Credit must be given to Hisense: in recent years the brand has managed to democratize the entry price in the world of OLED TVs, introducing products that are not only able to guarantee good image quality and a rather fast management software. system, but also a good quality sound system.
And thanks to compatibility with Dolby Vision IQ, HDR 10+ and IMAX Enanched, as well as HDMI 2.1 inputs with support for VRR and video in 4K at 120 Hz, the new Hisense A85H (here the official site with all online and local retailers) could have all the credentials to play with the various alternatives of the usual LG, Sony and Philips.
We received the 55 "model on trial (but it is also available in a 65" version) and we put it to the test for about a couple of weeks: let's see how it goes.
Hisense A85H Review: 120Hz OLED TV with HDMI 2.1
Design and materials
As well as practically all the models presented by the brand over the last few years, also the Hisense A85H arrives in the market with a decidedly distinguishable design compared to all the other alternatives in the market. Also in this case the front is totally dedicated to the panel, but the structure with which this OLED TV was designed makes it seem that the screen (whose conics are really very thin) is set in a very thin and wide structure exactly as the panel. Which makes the design of this model very balanced and more elegant than LG or Philips solutions sold in the same price range.
The work of optimizing the lower structure is good, which in this model becomes a very thin bar that runs along the entire length of the panel and which is made with a beautiful metallic finish in which the right area is clearer and integrates the brand logo.
And if you remember the pedestal we criticized in the 9 "A55G (here the review), I was very happy to see that the Hisense A85H is very different: the structure is not that particular, but in this case the peculiarity is that it allows the rotation of the screen up to 25 degrees to the left or to the right.
As in all OLED TVs, the panel itself is very thin but, again in the rear area, a cabinet has been inserted that integrates all the electronics, the power supply and the compartment dedicated to all the inputs of the TV which can be " hidden "thanks to a cap that follows the design and lines of the TV: this whole area is rather thick, but this bulk can be justified by the fact that it is precisely here that the brand has also decided to integrate the audio system that integrates 4 + 2 x 10 watt speakers which all appear to be facing down and are Dolby Atmos compatible.
Video inputs and formats
From the point of view of connectivity, the Hisense A85H it does not differ much from the standards that we find in all TVs animated by a Mediatek SoC. In the back of the device, on the left, four HDMI inputs have been positioned, of which only two support the HDMI 2.1 standard with VRR, ALLM, AMD FreeSync and 4K at 120 Hz. One of these two inputs is compatible with eARC, for connecting a compatible soundbar such as the Sonos ARC (here the review).
What is rather unfortunate is the positioning of the CAM module for the insertion of smart cards relating to encrypted channels, which is too close to the HDMI inputs to the point that if a thicker cable is used, it will be difficult to connect with the inserted module.
Then there are two USB ports, one of which 3.0, the ethernet port, the S / PDIF audio output, the headphone output and a mini-jack input for analog inputs. Good connectivity to WiFi networks though: Hisense A85H not only does it support WiFi 6, but it is one of the few models to integrate the PVR function.
Video quality, brightness and image calibration
From our tests, we found that the OLED panel used in the Hisense A85H it is able to reach a peak brightness of about 800 cd / m10, which on a 750% window stands at around XNUMX cd / mXNUMX, thus remaining in the average of the market technology but distinguishing itself from the other OLED proposals of the same range of price.
And it also stands out for its factory calibration, with which the brand has been trying for some time to guarantee the most accurate experience possible right from the first start-up: especially in the Filmaker mode the Hisense A85H it proved to be quite good, with average values of error below the critical threshold and correctly deterring all image enhancement filters.
The blacks are only really blacks, the colors are saturated and bright and the contrast ratio is important even if, looking at the images more carefully, you can see some banding effects which are clearly due to the dithering in the lateral panning, together with a slight effect of ghosting.
And yes, these are small problems that other brands have tried to solve over time (not always successfully), which highlight perhaps the only point in which Hisense has still lagged a little bit behind: the d processor. image, which still needs some improvement.
In any case, passing beyond these details that are more technical than really tangible to most consumers, it must be said that the Hisense A85H it is one of the models with the best 4K upscaler in this price range, and which integrates a good "de-blurring" filter with which it is able to optimally optimize the movement in the images.
In addition to the standard, dynamic, sports, day cinema and night cinema modes, the Hisense A85H it is also equipped with an automatic preset which, thanks to the artificial intelligence that analyzes the type of content reproduced, should adapt the image calibration in a completely autonomous way.
And I'll tell you right away: I'm not a fan of all these features that take advantage of AI, and the automatic mode of this TV has continued to value this belief of mine. Let me be clear, artificial intelligence in the Hisense A85H it's fast (as well as the whole system that manages the TV), but I'm one of those people who prefers to manually calibrate their TVs, leaving poco space for various filters or automatic calibration systems.
