Hisense may not be the best-known TV brand in the UK but the Chinese manufacturer is making a big play to change that, offering a range of exceptionally good value TVs. The N5300 is their entry-level range, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bring a wealth of top-end features.
We tested the 55-inch (H55N5300) model but it is also available in 43”, 50” and 65” versions (H43N5300, H50N5300, H65N5300). The range includes 4K resolution and smart TV features. It doesn’t have the full feature set to compete with the best out there, but it also costs a fraction of the price of the cheapest Samsungs or LGs of the same size.
On first impressions there is absolutely nothing to suggest that this is a budget TV. The picture is clear and sharp and the colour reproduction straight out of the box is excellent.
The H55N5300 uses a VA type LCD panel and this performs well, producing dark blacks and bright, consistent colours. The drawback with VA panels is the viewing angle isn’t quite as good if you are not straight in front of the TV, although we only noticed the most marginal of differences when viewing from the side.
Paying a price like this for a TV means you are going to be making compromises somewhere. With the N5300 the biggest misses are HDR (High Dynamic Range) and a refresh rate of only 60Hz.
HDR refers to the level of contrast the TV is capable of, from the darkest black to the brightest white. Like 4K, this is a standard that content must come in for you to get the benefit – so if you don’t have access to HDR content this isn’t a miss at all. More services are starting to offer HDR content – including Netflix – but this is probably still more a feature for ensuring your TV is future proof rather than for right now.
If you are looking for a version with HDR check out the Hisense N6800 range for a very well priced option.
The refresh rate, on the other hand, refers to how good a TV is at handling motion and 60Hz means it can display up to 60 frames per second. High refresh rates are particularly important if you want to use the TV for gaming and the ideal rate would be 120Hz – giving you much smoother motion for games, as well as TV and movies.
But all that aside, this is still a very decent TV and perfectly capable for the vast majority of users.
It’s a good looking TV and pleasingly as unfussy as it gets. Like other Hisense TVs, when not wall mounted (fits a 200 x 200 bracket) it sits on two sets of two feet at either end of the panel. It may be worth considering where you will be putting the TV before buying it as it may need a wider TV stand than a model with one central foot.
The panel is surrounded by a black plastic bezel which isn’t the thinnest we’ve seen but is in no way large or distracting.
Ports and connectivity
It has 3 HDMI (1 ARC) ports, plus USB 2 and USB 3 sockets. Other connections include a component video socket, composite socket, optical connection 3.5mm headphone socket, AV socket and ethernet connection.
It is wifi enabled with a Smart TV suite that includes apps for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Video and YouTube. You can also download further apps but don’t expect the kind of choice you might get with Apple or Android TV.
The remote is pretty unfussy and doesn’t add much beyond the basic expectations. The only special element is the inclusion of dedicated buttons for quick access to Netflix and YouTube. The buttons are at least easy to read and responsive.
The biggest selling point of this TV is always going to be its price. There aren’t many places you can pick up a decent 55” 4K for close to the £500 mark, while £420 for the 50” and £350 for the 43” are also superb prices.
It’s not a top-end, high-performance TV but if all you want is a big TV with decent picture quality for a low price this is an excellent choice. If you’re happy to wait out HDR until the content is more widely available and you don’t mind what brand your TV is we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this as a great value TV.