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Hisense H7GB2 4K Ultra HD Smart TV Review (50H7GB2, 55H7B2, 65H7B2)

by on November 27, 2015
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Manufacture
Overview

As 4K ultra HD TVs become more affordable than ever, some second tier brands are becoming downright impressively affordable and 50H7GB2 50 inch 4K UHD smart TV made by Chinese manufacturer Hisense definitely falls into this latter category. This is a 4K model that costs the same as many HDTVs and is even more affordable than some of the lowest priced name brand 4K models from manufacturers like Samsung, Sony or Panasonic and Sharp .

However, with this low price there also comes a certain drop off in quality. The Hisense 50H7GB2 is certainly no Samsung SUHD TV and that’s not something anyone would realistically expect of it but even among lower-end 4K TVs from the major brands, better functionality, more vivid colors and especially sharper contrast are to be found than in this particular model. Thus, with your deep 4K UHD TV discount, the 50H7GB2 also offers you a few iffier aspects to ponder as you watch it.

That said, the 50H7GB2 is also no slouch by any means and it does have a reasonably robust range of features to offer for those who want a very budget-friendly 4K TV and aren’t absolutely picky about having name-brand quality built into its smart TV platform and display specs.

The Good

As we’d said, while there are definitely things to dislike about the 50H7GB2, there’s also plenty that we think works nicely in this particular 4K TV. First of all, for this price you’re getting some unbeatably (for now) large screen real estate. The 50H7GB2 retails for well below $600 and at that price, good luck finding a Samsung, Sony, Panasonic or LG 4K UHD TV that also offers a solid 50 inch screen size. Thus at a most basic level, the 50H7GB2 delivers the positive feature of being pretty much the largest 4K UHD TV you’re likely to find new at such a low price.

Furthermore, we also like the overall color quality of the 50H7GB2. This is certainly not an accurate color reproducer as any of Samsung’s SUHD TVs or even their lower end JU model 4K sets and it also lags well behind Sony’s 2015 4K sets such as the highly affordable XBRX810C in terms of color quality, but it does generally produce some fairly accurate colors which look particularly decent when viewed in a darker room, where the TV’s poor contrast isn’t quite as noticeable. A bit of manual calibration in the 50H7GB2 also goes a long way to improving color performance further still.

Next up, the connectivity on the 50H7GB2 is perfectly fine. You won’t get HDR support or enhanced color compatibility through this TV’s HDMI ports but then many name brand 4K TVs also still lack these features and in terms of connectivity specs. Basically, the 50H7GB2 from Hisense offers the same level of essential 4K-compatible connectivity as any name brand 4K TV, with several HDMI 2.0 ports, a solid number of USB ports and the usual audio, Ethernet and WiFi components to boot.

Finally, apps access on the smart TV platform in the 50H7GB2 is robust. This TV hasn’t been excluded from access to 4K UHD video content from apps like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Instant Video. All of those are available as long as your home internet connection can handle their ultra HD video streams and the 50H7GB2 is also even a “Netflix Recommended” 4K TV meaning that it complies with the essentials of making Netflix highly accessible and usable through its OS platform.


Check the Price of the Hisense H7GB2 4K Smart LED TV (2015 Model) on Amazon

2.8 - 60 Reviews

The bad

First off the bat, we’ll mention what we think of as the 50H7GB2’s single weakest characteristic: This TV offers some pretty poor contrast performance. Blacks look rather closer to grey tones under many conditions and the native contrast of the TV is less than superb. Furthermore, black uniformity across the screen isn’t exactly what we’d call perfect, with a number of lighter patches across the sides and bottom. On the other hand, we’ve seen much worse contrast performance from some of LG’s 2015 budget 4K TVs and these belong to the same people who built the virtually perfect OLED 4K lines of TVs. This doesn’t diminish the disappointment that the 50H7GB2’s contrast might give you when watching a movie on its screen but it does at least go to show that brand quality alone isn’t to blame for this particular failing of this TV.

Additionally, the 50H7GB2 is an overall poor performer at delivering both native 4K UHD content and upscaled HD content with the kind of vibrancy you’ll find in most of the lower cost 2015 4K TV models from Sony, Panasonic and Samsung in particular. All of these brands charge a hefty bit more for their own 50 inch UHD models but the 50H7GB2 definitely lags behind them in a side by side comparison of color vibrancy, contrast and general visual performance.

