The Hisense A6G is an entry-level 4K HDR LED TV that’s nicely designed, well made, and very competitively priced.
The SDR performance is good, the input lag low, the smart platform highly effective, and there’s even Dolby Vision support.
Only narrow optimal viewing angles, limited brightness and colours, and poor HDR10 tone-mapping mar what is otherwise a solid budget option for those in search of a 4K television.
Hisense A6G: Key specifications
|Screen sizes available:||43in 43A6G|
|Panel type:||VA-type LCD|
|Resolution:||4K/UHD (3,840 X 2,160)|
|HDR formats:||HDR, HLG, Dolby Vision|
|Audio enhancement:||DTS Virtual:X|
|HDMI inputs:||3 x HDMI 2.0|
|Freeview Play compatibility:||Yes|
|Gaming features:||Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)|
|Wireless connectivity:||802.11bgn (2.4GHz)|
|Smart assistants:||Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant|
|Smart platform:||VIDAA U 5.0|
Hisense A6G (50A6G) review: What you need to know
The Hisense A6G is a 4K HDR smart LED TV that comes in screen sizes ranging from 43in to 75in. Hisense appears to be choosing different panels for different screen sizes, with the 50-inch model reviewed here using a VA panel.
The A6G runs the latest version of the VIDAA U smart platform and supports HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG. There’s also a decent selection of content streaming apps, plus Freeview Play, ensuring a full complement of TV catch-up services.
Hisense A6G (50A6G) review: Price and competition
You can buy the 50in Hisense A6G for £399, which is great value and that affordability is reflected throughout the range. These prices are certainly enticing when compared to much of the competition.
If you’re looking for similarly priced alternatives, there are the Samsung AU9000 and the LG UP75, although to put the A6G’s competitive price tag into perspective, the 50in AU9000 retails for £599, and the 50in UP75 will set you back £479.
Hisense A6G (50A6G) review: Design, connections and control
The Hisense A6G sports an attractive design that wouldn’t look out of place on a higher-end model. There’s a thin 3.5mm bezel around the screen, and a 5mm black border around the image itself. Finished in black plastic, the build quality is surprisingly good.
The 50in model measures 64.6 x 7.4 x 111.7cm (WDH) without the feet and weighs in at 9.8kg. The feet themselves increase the depth to 22.5cm, with 8.5cm of clearance under the screen, and 100cm between the two feet. These are attached using two screws each and provide solid support. If you’d rather wall mount, there are 30 x 20cm VESA fixings at the rear.
The connections are all side-facing and located towards the centre of the back panel. As a result of this very sensible design choice, they measure 500mm from the edge of the screen, which means there’s no danger of cables poking out of the side when viewed from the front.
There are three HDMI 2.0 inputs with support for 4K at 60Hz, HDR, ALLM, HDCP 2.2, and CEC. One of the HDMI inputs also supports eARC. Contrary to what is stated in Hisense’s marketing, this TV doesn’t support HDMI 2.1, VRR or HDR10+.
In terms of other connections, there are terrestrial and satellite tuners, an AV input (adapter included), an optical digital output, an Ethernet port, two USB ports (2.0 and 3.0), a headphone socket, and a CI slot. However, the only wireless connection is 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
The remote is surprisingly elegant for a budget model, with a slim design and two-tone finish. The zapper is comfortable to hold, easy to use with one hand, and intuitively laid out. All the buttons are present and correct, including direct access to Netflix, YouTube, Rakuten TV, Prime Video and Freeview Play.
Hisense A6G (50A6G) review: Smart TV platform
The Hisense AG9 runs the VIDAA U smart platform (5.0), which remains a well-designed, intuitive and effective system. There’s a clean interface that presents content in an easy-to-understand fashion, with simple navigation. It also has a quad-core processor providing sufficient power to ensure a responsive user experience.
The apps appear along the centre of the home screen, and above this is content related to the app currently highlighted. Beneath the apps are rows of content based on recommendations, while at the top are icons for searches, inputs, settings, recordings, and the TV guide. There’s also extensive audio and video file support for anyone wanting to stream their own content.
The interaction is slick, customisable and easy to navigate thanks to the ergonomic remote control. There’s a good selection of streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Britbox and Rakuten TV. Additionally, there’s Freeview Play, which not only means you get all the UK TV catch-up services but ensures they are seamlessly integrated into the TV guide.
Hisense A6G (50A6G) review: Image quality
The Hisense A6G is a budget model, so the LCD panel is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. It has native 8-bit colour depth and uses Frame Rate Control (FRC) to simulate 10-bit colour depth. These panel limitations mean the set is unable to take full advantage of 4K HDR’s 10-bit colour depth and gamers in search of 4K resolution at 120Hz will need to look elsewhere.
On the plus side, the VA panel delivers a contrast ratio of 2,400:1, which is reasonable for an LCD display. There’s also a direct LED backlight, and while there’s no form of local dimming, the direct nature of the backlight produces decent screen uniformity. On the downside, the VA panel does have very limited optimal viewing angles, so you really need to be sat directly in front of the TV.
