Entertainment

Hisense U8G TV review: Premium Android TV under US$ 1,000

An affordable TV that has it all

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For a lot of us, TV shopping is not easy, and is something that needs to be done more deliberately. There are a lot of things to consider and it can get overwhelming.

Given all the choices out there, Hisense’s U8G series stands out because of three things: it’s got a bright display, it runs Android TV, and it doesn’t break the bank.

Bright 4K display

When it comes to TV displays, there are a few things that are a must with brightness being one of them. The Hisense U8G delivers in this regard because of its excellent peak brightness.

While Netflix and chill is most enjoyable at night after a long work day, I still use my TV from time to time during the day. I watch YouTube videos of recipes when I can’t think of anything to make for lunch, or football highlights that I missed while I was sleeping, or even the news to jumpstart my morning. 

Crime, fashion, and interior design don’t normally belong in the same sentence since crime series tend to be dark and gritty. That wasn’t the case with The Serpent, especially when viewed on the Hisense U8G. 

The TV’s improved color gamut made the beautiful midcentury furniture set in the tropics and the stylish outfits of Charles and Marie-Andrée even more visually captivating. 

The Hisense U8G also supports HDR10+ and the full suite of Dolby features, so I got to enjoy The Serpent’s production design in its full Dolby Vision glory.

Buy the Hisense U8G TV on Amazon

Its Quantum Dot technology produces richer, more vivid and accurate colors than a regular LED TV. Its contrast is also reminiscent of OLED TV, which means darker blacks and brighter whites.

One thing I did not enjoy while binge watching The Serpent was seeing video artifacts whenever the black Netflix loading screen appears. It’s not a deal breaker as it doesn’t ruin the content, but it’s also something you would instantly notice.

The U8G’s Ultra Motion feature removes the digital noise from moving objects. It also has a 120Hz  native refresh rate, which means a smoother gaming experience. I tend to watch rather slow TV shows and I’m not a gamer, so these weren’t something I was able to really use and appreciate.

Familiar OS

One of the biggest reasons to get a Hisense TV over its competition is its operating system — it runs Android TV. And on the U8G, it feels even more responsive.

The Hisense U8G TV remote is so handy and easy to use, with dedicated buttons for streaming apps like Netflix and Disney+

Setup is simple and easy, and navigation feels familiar. Just like on Android phones, it has Google Playstore where you can get your favorite streaming apps. Hulu which used to be notoriously sluggish on Android TV now runs smoother.

Get the 55-inch Hisense U8G TV on Amazon

Because it runs Android TV, Chromecast is also built-in. So it just take a few taps if you want to look at photos you took with your phone on the big screen.

Google Assistant is also built-in so you can use it to control your smart home devices or ask it questions. Because I already have a Lenovo Smart Clock, I turn off the mic on the bottom of the TV. When I do, it turns on four tiny yellow lights on the bottom of the TV that are really distracting, especially when I’m sleeping. 

Standout design

The Hisense U8G TV has a very slim profile and narrow bezels. Out of the box it comes with one cord for power, which you plug in on the right side of the TV. On the left side are the rest of the standard ports you’ll find in a TV in 2021.

You’re going to want to connect the U8G to a sound bar or a dedicated sound system if you want amazing audio with your content

Out of the four HDMI ports, two are HDMI 2.1 and one of which is the eARC port. This is great if you want to connect a better sound system as audio quality isn’t its strong suit.

My biggest gripe, and probably one of the compromises when it comes to this TV is its design. While its screen is bright and all, the way it looks isn’t something that blends well with my decor. The TV stands out — in a bad way.

Unlike Cruella’s window display, the U8G’s design stands out in a bad way

When I’m watching TV, I sometimes find myself getting distracted by its legs or the very visible power cord plugged on the right side. While this is highly subjective and not as important to some, its design detracts from how immersive the viewing experience could be on this TV.

Of course, this can also be solved by mounting the TV on the wall especially if you live in a house you own. But if you live in a New York rental like me, mounting a TV on the wall isn’t a sustainable option.

