I replaced my Samsung QLED TV from 2020 with the Hisense U8N Mini-LED TV— 3 reasons it was worth it

Hisense U8K
(Image credit: Future)

Correction 6/11/24: This story has been modified to reflect the fact that the Samsung Q80T was released in 2020 and mentions the existence of its modern equivalent, the Samsung Q80D that was just released earlier this year.

Samsung QLED TVs are among the best TVs you can buy, and have been my personal go-to for several years now. But when offered the opportunity to replace my aging Samsung Q80T QLED TV with Hisense’s state-of-the-art U8N Mini-LED TV, I decided to roll the dice. 

I’ve heard great things about the Hisense U8N Mini-LED TV — in fact, one of my colleagues rated the set a rare 4.5 out of 5 stars for its “unbelievable” price-to-performance ratio. Although I very much appreciated my Samsung QLED’s performance, going on five years old, it started to feel a bit outdated compared to the current innovations in the TV market. Mini-LED TVs in particular are having a moment, so what better time to commit to one myself? 

While Samsung does manufacture an excellent selection of Mini-LED (or what the brand calls Neo QLED) TVs, they’re not cheap. Hisense’s Mini-LED makes a much stronger value proposition, promising premium performance for less. There are some trade-offs shoppers need to be aware of, but overall, Hisense is a compelling solution for those who are on a tight budget.

I made the switch to the Hisense U8N Mini-LED TV one month ago, and so far, I am pleased with my upgrade. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’d never go back to a Samsung TV, but for now, there are three reasons I think the Hisense U8N was totally worth it.

A large screen for a surprising price

The biggest impact (literally) in swapping the Samsung Q80T for the Hisense U8N is that I jumped from a 55-inch TV to a 65-inch TV. When switching to a larger TV for the first time, the viewing experience instantly feels more premium. But with price being a major factor in purchasing a TV, shoppers may feel tempted to get a smaller size if it means spending less. 

While Samsung TVs can be found at affordable prices (see: the Samsung Q60C from last year) the 55-inch Hisense U8N launched at $1,099, and the 65-inch configuration I have is $1,499 MSRP. The largest 85-inch configuration costs $2,799 before TV deals, which actually seems like a bargain considering the U8N looks better than the price tag suggests. Those prices started relatively low and have dropped lower thanks to some deals from Best Buy and Amazon.

65" Hisense U8N TV: was $1,499 now $1,149 @ Best Buy

65" Hisense U8N TV: was $1,499 now $1,149 @ Best Buy
Right now, the Hisense U8N is even more affordable, with Best Buy taking $350 off the 65-inch configuration. The 55-inch size is also on sale for $849, or $250 off.

If you wanted to buy a Samsung Q80T these days, you'd find one for around the same price — though we'd hardly recommend buying a four-year-old TV when you can buy a 2024 model for the same price. The modern equivalent of the Q80T, the Samsung Q80D, starts at $999 for a 50-inch screen while 55-inch and 65-inch models can be found online for $1,199 and $1,599, respectively.

The brightness is incredible

Hisense U8N TV showing The Barbie Movie

(Image credit: Future)

It’s no secret that TVs have gotten brighter, but the Hisense U8N blows away a lot of new TVs for 2024 in this respect. In our lab testing, it measured over 3,200 nits in HDR, which is nothing short of spectacular. High brightness levels means a TV can handle bright scenes with ease. Think: an explosion or fireworks, or objects that you want to see as bright as possible without compromising detail or being blown out. 

When we tested it back in 2020, the Samsung Q80T, by comparison, registered a maximum brightness of 681 nits, though it’s worth noting that our testing protocols have changed since our initial review. Due to its age and panel technology, the Samsung Q80T doesn’t come anywhere close to the Hisense U8N in the brightness category. It’s made a noticeable difference for my movie nights, where I can see all the action more clearly and remain immersed in the content. 

More modern smart TV interface

Perhaps my biggest complaint with the Samsung Q80T was how the smart TV interface began to feel, well, ancient. The company has since abandoned the pop-up app menu for a whole-screen homepage that serves up tons of content recommendations. This more modernized approach is also seen on the licensed Google TV platform, which Hisense employs throughout its entire TV lineup.

Google TV is a reliable content platform, and is especially useful when tied to your Google account. It saves your viewing preferences, and even lets you create multiple user profiles in the same household. I live with my sister, so when we each use our own profile, we get content recommendations based on what we individually enjoy watching. Plus, Google Assistant makes it fairly easy to search for specific shows and movies. 

Overall, I can access whatever it is I want to watch much more easily on the Hisense U8N compared to what my Samsung QLED offered before. 

Am I done with Samsung forever? Certainly not. But, for now, the Hisense U8N is making a strong case for itself as one of the best TVs you can buy.

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Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef. 

  • Ivansgarage
    Here is a BestBuy story, bought a 50" Hisense tv took it home unboxed it put it on the dresser plugged it in, it had a vertical line going through it within two hours took it back to BestBuy with the receipt, they open the box back up and plugged it in, vertical line, they said I must of damaged it and refused to return money or replace TV.. I left there without tv or money.. I will never buy from BestBuy again.. ever...