The Hisense A7500F doesn’t deliver on its promise with a multitude of issues with both its picture and sound. Gaming performance is zippy though, and the VIDAA U interface is reliably solid, but there are budget efforts out there with fewer compromises than this set.
- Bright, punchy HD performance
- Excellent gaming performance
- Dolby Vision HDR
- Good build quality
- Squashed sound
- Weak black levels
- Backlight issues
- Iffy motion handling
- Review Price: £429
- Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, HLG
- Wide Colour Gamut
- 8bit + FRC panel
- DLED backlight
- VIDAA U4.0
- Weight: 8.9kg
- Dimensions: 959 × 615 x 194 mm (WHD)
The Hisense A7500F is one of its more affordable budget telly, packing support for Dolby Vision.
The A7500F plonks itself within the mid-range of Hisense’s 2020 line-up, delivering a fairly premium feature set at an affordable price. Available in 43- and 50-inch guises (the latter reviewed here), does the A7500 deliver performance on a budget? Let’s find out.
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Hisense A7500F design — A smart and stylish looking set
Much like the U8Q reviewed earlier in 2020, the A7500 is another handsome-looking set. At this price you could have expected another indistinguishable mould of black plastic, but from the unit’s slim frame to its integrated central stand and overall good finish, the Hisense A7500F looks good in the middle of a room.
The bezel is unobtrusive, giving the screen plenty of real estate and the depth of the set is surprisingly slim, which may appeal to those who favour wall-mounting. Assembly is quick and easy to get you up and running within minutes.
There’s a cable management system around the back, but there appears to be space for only one cable to pass-through, which rather limits its use. The remote, while plasticky, is comfortable to use with buttons spaced out and logically laid-out. On the remote are buttons for apps such as Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube, YouTube Music and Freeview Play.
Quite often you come across cheaper sets that look basic. The Hisense A7500F bucks that trend. Cheap sets don’t have to look this good.
Hisense A7500F features — Dolby Vision elevates the specs sheet
The VIDAA U smart portal v4.0 and it avoids the gloss of an LG webOS or Samsung Tizen. All the obvious apps are there in Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and Rakuten TV, and in Freeview Play there’s access to UK catch-up apps.
Log-in to Netflix and it occupies the top row of the UI. You can create a VIDAA account but that’s only for keeping the TV up to date with the latest firmware. For Disney+ or the Apple TV app you’ll need an additional streaming stick. Other smart features include Alexa voice control via the Remote Now app
For connections there’s 4x HDMI 2.0 (4K/60Hz) 2x USB 2.0, Ethernet, Digital Optical out, a CI Slot, Composite in and satellite and terrestrial antennae.
Like the U8Q it adopts an 8-bit + FRC panel with a DLED backlight and as such the A7500 doesn’t feature local dimming, something that’ll become a factor with assessing HDR performance.
HDR support includes HDR10, Broadcast HLG (used by BBC iPlayer and Sky Q), along with the more premium Dolby Vision. The A7500 can decode HDR10+ content, but the TV did not receive certification. The TV does support Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) for a broader range of colours with HDR content.
Audio is channelled through 2 x 7W drivers with support for Dolby Audio and DTS Virtual:X. The Hisense A7500F proves to be an excellent set for gamers, achieving a latency of 10.8ms, which puts it up there with the likes of Samsung and LG.
Related: What is Dolby Vision HDR?
Hisense A7500F performance — Dolby Vision helps, but the A7500 offers compromised picture and sound
When it comes to its picture performance the Hisense A7500F disappoints. A bright spot (quite literally) is HD broadcasts, which show off the set’s bold and vibrant colours, making for a more expressive image than you might expect at this price point.
It’s a set that favours brightness over detail though, which makes it more suitable to be watched in a bright room than a dark one. Problems start to stack up with HD broadcasts lacking in clarity, definition and detail, especially in the darker parts of an image. Despite Hisense’s UHD AI Upscaler, there’s quite a bit of noise and shininess to the picture too.
Wide angles are limited, with colours losing their intensity as soon as you go off-axis. 4K content looks decent – the set’s talent for expressive colours makes Le Mans 66 an appealing watch.
But in a similar fashion to the Toshiba U29, there’s vertical and horizontal banding with HDR content, with noticeable strips on the sides and the bottom of the TV. Backlight bleed into the black bars above and below the image distract and black levels are weak, the set struggling to describe the Bane vs Batman sewer fight in The Dark Knight Rises with much depth. Colour reproduction is not the best either, the 8-bit + FRC panel rendering the warm orange glow of the opening scene in Phantom Thread with a bluish tone instead.
Motion is another aspect the set struggles with, especially with content from connected devices. Streaming Tottenham Hotspur: All or Nothing from a Fire TV Cube and motion artifacts are visible. Stream it from the A7500F’s Prime Video app and it’s better but still with issues. I’d leave the motion setting to off, but if you do use it, the Smooth setting seems the best compromise.
Dolby Vision certainly helps to produce a more nuanced picture. The make-up on Joaquin Phoenix’s face in Joker is more accurately in its colour – white instead of the green overtones. The overall image looks brighter, taking advantage of Dolby Vision’s dynamic metadata to better portray the film’s intended look. The HDR10 version looks darker and offers less pop for a picture that’s on the dreary side at times.
HDR10 DOLBY VISION HDR
But for all the good DV’s tone mapping offers, motion issues plague the set again. There’s a scene from Skyfall with a bartender making a martini, and as she shakes the mixer it smears and pixelates across the screen.
Just to compound matters further, the audio disappoints. Dialogue sounds good but the audio has a squashed aspect to the audio that makes for a muddled sound. Switch to Football mode and it serves to make the ‘fake’ crowd noises more pronounced and draws out the commentary. Theatre mode is the most expansive, but no matter which mode you go for, the same issues crop up.
Should you buy the Hisense 50A7500F?
The Hisense A7500F is a fairly ambitious set for its price, but it struggles with both its picture and sound. Some may enjoy its bright, punchy colours with broadcast content and Dolby Vision helps the set’s tone mapping and colours, but overall, there are more accomplished budget efforts available such as the Hisense R50B1720UK. The gaming performance is excellent though and may be of interest for those looking for a TV that can double up as a gaming monitor.