For example, while the 50H7GB2 does a decent enough job of upscaling Blu-ray HD content (something that should be a minimum requisite of any 4K TV worth its salt) with some good realism to the primary colors and more or less decent accuracy for color blends, action sequences are where problems emerge. Blu-ray action movies can create trailing effects and even slight artifacts on the upscaled screen picture. This applies fairly lightly to Blu-ray HD upscaled ideo, less so to native 4K video and to a rather unacceptable degree with normal HD video on the 50H7GB2’s screen. It’s definitely something we’re not happy about.

Finally, the smart TV interface of the 50H7GB2 is not nearly as smooth and user-friendly as OS platforms like the Android TV system of Sony’s 2015 4K TV such as the X850C or Samsung’s latest 4K UHD models of any kind. In the 50H7GB2, the smart interface offers an Opera browser for web surfing, and delivers some of the more popular media apps you might like, but overall navigation isn’t as robust as what we’d like and some key apps like Spotify and Hulu are simply missing ans unavailable as far as we can tell.

Final Thoughts

Our bottom line opinion of the 50H7GB2 from Hisense is that it just barely makes the grade into being a worthwhile purchase as an extreme budget 4K TV. We’d much rather recommend that you simply budget a few hundred dollars more and go for a far superior 4K TV like the Sony XBR55X810C, which is not only slightly larger but also far better across the board. The 50H7GB2 is barely worth more than a higher end HD TV from a major brand and as a 4K TV, it’s at the lower end of what we’ve seen so far.

Specs

Screen size: 50 inch 50H7GB2, 55 inch - 55H7B2, 65 inch - 65H7B2
Smart TV: Yes
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate
Screen Lighting: Edge-lit LED backlighting
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
Remotes: Basic button remote with buttons for direct access to Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, and YouTube
Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 2 USB ports
Sound: 20W 2ch full range speakers
Native Contrast Ratio: 3055:1
TV weight with stand: 53.1 lbs
Dimensions (HxWxD): 25.6 x 44.3 x 3.2 inches
Processor: quad-core

Highlights

The Hisense 50H7GB2 is not a 4K UHD TV that’s particularly rich in highlights. This is of course understandable since we’re talking about a very bare-bones basic 4K UHD TV here by any conventional measure. Thus, it lacks a smart remote, voice and hand gesture control features, HDR support, enhanced color and even 3D TV support.

However, it does have a couple unique things going for it. First among these is the neat and rather useful inclusion of several buttons for direct access to core media apps on the smart TV interface. These buttons are there for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, and YouTube and basically cover all of your primary sources of streamed online 4K and Full HD content, putting it all within single click reach. We liked this, even if the remote itself isn’t full of smart features like many we’ve seen for higher-end name brand 4K TVs.

Additionally, we also liked the sound system of the 50H7GB2. It’s not the rich, sharply detailed and robust sound system you’d expect from and get in some of the better 4K UHD TVs on sale right now but the built in speakers nonetheless offer a remarkably robust sound experience for this TV’s price range and the dbx-tv’s Total Technology built into the TV’s integrated and highly unobtrusive speakers delivers a lot more punch than we expected to hear. This is one point that definitely works in the 50H7GB2’s favor.

Visual Specs

In terms of visual performance, the 50H7GB2 sits above the level of “mediocre” and comfortably holds a place in “acceptable” while still being more than throwing distance away from grabbing onto the border of “surprisingly good for its price”. Basically, this TV isn’t surprisingly good for its price. In fact, it delivers a picture quality that’s almost exactly what you’d expect for the dollars you spend on it and as such it simply doesn’t deliver even the kind of quality that budget 4K TVs from most name brands can manage.

Colors perform reasonably well with good accuracy for simpler primary colors and tolerable accuracy for more complex color schemes. In other words, while you might notice that the TV’s color rendering is a bit off, it likely won’t bother you to the point of being annoying unless you’re used to watching your shows and movies on some really top-shelf 4K UHD TVs. Furthermore, with a bit of calibration in Theater mode with Color Temperature set to “Warm”, the TV works better than it might right out of the box.

On the other hand, contrast and motion blur are problematic, with the motion blur kicking in notably when upscaled HD content gets viewed on the 50H7GB2. The contrast, for starters, is simply poor in this 4K TV. We’ve seen worse in LG models like the LG UF6400 budget 4K UHD TV (which also cost a bit more than the 50H7GB2) but the Hisense here doesn’t do that well either. Blacks look somewhat washed out and contrast doesn’t render with the best levels of precision. In fact, the TV’s overall native contrast level of 3050:1 or so is not terrible but it’s not good either, at least for a 50 inch 4K TV.

