more than other major TV manufacturers such as Samsung Sony and LG.
While any TV should be expected to last three years anyway under your Australian consumer law rights, having a longer manufacturer warranty makes it easier in case something goes wrong with your TV during the period of coverage.
When asked about what their plans were for software updates, a Hisense Australia spokesperson said that their 2019 Android TV’s “will receive security patch updates and other software updates throughout the warranty period”. If they are true to their word this is a pretty good promise.
Hisense had to cut costs somewhere to get the price down enough so the TVs could be marketed to value/budget price range customers and the panel is an obvious major cost.
The main weakness of the Hisense 2019 65RG, 55RG and 50RG TV’s is the panel which is 8bit + FRC (not true 10bit) and has an refresh rate of 50hz.
In practical terms this means that the panel is not truly able to display 10 bits (over 1 billion colours) and the 50hz refresh rate is not as good at dealing with action/fast motion as a panel with 100hz refresh rate. Since the panel is budget in nature it’s also not great at dealing with very black scenes.
This is not to say the panel is bad, many people don’t care about specifications and are not good at analysing the ability of their TV to display trickier scenes so they would probably be quite happy with it.
If you have 4 HDMI devices that need to be plugged into your TV then these models are not for you because they only have 3 HDMI ports.
Are Hisense 2019 G Series Android TV’s Worth Buying?
The use of Android TV as an operating system makes these TV’s very user-friendly with plenty of apps available.
Hisense deserves a thumbs up as well for including 3 years warranty, Google and Alexa voice control as well as lots of connectivity options. Plenty of TVs these days don’t have a headphone jack, Bluetooth etc.
Considering pros and cons the Hisense 2019 Android TV G series models 65RG, 55RG and 50RG are worthy contenders amongst the best of the Value/Budget category of 4K TV’s.
They would be a good choice if you can’t afford a good midrange Sony Android TV, need a 2nd TV for a spare room, for the kids or if you’re buying for senior members of the family. Buying an expensive TV with a high end panel is pointless for anyone approaching or past retirement age because eyesight deteriorates by then.
The reason Hisense 2019 G Series Android TV’s don’t make it to the midrange or high-end deluxe categories are because of shortcomings such as the 8 bit + FRC panel, only 3 HDMI ports and 50hz refresh rate.
Hisense 2019 G Series Android TV models 65RG (RRP $2299), 55RG (RRP $1499) and 50RG (RRP $1249) are available for purchase from the usual places such as JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys, Harvey Norman, Bing Lee and Videopro. Don’t be scared off by the RRP, actual prices are less.