But if, from the point of view of accuracy, the best image profile seemed to us to be Cinema Notturno (in which the white balance is very accurate, as well as the various color tones and DeltaE), it must be said that anyone does not you want to lose your head with image calibration and simply want to buy a TV and start using it immediately, you could count on a good Dynamic mode, with which the TV is certainly not very accurate in calibration, but which is able to guarantee a brilliant image and very pleasant to see.
As in all the company's products, also in the Hisense A85H the gamma balance and the white balance can be changed on 20 levels of the gray scale which, however, I noticed are not then who knows how precise compared to the signal: in a nutshell, to find the right balance for your needs, all the manual calibration mechanism is rather "boring", precisely because you have to find for each parameter the level on which to position the gray scale.
The behavior in the reproduction of HDR + and Dolby Vision contents is a bit strange: in the first case I noticed a tendency to close the shadow areas of the image excessively while, in the second, the perfect opposite happens and tends to open them too much.
My advice, however, is to disable all active filters by default, such as digital noise reduction, reduction of compression artifacts and Ultra Smooth Motion, which make images too unnatural. Instead, what is worth leaving active is the parameter found in the “OLED Light” menu, with which you can expand the dynamic range of SDR images by increasing the peak brightness and which really makes the images brighter.
This model also supports the Dolby Vision IQ system which, using the ambient light sensor, adjusts the contrast of the images in order to adapt to the ambient light and which, again, I personally preferred to deactivate although it can be adjusted using a special menu parameter.
The audio system is also very interesting even if a more clinical ear would tend to feel the lack of the presence of low frequencies. All in all, however, the speakers integrated into the Hisense A85H they are able to guarantee a rather balanced rendering, also thanks to the default processing that uses the DTS Virtual: X with which the dialogues are always clean and the (annoying) mid frequencies are reduced.
The best, however, is when you activate the Dolby Atmos mode with which, regardless of the coding system used for the audio, the entire audio rendering becomes much fuller and with a greater spatial effect.
In conclusion, the Hisense A85H is one of the models in this price range that manages to better manage Dolby Atmos: my advice is to always activate this preset and avoid the default one which is less effective not only in terms of spatiality, but also in relation to the balance of the sound that, for some, might seem too "flat".
What is missing, however, is the presence of an integrated sub-woofer. In the A9G, for example, the brand had the brilliant idea of integrating one in the back of the panel, obtaining decent results that, in this model, despite the 4 + 2 10w systeam is difficult to achieve.
Great news from a software point of view. Hisense A85H arrives on the market with the new version of its proprietary platform, VIIDA which reaches 6.0. In essence, the main innovations are not so much in the graphical interface or in the speed, when in the availability of some of the fundamental applications for a smart TV that were not available until the previous generation of the graphical interface.
It is a very simple, light graphical interface that never suffers from various slowdowns and lag. From a graphic point of view it is very similar to the home that we can find in the latest versions of WebOS, but net of the hundreds of annoying advertisements that we find in LG TVs. There are Netflix, Prime Video, Dazn, Mediaset Infinity, Rakuten, Rai Play and many others, and in this new version Disney + and Apple TV + have also been integrated among the supported services.
In short, VIDAA becomes richer and richer and in this new version it also allows you to carry out the first installation process via the smartphone application. It also integrates Google Assistant and Alexa and as in the previous generation all audio and video settings are managed by a very intuitive and responsive on-screen menu.
All the voice assistants, as well as most of the video streaming platforms, can be activated with quick keys positioned on the remote control which, among other things, connects to the TV via Bluetooth and integrates a microphone with which it is possible to interact with the voice.
From an aesthetic point of view, probably the remote control of the Hisense A85H it is not among the most refined on the market, and not even the feeling you get when you hold it is particularly pleasant. The plastics are very light and the keys are perhaps too numerous: in addition to the numeric keypad, all the directional management keys and the keys related to the thousand menus (and submenus) integrated in VIDAA 5.0, many have been integrated into the TV remote control (too many) quick launch keys of different video streaming platforms.
In addition to Netflix and Prime Video, in the remote Hisense A85H a button has even been integrated to quickly start Rai Play and one relating to TIM TV. In short, it is true, they are comfortable, but we could also have done without them especially because the TV can also be managed very well with the voice, including starting applications.
In short, as in all the models produced by the brand, too many buttons on a remote control could be a double-edged sword, making the use of the same poco intuitive, with the need to first take a quick look at the entire keypad, and then find the key needed to use the function you want.
Selling price and considerations
The sale price of the Hisense A85H is € 899,00 from Euronics. And it is a price that, provided for future promotions that will certainly also arrive for black friday, puts this model in competition with some milestones of the market. It makes me think of the B2 from LG, which costs around 150 euros more but which has more refined electronics.
The point in favor of Hisense TVs is that the street price immediately tends to settle at lower figures of about 200 euros compared to the launch price, as we have seen with the previous generation of this series. At that point, theHisense A85H it could be the right choice for those people who want to start trying an OLED TV, spending an adequate amount.
But one thing must be said: Hisense is one of those very few brands in the world of TV that in recent years has decided to invest and innovate. And the results are starting to show very clearly.
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