As for the motion blur during video watching, it’s particularly notable when you’re looking at fast-paced action that has been upscaled from Full HD and Blu-ray. In this regard, the 50H7GB2 is definitely not comparable with something like Sony’s XBRX810C and other lower priced 2015 4K models, which have excellent motion control technology.

Connectivity

Connectivity-wise, the 50H7GB2 from Hisense and its bigger brothers the 50H7GB2, 55H7B2 and 65H7B2 all offer the same sort of essential connectivity you’d find in most name brand 4K UHD TVs. In fact, with the exception of a lack of the HDR content support that we’ve seen in the flagship 4K models from Sony, LG, Samsung and other major brands, the connectivity in the 50H7GB2, 55H7B2 and 65H7B2 is pretty much as good as that of any major top-shelf 4K TV. There are four HMDI 2.0 ports with full support for HEVC, VP9 and HDCP 2.2 content copy prortection and alongside these ports, you’ll get 2 USB ports (one a USB 2.0 port and the other a USB 3.0 version) arrayed with the usual plethora of a 3.5mm headphone jack, an antenna/cable slot and optical audio output next to component and composite video ports.

The TV also comes with WiFi and Ethernet connectivity and of course its Opera-based smart TV platform does also offer full web browsing, along with access to a couple dozen different media apps. The Home menu on the smart TV system is split simply into four panels: “Live TV”, “VOD”, “Media” and “Apps”. It’s the VOD panel which presents you with apps for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Vudu, Dailymotion and several other streaming media/content download apps.

Pricing

The Hisense 50H7GB2 50-Inch 4K Smart LED TV (2015 Model) currently retails on Amazon.com for a very low price of $548.00. Its 55 inch brother the 55H7B2 sells for $799.99 and the 65 inch 65H7B2 is retailing for $1,399.00

Check the Price of the Hisense H7GB2 4K Smart LED TV (2015 Model) on Amazon

2.8 - 60 Reviews


Not so Great

In basic terms, the 50H7GB2 and its two larger brothers are not particularly great 4K UHD TVs. If you want something on an extreme budget and still want 4K UHD to play with, they might make a good choice but if you’re looking for any sort of serious 4K UHD home entertainment system, go for even the most inexpensive 2015 4K TV models from brands like Sony and Samsung, or even Sharp. They all offer better color, contrast and smart TV functionality.

Positives

• Very affordable
• Great connectivity
• Nice physical design
• Surprisingly good sound

Negatives

• Very weak contrast
• Color can be a bit off
• Not the best smart TV platform

Editor Rating
 
Features
B

 
Quality
B

 
User Friendliness
A-

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B+

Total Score
B

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User Rating
 
Features
C+

 
Quality
B-

 
User Friendliness
B-

 
Connectivity
B-

 
Price
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55 ratings
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Bottom Line
 

On the whole, we recommend the Hisense H7GB2 only to users who want a rock bottom price for a basic 4K TV that they need in a hurry. For any serious home entertainment system with ultra HD, go for one of Samsung’s JU7500 4K TVs or Sony’s lower end 4K UHD sets like the X850C or the even more affordable but great X810C.

Check the Price of the Hisense H7GB2 4K Smart LED TV (2015 Model) on Amazon

2.8 - 60 Reviews

 
15 comments
 
Leave a reply »

 
  • James
    November 29, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I purchased the 55″ version this past weekend at WalMart for a Black Friday deal of $448. My family loves the quality of the picture and even as we speak, we are viewing our BD videos with a new eye. I have seen a couple of instances of motion blur in movies but I am older and am more than willing to put up with it. (Reference videos are Pirates of the Caribbean series, Jurassic World, Big Hero 6) We do not have Satellite or Cable and rely on over the air digital broadcasts / Netflix, Hulu. TV looks amazing (especially the classic TV series like Bonanza, Emergency and Hogan’s Heroes) even without the Satellite / Cable interconnections.

    Having come from a Westinghouse 32″ 720p tv set, we feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to have this opportunity with the TV. End point of the discussion is this: I would rather have a little lower quality TV and more presents for the family than a bank breaking tv, something I feel certain that 90% of the American population would tend to agree with.

    I would highly recommend this TV set.

