Buying a large television for the overwhelming image is tempting, but are you not sacrificing image quality? With this 85-inch 85UXKQ, Hisense wants to show that this is unnecessary. A mini LED backlight with more than 5,000 zones, what can you expect?
Hisense 85UXKQ – Specifications
|What||Ultra HD 4K 144 Hz Full Array miniled QLED LCD-tv met lokale dimming (5.184 zones)|
|Screen size||85 inch (216 cm), train|
|Connections||4x HDMI (2x v2.0, 2x v2.1 eARC/ARC, ALLM, VRR, 4K120), 1x composite video, 1x stereo mini jack, 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 1x headphones, 2x antenna, Bluetooth|
|Extra’s||Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10+ Adaptive, HDR10, HLG, WiFi (802.11b/g/n/ac/ax) built-in, VIDAA U7 OS, USB/DLNA media player, DVB-T2/C/S2, CI+ slot|
|Dimensions||1947 x 1156 x 447 mm (incl. voet)|
|Weight||56.2 kg (incl. base)|
|Consumption||SDR 155 (F) / HDR 340 watt (G)|
|Recommended retail price||5.999 euro|
Hisense 85UXKQ – Design
It is striking how slim this 85-inch mini LED TV is. Its profile is just four centimeters, and the rear is completely flat. The frame is beautifully finished, and the sides are beveled at 45 degrees with perforations for the sound.
The back is finished in various panels with horizontal and vertical stripe patterns. We noticed that some of those panels are very thin and slightly convex. They also flex easily when you push on them. That finish could be better.
The device stands on two slim but very deep feet. You mount them either at the end of the device or in the middle. The latter position is useful if your TV cabinet is not wide enough.
Hisense 85UXKQ – Connections
This Hisense offers two HDMI 2.0 ports and two HDMI 2.1 ports. The latter provides 48Gbps bandwidth and supports eARC, ALLM, VRR, and 4K120 (and can even go up to 4K144).
There are also two USB connections, a composite video and stereo minijack input, optical digital audio out, a headphone connection, Bluetooth, an Ethernet connection, and WiFi. So, the selection is no different from what we found on the 65U79KQ, except for the WiFi version. The UXKQ received WiFi 6E; the U79KQ is equipped with WiFi 5.
Hisense 85UXKQ – Ease of use and smart TV
Just like on the U79KQ, VIDAA OS is the smart TV system. The experience is completely similar to what we saw on the U79KQ, so we largely repeat that part of the review. VIDAA OS works smoothly, which is an important point for Hisense. You can install it either with the remote control or via the VIDAA app on your smartphone. You can, optionally, log in with a Hisense account and use different user profiles.
On the Home screen, there is a significant space at the top reserved for a carousel of sponsored content. The center of the screen features your personal row of apps, which can accommodate up to twenty-five apps, with twelve visible at once. The left side of the screen has icons for account, search function, notifications, inputs, and settings. As you scroll down, the apps slide up, and recommendations for the selected app appear if they are available. The recommendations further down are organized by app, and they cannot be changed. Hisense considers the Home screen as an entrance because streaming is becoming increasingly important. If you press the input key, the Home Screen will appear at the top as the first option, although this feature seems redundant since the remote control will always have a Home button. Hisense offers various well-organized settings, and navigation is smooth.
The remote control is made of a small alloy and has an elegant design that makes it convenient to use. Although the keys are compact, their clear shape makes it easy to avoid pressing the wrong button by touch. The remote features six useful shortcuts to popular streaming services including Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Deezer, and Vidaa TV. This is a solid selection that covers a wide range of entertainment options.
Vidaa offers a wide range of apps that feature all the important international names. In the Netherlands, you can find NPO, Kijk, NLziet, Videoland, and Viaplay. Unfortunately, in Belgium, Hisense lags behind as there isn’t a single local app available, except for the soon-to-be-introduced VTM Go. However, there is no news about Streamz or VRT Max. VIDAA Free provides free access to movie content and VIDAA TV brings streaming channels together in the same interface as your live TV channels. However, no additional channels have been added yet in Belgium and the Netherlands, so VIDAA TV simply directs you to the live TV channels.
