OLED TVs are among the best televisions you can buy, thanks to their ultra-black blacks, vivid colours, and – at their best – stunningly realistic and cinematic overall image quality. They have all tended to be priced at £2,000 and above, but now TV challenger brand par excellence Hisense is entering the OLED market with a TV costing just under £1,500 at launch – suggesting the possibility of even greater affordability come Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday.
• Buy Hisense H55O8BUK 55-inch OLED 4K TV for £1,499 at John Lewis with 5-year warranty
To put that price into perspective, it's the same as the Philips OLED903 right now – but that is over a year old and has had two big price cuts to reach that level.
Launching alongside Hisense's 2019 ULED and LED ranges – both of which are LED LCD televisions, although the ULED range has a higher spec – the O8B 'range' will consist of just one TV, at least initially, the 55-inch H55O8BUK.
Hisense is perhaps better at making excellent, competitively-priced TVs than it is at communicating information, because as far as they are concerned, the H55O8BUK will cost £1,599 and is not on sale yet. This despite the fact that it clearly is on sale for £1,499 at both John Lewis & Partners and also AO.com – and those are just the first two places we looked.
Hisense has actually been around for 50 years and has risen to be the 'third largest 4K TV manufacturer by shipments' thanks to its relentless commitment to low prices that belie the quality of picture and fit and finish of its best TVs. This it its first OLED effort, and it's pulling out all the stops with Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound built in, Dolby Vision HDR, as well as what Hisense is describing as 'Ultra HD Premium', with 'Smooth Motion Rate 200'. The panel runs at 120hz which is potentially handy future-proofing. The VIDAA U 3.0 Smart TV platform is not generally considered to be the most amazingly intuitive on the market, but it will serve up all the streaming movies and catch-up TV you crave.
As you can see from the images above, the casing is slimline and as sleek and stylish as a TV costing £1,000 more.
With Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, compatible 4K content should look and sound stunning, although you'll probably need an external sound system to make the most of Atmos. What will be interesting to see is how well the TV upscales HD and standard-def stuff – funnily enough, that is often where really expensive TVs prove their worth. All mainstream 4K OLED TVs use the same LG panels, so in theory, Hisense should be able to serve up an experience that's pretty damn similar to its much pricier rivals.