The Hisense H9F is a great 4k TV. It delivers great picture quality, with excellent peak brightness, deep blacks, and a great color gamut. This TV also has excellent motion handling, with an extremely fast response time and an optional black frame insertion feature. It has outstanding low input lag, and it supports most of the common input formats, but only at 60Hz, despite the 120Hz panel. Unfortunately, there are some noticeable uniformity issues, including some distracting dirty screen effect, which isn't great for sports fans. Like the majority of displays with VA panels, the image degrades when viewed at an angle.
The Hisense H9F is the highest-end model from Hisense for 2019. It doesn't directly replace any previous Hisense model, as Hisense is advertising it as part of their new "ULED" product line, similar to the "QLED" branding used by Samsung. The H9F mainly competes with similar budget models, including the TCL 6 Series/R617 2018, Vizio M Series Quantum 2019, and the Samsung RU8000.
Overall, the Hisense H9F has a good design. It has decent build quality; although it's mostly made of plastic, there are a few more metallic components than the H8F. The stand has a very unique design, and it supports the TV well, with only a bit of wobble. The overall design is fairly basic, and there is no cable management.
The stand is a single piece, and supports the TV well. It is a bit wider than most center-stands, but still much better than separate feet on either end.
Footprint of the 65" stand: 28.3" x 11".
The back of the TV is plain. The top half is made of a thin metal sheet, and the bottom half that houses the electronics is made of plastic.
There is no cable management.
The borders on this TV are extremely thin. Like some LG TVs, including the SM9000, the bezel doesn't completely protect the panel, as the panel itself sits on top of the frame.
Update 09/09/2019: There was an error in our thickness measurement. We've update the review.
This TV is extremely thin. The thicker bottom half houses the TV's electronics, but it isn't much thicker than the top half.
The H9F runs a bit hotter than most TVs we've tested, and it is quite hot to the touch.
Overall, the Hisense H9F has decent build quality. It's fairly sturdy, and the stand supports the TV well, but it wobbles a bit.
The Hisense H9F delivers great picture quality. It has an outstanding contrast ratio and decent local dimming, but the local dimming feature doesn't handle small, bright objects very well, and there can be distracting blooming. It has excellent SDR peak brightness, great HDR peak brightness, and very good reflection handling. This TV has good gradient handling, but there is some noticeable banding in areas of similar color. Unfortunately, there are some noticeable uniformity issues and dirty screen effect, which isn't great for sports fans.
For the most part, the local dimming feature looks great. It has good blooming control around larger bright objects. Unfortunately, like the H8F, it can't keep up with some fast zone changes, causing the leading edge to appear darker.
The local dimming feature doesn't handle small bright objects very well, and there is significant blooming around them. In this sample photo, some blooming can be seen, and it looks worse in person.
This TV has excellent SDR peak brightness. There is some variation in brightness with different content, which isn't ideal, but this shouldn't cause any issues. This TV is significantly brighter than the Vizio M Series Quantum 2019, but isn't quite as bright as the TCL 6 Series/R617 2018.
We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration, with the 'Theater Dark' Picture Mode, Backlight level set to 'Max', and Local Dimming on 'High'. Different picture modes deliver different results, but these settings deliver the most accurate results, and the highest peak brightness, which is uncommon.
This TV has great peak brightness in HDR, but it isn't quite as bright as the TCL 6 Series/R617. There is some variation in brightness with different content (also known as ABL), and large bright scenes aren't as bright as small highlights. Small specular highlights in some scenes really stand out.
We tested the HDR peak brightness with no calibration settings, with the HDR Theater 'Picture Mode', the backlight at maximum, and local dimming on 'High'. Different settings may result in a lower peak brightness, as these settings are the most accurate, and the brightest.
The H9F has decent uniformity, but there is some distracting dirty screen effect, and the corners are noticeably darker. In near-dark scenes, the uniformity is much better and shouldn't cause any issues.
Like most TVs with VA panels, the image on the H9F degrades when viewed at an angle. With this TV, the image appears washed out when viewed even slightly off-angle, as the black levels rise very quickly. At wider angles, colors lose accuracy and appear washed out as well. If viewing angles are important, an OLED TV like the LG C9, or an LED TV with an IPS panel like the LG SM9000 are better choices.
Decent black uniformity. There is very little blooming, and no noticeable backlight bleed. Due to the blooming around the test cross, the uniformity is actually worse with local dimming on.
The H9F has great reflection handling overall, but some really bright light sources might be distracting in some cases.
With our pre-calibration settings, the H9F has decent accuracy. Gamma is high, and appears to target 2.4 instead of our 2.2 target. There are some noticeable inaccuracies in most colors, as well as in most shades of gray. The color temperature is a bit warm.
After calibration, most of the issues are corrected. White balance is almost perfect, but pure white is still inaccurate. There are still some noticeable color errors as well, but most people won't notice any issues. The color temperature is extremely close to the target of 6500K.
See our recommended settings here.
480p content, like DVDs, is upscaled well, with no obvious artifacts or over-sharpening.
4k content is displayed perfectly. There are no noticeable issues, and the TV doesn't use any odd pixel formats or sub-pixel dithering.
This TV has a great color gamut, and it can display a wide color gamut. Unfortunately, in the 'HDR Theater' Picture Mode, the EOTF doesn't follow the PQ curve at all. In dark scenes, blacks are crushed, and appear darker than they should. In slightly brighter scenes the image is brighter than should be.
In 'Game' mode, the EOTF follows the PQ curve more accurately, but most scenes are still too bright. Game mode is also noticeably darker than the other picture modes, reaching an absolute peak of 621 cd/m², which is unexpected.