Is the Hisense U8G TV your GadgetMatch?

Starting at just US$ 999.99 for the 55-inch model, the U8G series of TVs is a great premium option for those on a tighter budget. If you are looking for a great TV in 2021 that has it all, the Hisense U8G TV is it. You will be highly satisfied watching content on this, especially since it also won’t cost you a fortune.

It’s not the most good looking TV nor is it the best sounding, but its price to performance ratio is unmatched. Hisense has always offered great value for money options, so it’s no surprise that the U8G series can compete against more expensive TVs like the Samsung QN90A QLED.

The best part is it runs Android TV, which I personally find to be the best TV OS and interface on the market right now.

You can buy the Hisense U8G TV on Amazon, or see Hisense’s Amazon store for their other TV offerings.

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Apple Music launches ‘Rihanna’s Road to Halftime’

In anticipation of Super Bowl 2023

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Apple Music Rihanna

After succeeding Pepsi as NFL’s official Super Bowl Halftime Show partner, Apple Music is pulling all the stops as it braces for its first ever show in the sports event, which features music icon Rihanna.

In anticipation of her upcoming Super Bowl LVII halftime performance in Glendale, Arizona on February 13, Apple Music has launched Rihanna’s Road to Halftime”, letting streamers experience the superstar’s music catalogue in deeply-enriched multidimensional sound.

Apple Music Radio will also be holding a Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show press conference on February 10, with Nadeska Alexis interviewing Rihanna herself ahead of her highly-awaited performance in United States’ annual sports spectacle.

An 8-episode “Rihanna Revisited Radio” will also keep fans engaged as the countdown to Super Bowl LVII continues ticking.

Even after the performance itself, Apple Music will have people covered with its Halftime Recap Radio” to wrap everything up.

Meanwhile, the new Apple Music Sing feature will also allow subscribers to take the mic and reenact Rhianna’s hits on compatible iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV 4K models.

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Netflix confirms One Piece adaptation coming this year

Plus a new poster

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Netflix continues its huge gamble on anime adaptations. Over the past several years, the platform produced a couple of live-action versions of classic anime shows. To the company’s dismay, neither of the adaptations were received well. Still, the gamble continues to truck on. Netflix has confirmed that the upcoming One Piece adaptation is coming this year.

The live-action adaptation isn’t exactly new. Netflix first announced the title back in 2020 but offered only a few developments concerning the show’s production. Now, we have a release window and a poster.

To be fair, the new poster doesn’t show much except for Luffy’s back. A wider shot shows a bit more including the rears of all the Straw Hat Pirates and a shot of the Thousand Sunny in the distance.

Likewise, Netflix has not shared what the synopsis of the One Piece adaptation will be. Historically, the platform’s live-action adaptations start from the very beginning, taking viewers on a compressed tour through the original anime show’s plot.

That said, the company has a long uphill climb to legitimize its live-action anime adaptations. Despite featuring Willem Dafoe as Ryuk, Netflix’s previous Death Note adaptation quickly receded into a forgettable title. Additionally, Cowboy Bebop was canceled after only one season.

SEE ALSO: Netflix Southeast Asia movies to watch

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Disney+: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever streams February 1

Relive the MCU Phase 4 ender

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Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studio’s MCU Phase 4-ending film, will be available to stream on Disney+ starting on February 1.

Receiving generally good ratings, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever captivated fans with the introduction of underwater kingdom Talokan in the Atlantic Ocean and its ruler, Namor.

The movie opened with the death of King T’Challa. It then focused on the events in Wakanda after, including how Shuri assumed the mantle of Black Panther.

The MCU’s 30th installment which sets up Phase 5 also highlighted the dynamic between the Wakandans and Talokanil. Both people were simply after protecting their respective nations from dangers as the film’s plot progressed.

A key art and a new TV spot are now available to download and share as well.

Coinciding with the movie’s availability on the streaming platform is the release of the Wakanda Forever: The Official Black Panther Podcast.

Episodes may be accessed via ProximityMedia.com starting on January 18.

SEE ALSO: Now Playing: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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