Hisense R50B7120 Television Page 2

There are one or two areas of oddness. For instance, it's not helpful that calling up the settings menus requires you to press a button labelled with an asterix. A direct source selection key on the remote would be handy too, and the main navigation buttons are a little hard to locate when you've got the lights off.

A bit on the side

The Hisense R50B7120's Roku operating system is so key to its appeal that the set's picture quality feels a bit like a side show. But it's a better side show than I'd imagined of a £300 50in telly.

Brightness and colour, in particular, exceed expectations. The set's peak brightness, which I measured at 316 nits on a 10% white HDR window, approaches the sort of numbers seen on some TVs costing twice as much, and helps to give HDR sources a decent nudge up from SDR.

320hisense.remHisense also provides plenty of flexibility over how HDR plays out, via a combination of three HDR presets and five brightness presets. Between them, these settings let you sacrifice peak brightness for a higher baseline HDR brightness, or vice versa. This is a sensible compromise to offer on a screen which (like all budget sets) doesn't have enough brightness to handle HDR material with total conviction.

When it comes to colours, even a tonally rich 4K Blu-ray title such as Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse doesn't enjoy much greater saturations on the R50B7120 than you'll witness with SDR content. This isn't a wide colour panel (although its 8-bit with frame rate compensation design elevates it to rough 10-bit support), so you're not seeing anything like the full potential of the 4K BD format.

The set does at least keep its colours feeling natural with HDR, however; there's hardly any of the washed-out, over-cooked or over-simplified tones some budget TVs throw up when they try to deliver HDR. Light skin tones occasionally look a touch jaundiced, perhaps, but that's pretty much it.

The TV's black level performance is less impressive. The various sewer sequences in the It 4K Blu-ray find dark areas succumbing to greyness, obscuring some shadow detail in the walls and backgrounds.

There are also noticeable vertical stripes of light down each side of dark scenes if you're running the image using the TV's brightest settings.

On the other hand, the direct LED lighting system produces less clouding than most (typically edge-lit) affordable TVs do, and the greyness isn't ruinous enough to render dark scenes unwatchable. With SDR content, where less brightness is required, the R50B7120's black level performance is markedly better.

HD upscaling is solid. Detail levels are healthy, colours retain natural tones, and source noise isn't exaggerated at all.

Sharpness with native 4K sources is less inspiring, chiefly because the set isn't particularly good with motion. Fast-moving objects and camera pans cause pretty obvious motion blur and, as mentioned previously, there's no motion compensation processing to combat this.


Finally, as with all cheap and cheerful LCD sets, the R50B7120 loses both colour and contrast if watched from an angle of more than around 25-30 degrees.

The sound performance allows me to wrap up on an unexpected high. This TV set can go pleasingly loud without sounding cramped or muddy, and its soundstage is surprisingly large, too. The mid-range is open enough to handle everything from pop music and dense orchestral scores to the ebb and flow of It Chapter 2's imaginatively terrifying and dynamic soundtrack (4K Blu-ray) without sounding thin or harsh. Nor is there any cabinet rattle or speaker crackle. In fact, the R50B7120's audio embarrasses many pricier TVs.

A smart revolution?
This Hisense is great value for anyone after a big smart set – especially for a second room. But I'd argue it's actually more than just a bargain TV.

Why? Firstly because the straightforward elegance and stability of the Roku system shows just how far the much clunkier and buggy Android TV platform still has to go; and secondly because if a TV this affordable can combine a solid performance with such a comprehensive smart system for so little money, you start to wonder if there's much point in TV brands spending time and R&D cash developing their own Smart TV systems. Those on a tight budget should check it out.

HCC Verdict

Hisense R50B7120

Price: £300

We say: Marrying a comprehensive and easy-to-use smart system with decent all-round performance, Hisense's debut Roku TV redefines the budget smart TV market.

Performance: 4/5


3D: No
4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG
Tuner: Yes. Freeview HD (Freeview Play)
Connections: 3 x HDMI inputs; 1 x USB; composite AV input; headphone socket; optical digital audio output
Sound (CLAIMED): 2 x 8W
Brightness (CLAIMED): N/A
Contrast ratio (CLAIMED): N/A
Dimensions (off stand): 1,127(w) x 656(h) x 86(d)mm
Weight (off stand): 9kg

Features: Built-in Roku TV smart system (includes Netflix, Amazon and YouTube); control and content sharing via smart device Roku app; private listening mode; direct LED lighting; DTS TruSurround audio processing; quad-core processor; 8-bit + FRC panel