Review: Hisense 65″ U68KM Mini-LED 4K ULED Series Quantum Dot Google TV (Model 65U68KM)

Hisense has been making a big push into the Canadian TV market as of late by coming to the table with a mix of top shelf features at a price point that is less than their big name competition. And based on my experience with the 65″ U68KM Mini-LED 4K ULED Series Quantum Dot Google TV that was supplied to me by Hisense to review, they have hit that mark. Let’s have a look at the TV:

The TV that I got was a 65″ model which does 4K HDR. More on that later. Right out of the gate, I noted that reflections are well handled on this matte display.

Another thing that I noted was that the bezels are pretty thin. Even the bottom bezel isn’t that thick. I note that because I have seen TV’s where that bottom bezel is pretty thick which makes it less visually appealing to me.

There’s a ton of ports on this TV. Here’s the list of ports that are in this picture:

  • 2 x USB-A
  • Three HDMI 2.0 ports including an eARC port
  • A mini composite video input jack
  • A headphone jack
  • An antenna/cable connection

Hisense didn’t stop there, they also added a Ethernet port, a fourth HDMI 2.0 port and a digital audio out port. In short, you’ve got a ton of connectivity options here. The only thing that someone might complain about is the fact that the HDMI ports are HDMI 2.0. Which means that hardcore gamers can’t get the fast frame rate fix (meaning above 60 Hz) at 4K resolution. My answer to that is that Hisense offers the U78KM Series and U88KM Series which do 4K at 144 Hz which means that if that is important to you, that’s the direction that you should go in. Besides Ethernet, this TV has 802.11ac WiFi along with Bluetooth for audio. I should note that even though this is a TV that uses the Google TV operating system, it supports AirPlay, HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa. Thus whatever smart home standard that you have, you’re covered.

I’m showing you the underside of the TV because I wanted to illustrate that Hisense thought through the mount points for the feet of the TV which are included in the box should you need them. You have two places to mount them so that you have the freedom of how it should be physically set up. That gets two thumbs up from me.

Now while setting up the TV to test it, I did note this:

The TV gave me the choice of setting it up as a TV using the Google TV operating system, or as a basic TV. I want to highlight this because If I am someone who doesn’t want to use Google TV for whatever reason, I have that choice. And choice is important in my world.

The setup process, which involved downloading the Google Home app to my iPhone, was pretty straightforward and a couple of reboots later due to software updates, I was up and running. I did have some issues getting it onto my WiFi network, but my WiFi network is set up for security first and to play nice with devices second, so that is likely what I was seeing. That’s when I noticed immediately the picture quality. Specifically how dark the blacks were. To my eye, they were approaching OLED levels of black even though this is a mini-LED TV. That made me want to really put this TV though its paces to see what it was capable of. Before I describe what I did in that regard, let me get techy nerdy about the TV.

This is a TV that does 4K HDR with 192 full array local dimming zones that generate up to 600 nits of brightness. In terms of HDR, it supports the following:

  • Dolby Vision
  • HDR10
  • HDR1O+
  • HLG 

It means that any HDR content that you have is playable on this TV and will display as it was intended by whomever created said content. To illustrate this, I pulled out my BluRay copy of The Dark Knight and flipped to the the rooftop scene with Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and Harvey Dent. Visually, this is a very dark scene that is best suited for TVs that do a great job or reproducing HDR content. The net result was that I was able to pick up details that I have never seen before on any other HDR TV that I have owned. I went a bit further by going to the Hong Kong kidnap scene which not only confirmed what I saw in the rooftop scene, but highlighted the fact that motion smoothness and clarity were truly next level in terms of quality as the Hong Kong kidnap scene has a lot of fast paced action in it and I didn’t notice any motion related issues. This was something that I further confirmed by watching a Formula 1 race where I saw no motion blur to speak of. Brightness always seemed to be at the right level for me relative to the content on the screen, and the colour contrast was mind blowing good. Viewing angles are another area where this TV excels at as I was able to see a quality picture from the extreme left or right side of the TV.

I really wanted to go down the rabbit hole on picture quality, thus I threw a couple of tests at this TV. I started with a blooming test to see if this TV had any blooming or halo effect issues, which is defined as follows:

Blooming, also known as the halo effect, is a display artifact that occurs when light from isolated bright objects on a screen bleeds into darker areas surrounding it. This creates a sort of a halo around the object, hence the name “halo effect.”

As far as I am concerned, this TV handles blooming extremely well as the blooming that I saw was very minimal. That surprised me as even my 16″ MacBook Pro which has a mini LED screen with full array local dimming zones has some issues with blooming that are easy to spot. Then I moved on to see if this panel had any issues like dark spots or dirty screen effect. These are both issues with the TV’s panel uniformity, which is the ability for the LED panel to display colours in a consistent manner. As in a consistent green, or a consistent red for example. Thus I ran this test to uncover any of those issues. I didn’t find any panel uniformity issues.

So why is doing this testing important? Besides the fact that you should run both of these tests the second you get a new TV to see if you have a unit that perhaps isn’t up to scratch which means you should exchange it for one that is up to scratch, I have seen many TVs that come from companies that play in the same spectrum that Hisense plays in that ship TVs with those sort issues as a matter of course. The net result being that the picture quality out of the box isn’t as good as it could be and it will never get any better. Hisense appears not to be one of those companies as this TV compares well to bigger more expensive TV brands when it comes to the quality of the panel based on my observations.

Next I did a gaming test using the online cycling platform Zwift and my gaming PC. More on both of those here. I found that riding in Zwift was super smooth and visually stunning. Now there’s a “Game Zone” mode that allows you to tweak a variety of settings including getting this TV to do 120Hz if you drop the resolution to 1080p, and it will support AMD FreeSync and variable refresh rates. It’s worth experimenting with all of that to see what sort of results that you get. And honestly, I would spend some time tweaking the setting in the “Game Zone” as well as the other parts of the TV as there is a lot to customize here so that it suits your needs.

A quick word about Google TV. It works well, and I personally have zero complaints about it as it is easy to learn and use, not to mention that it offers the content that you want to see. Be it Crave, Amazon, Netflix, etc. My wife had one complaint about Google TV which was that Google didn’t implement Apple Fitness+ on screen fitness metrics into Google TV. For me, that’s an edge case that Google can deal with in a software update. But to her it was a deal breaker as she was used to that whenever she works out using Apple Fitness+. We ended up agreeing to disagree on that point.

The last thing that I want to mention are the speakers. The TV comes with a pair of 10W bottom firing speakers that support Dolby Atmos. They are better than the ones that I have heard in quite a number of TVs that I have set up in the past few months. But my recommendation would be to get a sound bar like this one or this one if audio quality matters to you.

So, let’s get to the part that you really care about, the price. I found the U68KM Mini-LED 4K ULED Series Quantum Dot Google TV for just under $900 on and Best Buy. Given how good this TV is, that price is more than fair. And if the 65″ doesn’t work for you, it also comes in 55″ and 75″ sizes. The bottom line is that this TV from Hisense has knocked it out of the park in terms of picture quality and features. I have no hesitation in saying that you need to put this on your shopping list if you’re in the market for a new TV.

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