Years in the making, the latestwill finally go on sale later this year. Called dual-cell LCD and only available from Hisense, it promises better image quality than any LCD-based TV yet. And like most new TV technologies it won't come cheap, appearing only in a 75-inch size and shipping this summer for a cool $3,500.
Hisense first demonstrated its intriguing dual-cell tech in 2019. The TVinside a single cabinet, making possible improved black levels and contrast, the most important ingredients in TV image quality. The best picture is currently available on TVs, which , so I'm eager to see how dual-cell tech stacks up for a similar price.
Hisense also introduced another high-end 75-inch model, a Roku-powered TV withfor a few hundred less that's also shipping this summer. Notably, it's beating rival TCL to the 8K punch -- TCL announced an at CES in January but has yet to provide pricing and availability.
China-based Hisense is the, trailing Samsung, TCL, Vizio and LG. We haven't reviewed any of its TVs recently but on paper they provide solid features at competitive prices, and they're often featured in Black Friday sales. With these two more-expensive TVs the company is making a move toward the higher-end, although it remains to be seen how many consumers in this price range will want a Hisense.
Here's a look at the upper end of the lineup.
Hisense 2021 TV lineup highlights
|Series||Size||Price||Resolution||Smart TV||Light output (nits)|
|U9DG (Dual-cell)||75-inch||$3,500||4K||Android TV||1,000|
All of the TVs above featureand to go with prodigious light output -- a combo that wrings the in my experience. (Unlike rivals, Hisense isn't touting , however). The U9DG claims "over 2 million dimming zones," far outpacing comparable local-dimming TVs, because each pixel of one LCD module basically acts as an individual zone. That module handles the luminance information (black and white only), while the second handles color. The 8K U8000GR has 180 dimming zones.
Beyond the high-end U9DG and U8000GR models, the rest of Hisense's TVs are much more affordable. I'm most intrigued by the price-to-picture possibilities of the U8G (shipping in May), which can get brighter than any of the others at 1,500, and the U7G (shipping this summer). Aside from light output and number of dimming zones (up to 360 and 180, respectively) the two are very similar on paper, with gaming extras like , as well as the and . Those specs put the TVs at a level similar to the , and .
One item missing from the spec sheet is Google TV, the latest version of the search giant's smart TV platform that is found on TVs from rivals includingand . Instead they run the older Android TV. When I asked whether its new TVs would be upgraded to Google TV, Hisense's rep told me, "The 2021 lineup will continue using the Android TV operating system." I don't expect an upgrade anytime soon.