    Reply

    • Medina
      November 29, 2015 at 9:54 pm

      I looked all over the place to find the exact tv at that exact price, but it was sold out every where. It’s now $200 more. Congratulations and I’m jealous…

      Reply

    • Ermanno
      May 24, 2016 at 11:05 am

      can u see any of the 4k via sat ?

      mine says no video ( hence black screen) and i hear audio

      Reply

  • Tom Conolly
    November 29, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I bought 2 55″ 4K TV’s at Walmart for Black Friday 1 on line for 449.99 Sceptre and the other Hisense for $448.00 in the store. I got the Sceptre before Thanksgiving and had it repacked and ready to be returned within 1 hour, the picture was not as good as my 50″ Hitachi 1080P 11months old on cable or 1080P video streaming box. It was also defective. It had 2 black stripes on the left side from top to bottom and one green stripe. They blocked the picture but I don’t think they made it any worse. I did not like the advertised 120 on the box only to learn it really has a 60Hz refresh rate. I see many companies playing this game by calling it a motion rate or something short of refresh rate. Of coarse the salesman says it is a refresh rate. When I called tech support they told me almost all the companies fool the customers like they did me. He said the TV would cost at least $1,000.00 if it had a “NATIVE” refresh rate (real) of 120. I found the Hisense 55″ has a 120Hz “NATIVE” refresh rate and an ultra smooth motion rate of 480. It also came with an unheard of 4 years parts and labor warranty. I figured I would be boxing that one up also but for that price I had to test it with my own eyes. WOW was I surprised and pleased actually shocked. I love it and would compare the quality to a Samsung for half the price. I tested it the same way and also opened a Netflix account just to see some live 4K movies. I am going to keep Netflix also. I never thought that would happen but for $12.00 month I can run 4 TV’s on one account. I read this article before buying the TV so I had very low expectations. I can only assume you tested last years model and they must have made major changes this year. Mine was built in August of 2015. I spent hours looking at TV’s at Costco and Sam’s Club and Walmart before buying anything. At the stores I thought Samsung had the best picture. I was happy with my 1080P but curious about the 4K and the upscaling. I found the 1080P streaming box looks much better on this TV so I don’t know how they did it but they did a great job on that. The ONLY concern I have is with the different conflicting articles on HDCP 2.2 compared to HDMI 2.0 and 1.4. My TV has 2 HDMI 1.4 and 2 HDMI 2.0. That scares me because this article said most TV’s built in 2013 and the beginning of 2014 were built this way and by now most are being built with HDCP 2.2. This was just built and still uses 2.0 so my question is> Will Netflix and or Amazon selling 4K now soon make my tv go Black on those channels because I don’t have the newer HDCP 2.2? I sure hope not. If so I don’t know why this far into 2015 are they still building them that way. I am going to gamble and keep it because the 1080P looks so much better but will be very unhappy if I lose my 4K movies just because some hackers broke the code on HDMI 2.0. I am sure they will break HDCP 2.2 in time as well. I spent an hour and a half with Samsung on the phone with tech support supervisor trying to find out if they are using HDCP 2.2 on a TV I was looking at and never got the answer. All they would say is that the TV is 4K compliant. For such a big company to be afraid to tell me the truth I felt they were hiding something. They also had a big 120 on their box leading me to believe that it was a 120 “NATIVE” refresh rate when in the specs I found it is really a 60Hz refresh rate. I HATE false advertising and feel this falls into that category. I like to look at specs before I buy something expensive like a 4K TV. Can you tell me if I bought an obsolete TV that in the near future won’t be able to buy 4K programming on? If so I am paying a lot of money because of piracy and nobody is talking about it. I asked everyone that was selling TV’s this black Friday and either they did not know or were trained not to answer that question. I think thousands if not millions would want to know the answer to that question. Can you answer it?
    Thanks, Tom

    Reply

  • Tom Conolly
    December 1, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    CAUTION:
    I found out the TRUTH today after a lot of reading on the internet and phone calls to many TV manufacturers. I am more than happy with the 4K picture on the Hisense model 55H7B that I waited in line for Thanksgiving day for $448.00 on Netflix. I also think the upscaling makes my 1080P movies look better on my TV video streaming box in my eyes. I opened an account with Netflix just to test the quality of the 4K movies that they rent out for $12.00 per month. I then went to Amazon Prime to test their 4K movies but am unable to bring up any 4K movies to view. It only offers me 1080P movies and shows. They both offer a 30 day free trial period to see if you like their services and prices. I am very disappointed after reading here that this problem could happen to 2013 models and early 2014 models. Mine was built in August of 2015 and they are still using the old technology HDMI 2.0 and HDMI 1.4. Hisense assured me before I bought the TV that the problem has been resolved a long time ago and any models sold now will play all formats of 4K. I have an incident number for that recorded phone call to a tech support supervisor. “Buyer beware” even if you do your research first and call to verify everything you may still be buying a 2015.5 4K model that won’t play 4K Amazon Prime movies the day you take it out of the box. I am very disappointed and live on a low fixed income and don’t know how long it will be before I can afford to buy a replacement to do what they said this would do. Netflix was unable to tell me when they will switch over to the newer HDCP 2.2 models. I think a lot of people are going to be very upset to find out their new high tech expensive big screen TV is already obsolete and unable to view the 4K movies and content they bought that TV for. I wonder if any attorneys are thinking of a class action law suit for this type of misrepresentation and false advertising. If they are they can contact me at [email protected].
    Big regrets,
    Tom Conolly