The TV ships in Standard mode for SDR, which like most out-of-the-box settings is woefully inaccurate compared to the industry standards. Thankfully the Cinema Night mode immediately addresses these inaccuracies, with an excellent greyscale performance and an average DeltaE colour variance score of 1.29 for all of the tracked colours, which means colours are reproduced pretty accurately. The gamma – the intensity of the transition from black to white – is also good, tracking around our target of 2.4.
As a result, the overall SDR picture performance is generally impressive, with images that appear well defined and colours that look natural. There’s some good upscaling and processing as well, allowing the A6G to get the best out of lower resolution content, retaining as much detail as possible and producing an artefact-free image.
The motion handling is also fairly good, aside from the inherent limitations of LCD as a display technology and the 60Hz refresh rate. There’s some blurring on fast motion like sport, and the TV lacks the necessary frame interpolation features to address this, but it handles 24p content without introducing judder, and movies retain a pleasing film-like quality.
Hisense A6G (50A6G) review: HDR performance
While the Hisense A6G is a solid performer with SDR, it’s more of a mixed bag when it comes to HDR. For a start, it’s very dim for an HDR TV, with a peak brightness of around 300cd/m² on both a 10% window and full-field in Dynamic mode. In the more accurate Cinema mode, this luminance drops to 250cd/m² on both a 10% and a full-field pattern.
The colour gamut coverage is also limited, and while the A6G is capable of covering 100% of the BT.709 gamut used for SDR, it struggles when it comes to the wider gamut used for HDR. In its most accurate picture mode, it’s only able to cover 79% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, and colour accuracy is poor with an average DeltaE of around 8, well above the visible threshold of 3.
While this isn’t surprising for a budget TV, it doesn’t necessarily mean the HDR performance will be bad – as long as the tone-mapping is good. When it comes to HDR10 content, the A6G mapped the colours quite well but was clearly clipping the highlights. This is fairly common with 4,000 and 10,000 nits content, but the A6G was also clipping images graded at 1,000 nits.
Hisense has included Dolby Vision support, and it’s with less capable displays like the A6G’s that the format’s dynamic metadata really shows its benefits. It allows HDR content to be mapped more precisely to the display’s capabilities, and watching exactly the same test material in Dolby Vision reveals HDR images free of any clipping and with saturated but natural-looking colours.
What this basically means is the more Dolby Vision content you can feed the A6G, the better the HDR will look. Thankfully Dolby Vision dominates the main video streaming services and is used by Netflix, Disney+ and Apple TV. It’s also fairly common on 4K Blu-ray, which means you shouldn’t find it hard to get the most out of the A6G when it comes to HDR.
To test the Hisense A6G we used Portrait Displays Calman colour calibration software.
Hisense (50A6G) LED review: Gaming
The Hisense A6G isn’t the greatest gaming TV in the world, but that’s hardly surprising at this price point. Since it uses a 60Hz panel the A6G obviously can’t support 4K at 120Hz, even if it had HDMI 2.1 inputs, and it also doesn’t support VRR (variable refresh rate). However, it does support ALLM (auto low latency mode), as long as you enable Content Type Auto Detection in the menus. The Game mode is definitely worth engaging, as it delivers an input lag of only 14ms.
The gaming performance is generally good, within the limitations of the A6G’s innate abilities. The low input lag certainly results in a responsive experience, and playing a first-person shooter like Call of Duty on the PS5 reveals detailed 4K images and smooth 60Hz motion. The limited colour gamut still looks suitably punchy, and only the mediocre tone-mapping disappoints, producing a tendency to clip highlights. On the plus side, there’s no risk of screen burn with the LCD panel.
Hisense A6G (50A6G) review: Sound quality
The Hisense A6G includes a pair of downward-firing speakers, each of which has 8W of built-in amplification. As you would expect from a modern TV, the slim chassis precludes the use of larger speakers, and the amplification is clearly limited. As a result, the audio performance is perfunctory at best, and the reality is that even a simple single-unit soundbar will deliver a higher quality sonic experience with content like TV shows, movies and games.
There are a number of sound modes in the settings menu, all of which are fairly self-explanatory, and the TV is certainly capable of handling less demanding content. However, the lack of any bass, and a tendency to sound brittle at higher volumes, makes it unsuitable for blockbuster soundtracks. The A6G does support DTS Virtual:X, which is designed to give audio greater dimensionality, but the effectiveness of this processing is minimal.
Hisense A6G LED review: Verdict
The Hisense A6G is a solid performer overall and is great value for money. It delivers impressively accurate performance while watching SDR content and the Dolby Vision images are precisely rendered despite the panel’s inherent weaknesses.
While the limited brightness and gamut coverage is to be expected at this price point, the poor HDR10 tone-mapping disappoints, marring an otherwise excellent picture performance for a budget TV.
In most other respects there’s little to complain about from this budget offering, although the sound quality is mediocre. The direct-lit VA panel delivers decent contrast and screen uniformity, despite the lack of local dimming, but its optimal viewing angles are narrow.
Design and build quality are good, the remote control classy, and the VIDAA smart platform simple but effective. If you’re looking for an affordable 4K TV, you can do a lot worse than the Hisense A6G.