It used to be 4K was out of everyone’s reach beyond the select elite that could afford it. Now 4k has become ubiquitous, with countless options that line the walls of all major retailers. With so many options, it is often amazing to find something that hits a great price point and still delivers value and performance. While the Hisense R6 4K Roku Smart TV will not destroy the competition, it delivers enough to a great option for the budget minded or for people that need a second TV.
It’s easy to see why this is an attractive TV for Hisense. It has a great price, sleek design that will work well in most settings, and a decent size. The Hisense R6 4K Smart TV lacks many of the features that we would consider “cutting edge,” but it does have a decent input selection and it has plenty of other features that won’t get you locked into the smart TV world.
Most people buying a TV nowadays are looking at a few key features: size, brightness, Apps and how easy everything is to use. Few people dive into settings or try all the many options modern TV’s have for adjusting the picture. Most leave it on the default, sticking with whatever the brand decided looks best out of the box. And this is where the Hisense R6, it delivers fantastic out-of-the-box performance, offers plenty of options, but where it lacks are features the vast majority of buyers will never need or even want.
The look and design of the Hisense R6 is what you expect from a modern budget friendly TV. You will find the typical all screen design, with minimal bezels. The TV may not be the thinnest TV on the market, but it should look good in most homes or mounted on most walls. It offers clean, albeit simple feet, and has no major design choices that draws attention away from the picture the the content on the screen.
As the R6 is a more budget friendly TV option, you do have a bit less in terms of inputs. You will find your standard three HDMI ports, a single USB 2.0 port, AV inputs, 3.5mm headphone jack and an optical port for legacy soundbars or AV equipment. Hisense has given enough to fill most people’s needs, although for anyone (like me) you will quickly fill up all the included ports and need to find a way to expand the offering, either with an HDMI switch, or some other alternative.
Looking at the picture quality, and you find yourself a good, if not amazing 4K screen. The colours were largely accurate out of the box, and while we found images could be a bit over saturated in some scenes this was never a major issue, and could be adjusted with a quick trip to the TV’s setting panel.
The HDR on the R6 was good overall, it did lack a bit with the light output making HDR look a bit less vibrant while on in a bright room, but once you turn the lights out, or close the curtains, and you will find a picture that should make most viewers happy. Ensure you are in movie mode, and you should find most media will pop enough, especially for the tv’s price point.
The one area I was disappointed in was the lack of dynamic backlighting or zones does mean at times it can take away from the vibrancy of images. This is a common issue on budget screens, and for most people this would not be a deal breaker, but during testing, we did notice a bit of inconsistent light, with the outer area often looking brighter than the center of the screen. But thankfully there was no blooming or ghosting during testing of the screen, so Hisense wins points for avoiding a pesky issue facing many budget friendly panels.
The 2020 R6 also lacks 120Hz, meaning if you do have a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, you will not be able to take full advantage on what those consoles have to offer. The screen will still deliver great images, and a game of The Last of Us Part II will still hit you with it’s emotional impact, but sadly newer games that push what a system can do will be bottlenecked by the TV and what it can display.
Looking at the interface, and similar to last years R6 offering, Hisense have opted for the Roku TV OS, that brings with it all the features and ease of use that platform have built a name on. It is a snappy and easy to use interface, that has not changed much on the surface year over year. Using the home screen system where everything focuses on the apps makes streaming the core focus of the Hisense R6. It is easy to install thousands of different apps, bringing the world of media to your living room, without ever having to hook up an external box.
As with past TV’s utilizing Roku, it can get a bit obtuse adjusting more finicky settings, as it will involve diving through menus or looking it up online to find the specific setting or feature. But as with anything that focuses on simplicity, the more complex stuff can feel hidden away or burried, but thankfully these are often not day-to-day settings, and can usually be a set it and forget it situation, but something to keep in mind should things not seem immediately obvious.
Another gripe we had with this year’s R6, is the sometimes slow response time when trying to jump between different apps or tasks. While not a major issue, if you are someone that is used to blazing fast interfaces, the Roku OS on the R6 can feel a bit sluggish at times, even when compared to other Roku OS TV offerings. I am unsure if this is due to the types of apps running, but it did get frustrating at times, although with Roku pushing updates to their platform at a steady pace, this could be fixed by the time you are reading this.
While we are already talking about 8K, many of us still have a large 1080P or even 480p media collection that we have not yet gotten rid of. So it was nice to see, like in 2019, the new R6 comes stock with upscaling making it possible to still watch your old media. As with any built in upscale, it will not work magic, and your old 480p movies will still look grainy and lack detail. With 1080p content on the other hand, it looked fantastic on the 2020 R6, and while it did not have the clarity of what 4K offers, it still looked good, and for most people, would be perfectly serviceable for a movie night. Upscaling has gotten much better over the years, and the 2019 Hisense Roku R6 TV has some of the best I have seen on a TV in this price range, although there is still plenty of room to improve.
At the price, Hisense have delivered a fantastic smart 4K TV offering in the R6. It looks sharp, delivers a sharp clear picture, and manages to check most of the boxes people look for in a new TV. While it does lack a few features, and can feel a bit clunky at times, the Hisense R6 is a fantastic value and a great option for people looking for a second TV or if budget is what is standing in the way of enjoying 4K content. If you want to experience the latest and greatest with the new generation of consoles, the R6 maybe lacking, for everyone else, Hisense once again delivered a great budget friendly offering.