If you find HDR too dark, setting Adv. Contrast Enhancer to 'Medium' results in a noticeably brighter image, as shown in this EOTF.
Good color volume. It's limited by the TV's color gamut, and it can't produce colors as bright as pure white, especially blues, which is normal for LED TVs. It displays dark saturated colors well, thanks to the excellent contrast ratio.
Overall, this TV has good gradient performance. There is some noticeable banding, and it's slightly more noticeable in shades of red, gray, and green. Unfortunately, there is no smooth gradation feature on this TV.
There are no signs of temporary image retention, even immediately after displaying the high-contrast static test image for 10 minutes.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Hisense H9F has excellent motion handling. It has an outstanding response time, with very little blur behind fast-moving objects. It has an optional black frame insertion feature (BFI), which can help improve the appearance of motion, but it can only flicker at 120Hz, causing noticeable duplications when playing 60Hz content. There is also an optional motion interpolation feature, which can increase the frame rate of lower frame rate content up to 120Hz. Unfortunately, the backlight always flickers, even when BFI is disabled, but it has a relatively high flicker frequency that shouldn't bother most people.
The H9F has an excellent response time. There is significant overshoot in some transitions, though, which may be especially noticeable in really dark scenes. These results are much better than the H8F, and result in much clearer motion, with very little blur behind fast-moving objects. There are some noticeable duplications, though, due to the flicker of the TV's backlight.
The H9F, like the H8F, always flickers at 960Hz. This high-frequency flicker shouldn't bother most people, but it causes noticeable duplications in motion.
The Hisense H9F has an optional black frame insertion feature that can slightly improve the appearance of motion, by reducing the flicker frequency to 120Hz. Unfortunately, when playing at 60Hz, it can only flicker at 120Hz, so there are still noticeable duplications. This is unexpected, as the H8F can flicker at 60Hz with 60Hz content.
The H9F has a brightness compensation system, so unlike most TVs, enabling the black frame insertion feature doesn't significantly dim the screen, unless you are close to the TV's maximum brightness.
This feature can be enabled by enabling the Motion Clearness setting, under the 'Advanced Settings' menu.
The H9F has a 120Hz panel, and it can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120 frames per second (FPS). In more demanding scenes, there can be noticeable artifacts or dropped frames.
During testing, we encountered a bug with the settings, where adjusting either the 'Judder Reduction' or 'Blur Reduction' slider would deactivate the other setting.
Due to the excellent response time of this TV, there's some noticeable stutter when watching movies, or other low frame rate content. When watching movies, this is especially noticeable with slow panning shots. If this bothers you, the motion interpolation feature can help reduce the amount of stutter.
The Hisense H9F can remove judder from any source. For 24p sources, like Blu-ray players, or for 60Hz interlaced sources, no settings are required; they are always played judder-free. For 60p sources, the Motion Enhancement setting has to be set to 'Film' for judder-free playback.
This TV has a native 120Hz panel, but it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies, like FreeSync.
The Hisense H9F has outstanding low input lag across all supported formats, as long as 'Game' mode is used. This TV can also display chroma 4:4:4 or RGB content properly, which is important for clear text when used as a PC monitor. The H9F supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, but it doesn't support HDR10+, and doesn't support newer HDMI features, like eARC.
The H9F has outstanding low input lag with any input signal, as long as 'Game' mode is used. Unfortunately, it doesn't support auto low latency mode, so to get the lowest input lag, you have to manually enable 'Game' mode when you start playing.
Update 08/16/2019: We rechecked the H9F, and it is possible to send a 120Hz signal, but it simply skips every other frame. We confirmed this from an Xbox One S and a a PC.
This TV supports most of the common input formats, but only at 60Hz. Despite the 120Hz panel, it can't display any 120Hz signal. All supported formats can also display chroma 4:4:4 properly, but only in 'Game' mode.
4k @ 60Hz signals with RGB, or chroma 4:4:4 or 4:2:2, only work if the HDMI 2.0 format setting is set to 'Enhanced'.
The H9F supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision from the native apps as well as external devices. Some older Dolby Vision devices might require a firmware update.
This TV can pass Dolby Digital and DTS signals through both HDMI-ARC, and an optical cable connection. It doesn't support eARC, though.
Unfortunately, the H9F has disappointing sound quality. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is bad, so this TV has very little bass, with no thump or rumble, and almost no punch. Dialog is clear, but it lacks airiness, due to the drop in the mid-treble range. For better sound, a dedicated speaker system or soundbar is recommended (see our recommendations for the best budget soundbars).
This TV has a disappointing frequency response, similar to the H8F. The low-frequency extension (LFE) is bad, and the bass has no thump or rumble, very little body, and almost no punch. The frequency response above the LFE is fairly flat, so dialog is clear for the most part, but it lacks airiness due to the drop-off in the low to mid treble range. This TV can get decently loud, with very few compression artifacts, but it might not be loud enough for loud environments.
Decent distortion handling. At lower volume levels, the total distortion is very low. At maximum volume, the total amount of harmonic distortion increases significantly, but it's still decent.
The Hisense H9F has great smart features. It runs Android TV 8.0, the latest version of Android TV, and the interface is well organized and easy to use. There is a huge selection of apps available, and the built-in apps cover the vast majority of the common streaming services. Unlike other TVs powered by Android TV, including recent Sony TVs like the A9G and X950G, the interface is ad-free, although this may change. The included remote is identical to other Hisense TVs, including the H8F, and it works surprisingly well for a budget model.
Like other TVs running Android TV 8.0, the interface is well-organized and easy to use. Like the H8F and recent Sony TVs, it's easy to get to the content you want.