The USB media player supports most of the tested formats, including subtitles and soundtracks (including Dolby Atmos and DTS), but it no longer supports older formats like Divx or Xvid. The TV has a single DVB-T2/C/S2 tuner and one CI+ slot, and you can record to external USB media.
Hisense 85UXKQ – Image Processing
The overall results are good, but there is still room for improvement. Upscaling, deinterlacing, and noise suppression performed well. The older images were polished and presented nicely on the screen. However, the upscaling seemed a bit soft and could benefit from extra sharpness, especially at this format. But it’s best not to go overboard, as a maximum of five seems sufficient. The MPEG noise reduction feature had little to no effect, and Hisense should work on improving it. In the first test run, the ‘Smooth image with better gradation’ option had no impact on color bands. However, after installing new software, we were able to achieve the desired result. The lowest setting was enough to eliminate soft forms of banding, but tougher cases like the Game Of Thrones test scene proved too difficult, even at higher settings. The higher settings also resulted in a loss of detail, so it is best to avoid them.
The UXKQ is similar to the U79KQ and the U8KQ, as it also comes with an LCD panel that can use a 240Hz refresh rate. However, this high refresh rate comes at the expense of vertical resolution, which can make fine vertical details less clear. Additionally, some moving objects may have a visible drag mark. While the high refresh rate can be beneficial when it comes to motion sharpness, it does require some compromise. The added value of this feature is relatively small for films and series, but it could be considered for sports. Despite this, the panel has excellent motion sharpness with minimal loss of detail, and moving objects have only a vague soft edge. The motion interpolation feature is also impressive, as it introduces very few image artifacts, and even in ‘Smooth’ mode, it performs exceptionally well. However, the ‘Film’ preset leaves a little too much judder, so ‘Standard’ is the better choice for a better result.
|Picture mode settings / Backlight||Picture mode settings||Picture mode settings||Advanced settings|
Local Dimming: Low
Light Sensor: On
Self-Adjusting Color Temperature: Off
Color Saturation: 50
Adaptive Contrast: off
|Ultra Smooth Motion: Clear-Smooth
Clear Motion: Off
Noise Reduction: Off/Low
MPEG Noise Reduction: Low
Color Temperature: Warm 1
|Color Gamut: Auto
Black Level: Auto
Gamma Correction: BT.1886 or 2.2
Enhanced Shadow Details: Off/On
HDR Tone Mapping: Off
Smooth image with better gradation: Low
240Hz high refresh rate: Off
Hisense 85UXKQ – Image quality
Hisense has gone all out for this top model. The device has a VA panel, and the mini LED backlight is equipped with unprecedented zones for Full Array Local Dimming. Quantum dots provide a wide color range. On an 85-inch screen, uniformity is even more important than usual. In dark images, it was very good; in the bright screens, we saw a small dark spot, unfortunately, in the center of the image. It is small and vague enough not to bother us, although we could see them during camera movements.
We measured an ANSI contrast of 4,094:1, which is very good. But the biggest impact comes from local dimming. After all, the 85UXKQ is equipped with 5,184 zones. We couldn’t make an accurate count; the zones are very small. What produces so many zones? In ANSI contrast, the result rose to 44,052:1, a measurement record. On easier patterns, the contrast increased even further to 230,000:1 and higher. So, the potential is certainly there, but how does that translate into regular content?
There are virtually no halos in SDR anymore. You must put extremely high-contrast content on the screen to see it. Black and dark backgrounds, such as space in Gravity or Star Wars, look great. Light accents remain beautifully visible. Dimming sometimes takes effect a little late for fast-moving objects so a bright object on a dark background has a dark edge on the front. There is also room for improvement here, but we are very satisfied with this result.
The Filmmaker mode is bright; in SDR, we were able to push the image to more than 1,000 nits, which is a bit much unless you are looking in a very bright room. Turn the backlight down to 50 and activate the light sensor. There is excellent black detail, and the color reproduction is good, but we have to be strict for a high-end device.
In the mid-tones, the grayscale has a clear red tint, and in the brightest shades, the color temperature is too cool (blue tint). Naturally, this is sometimes visible in predominantly white images. The gamma curve also makes mid tones a bit too bright. Skin tones can sometimes feel a bit pink due to the grayscale. This is not a reference calibration, but the errors only exceed the visible limit. We were very satisfied with the results of most images.