    Reply

    • James
      December 2, 2015 at 5:21 am

      No problem with UHD content on my unit at all. Goes to Netflix and Youtube and pulls all available UHD signals out of my limited radio based internet connection. (LOTS of buffering so it really is impractical to even begin to consider 4K movies out here in the country) Even with the units built in 802.11/ac wifi connection of 825Mbps to my router. (I keep forgetting it is not on the wimpy 802.11/b/g/n network but on the ac network! 🙂 )

      I have the Sony UHD Blu-Ray unit that takes my BD movies and moves them up into the UHD world. When I switch to HDMI 1 it will show whether or not the movie is coming in at 3840*2160 or 1920*1080. So far so good since it is doing exactly what I wanted it to do.

      I am delighted that this unit hits the proper notes on price / performance mix. I mean come on… $448 for a good 55″ TV no matter the 1080p or UHD is still quite a bargain in these troubling economic times.

      Too Blessed to Stress
      James

      Reply

    • Peter
      January 7, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Tom, the HDCP 2.2 relates to the HDMI INPUT, it does NOT affect the apps installed on the TV. Those apps are already on the TV and do NOT go through your HDMI inputs so the HDMI versions are not relevant when it comes to your installed apps. Hope that helps. From what I understand, there currently aren’t many 4K playback devices right now. There are some, but there also isn’t very much 4K content right now either. I have this same TV and I love to download 4K videos off of Youtube to my PC, and after enabling media streaming in windows, I can play back the 4K videos on my TV just fine via it’s built in DLNA media client!! WORKS GREAT!!!!

      Reply

    • Peter
      January 7, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Tom, the HDCP 2.2 relates to the HDMI INPUT, it does NOT affect the apps installed on the TV. Those apps are already on the TV and do NOT go through your HDMI inputs so the HDMI versions are not relevant when it comes to your installed apps. Hope that helps. From what I understand, there currently aren’t many 4K playback devices right now. There are some, but there also isn’t very much 4K content right now either. I have this same TV and I love to download 4K videos off of Youtube to my PC, and after enabling media streaming in windows, I can play back the 4K videos on my TV just fine via it’s built in DLNA media client!! WORKS GREAT!!!!

      Reply

  • mcl
    January 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    The Amazon links in the review are broken and misleading. For one they link to LG tv while additionally they suggest this tv at Amazon only gains 2.8 stars.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 5, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Hello mcl and thank you for pointing this out. We’re looking into the link issue as quickly as possible. If you note something similar to any other reviews you might read, feel free to mention it in their comment sections. Thanks again.

      Also, as our own review noted in a number of places, the Hisense H7GB2 is not a particularly great 4K TV when compared to many other models from some of the major brands. It’s more of a bare-bones model for simple uses in which you just need a basic 4K display without any higher quality specs and features.

      Reply

  • Flo
    January 15, 2016 at 4:13 am

    Hi, just an FYI, while the 50″ is backlit, Hisense advertises the 55″ and 65″ as FullArray Backlit. I red many reviews,where the 500″ seems not to be as good as the 55″ and 65″ version. Maybe a test of the 65″ is on order, especially since it no $999 ON AMAZON.

    I am just confused, that Hisense does’t list their 65″ on the website.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      January 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

      Hello Flo and thanks for pointing this out. We’re working on reviews of these TVs in the next week or so and will definitely look into these details carefully.

      Reply

  • Larry Cash
    April 22, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I bought a 50″ 4k Hisense about 6 month ago from Walmart , Picture is Fantastic, but Lately when I turn It on The sound is gone and the remote will not work , I have unplug it, to turn it off And sometimes it takes a couple tries to get it to work, But most of the time works fine I cannot seem to get any info .from anyone ,the only thing in the manuel say the remote is not working ” BS” I would Like a Little help from someone

    Reply

  • none of your
    July 26, 2016 at 4:10 am

    This review is shit! for the “Good” part of the review he leaves out so much. this TV is noooow $450 at newegg and amazon.

    Reply

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