Hisense 85UXKQ – HDR
The 85UXKQ delivers excellent contrast, but can also provide sufficient brightness. The answer: is yes. In HDR Filmmaker mode we measured a peak brightness of 3,478 nits on a 10% window, and just under 1,000 nits (934) on the completely white screen. That is downright impressive, unprecedented even. It must be said that in the first second of such a measurement, you only measure approximately 2,500 nits. But the device also meets and exceeds the specification (2,500 nits).
The color range is wide, 77% Rec.2020 and 99% P3. This should make flashy HDR images possible.
With so much light and color at his disposal, tone mapping seems almost unnecessary. But that wasn’t what we saw. The Filmmaker HDR image mode has a decent calibration. Up to about 30% followed the EOTF neatly, but above that, it was much too bright. With a new firmware, the result was better, but the problem seemed to have shifted. Dark shades are now much too dark, but bright shades neatly follow the EOTF. The gray scale is neutral, which is better than in SDR. The device takes HDR10 metadata into account so that you see almost all white detail. Due to that dark display of the darkest shades, you miss some black detail, but that loss is small. You can partially compensate for this by activating ‘Improved shadow details’. It turned out to be more difficult for dark content because the local dimming made the image very soft. This was noticeable during the very dark beach scene from House of Dragons. Fortunately, scenes like that don’t happen very often, but it was disturbing as if the image had been somewhat erased. Unfortunately, our hope that ‘HDR tone mapping’ would solve those comments turned out to be false. The results varied; sometimes the image gets more contrast and color, but sometimes it resulted in some clipping of white detail or a bit too bright image. Although Hisense gives you very powerful HDR images, we feel it leaves a lot of potential unused.
Hisense 85UXKQ – Gaming, Reflections and Viewing Angles
As usual, the VA panel loses some contrast if you look too far from the side. However, thanks to the many dimming zones, only very small halos are visible even then. Color is well preserved.
The game mode delivers an input lag of 16.8 ms (4K60). The device supports HDMI VRR and AMD FreeSync Premium. For PC gamers, there is the option to go up to a 144Hz refresh rate. If you limit the resolution to Full HD, you can even go up to a 240Hz frame rate.
Hisense 85UXKQ – Sound quality
The audio performance has also been considered. In addition to the regular speakers, the configuration includes upward- and side-facing speakers and a large woofer is in the back. All together good for 82 watts of power. There is support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
From that setup, you get a lot of volume and a very good surround experience. In Dolby Atmos tracks we heard a clear height channel, and we had the feeling of being part of the action. The sound is powerful, and the woofer can produce a good amount of bass. The result was also very nice for music. As a negative, we should note that really deep bass sounds also caused a rattling side effect. Either the woofer has reached its limit, or this is due to the back panels that rattle a bit.
Hisense 85UXKQ – Conclusion
The Hisense 85UXKQ clearly demonstrates the potential of mini LED TVs. The abundance of light, contrast, and color leaves almost all other TVs behind. But there is still some work to channel all that power into the right direction. The HDR tone mapping makes dark scenes too dark and in very dark HDR scenes the black detail fades. The dynamic tone mapping sometimes provides a nice improvement, but sometimes goes a bit too far.
The large screen and more than 5,000 dimming zones can generate beautiful images. The contrast is fantastic, and there are virtually no zone boundaries anymore. In SDR there is so much brightness available that you can view effortlessly in a lot of ambient light. But the Hisense can also put impressive cinema images on the screen when darkened. In HDR it misses some potential, but that does not alter the fact that the performance is good and you also get HDR support for all formats. Quite a few speakers hidden in the frame produce a suitable, powerful sound, with a beautiful surround experience. You pay a bit more for this 85-inch high-end TV. We would like to see a solution to the HDR issues for that price.
- Fantastic contrast, with a huge number of dimming zones
- Excellent peak brightness
- Good image processing
- Excellent movement sharpness
- VIDAA You work smoothly
- Dolby Vision IQ én HDR10+ Adaptive
- Powerful audio, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
- Good gamer features with HDMI 2.1 ALLM, VRR and eARC
- Local dimming affects the HDR display of dark details
- HDR images too dark in dark images
- HDR tone mapping has varying results
- No local apps (in Belgium)
- Only two HDMI 2.1 connections