Hisense 43A6KTUK 4K TV review

While Hisense might have ambitions towards the high-end TV market these days with its Mini LED sets, it certainly hasn't abandoned the budget sector where it first made its mark.

The 43in 43A6KTUK tested here sells for just £229, despite carrying a full smart TV system, Dolby Vision HDR playback and a potentially contrast-friendly direct-lit VA-type LCD panel. But do its promising specs flatter to deceive?

The 43A6KTUK's design strikes a more premium pose than its price would suggest. Three sides of its screen boast a strikingly slim frame, while the slightly chunkier bottom edge makes a statement out of its extra bulk by extending forward as well as down.

The slimness of its bezel is very much not repeated by the 43A6KTUK's rear, however, which sticks out a relative mile. This means it's not really ideal for wall hanging.

This is, of course, a 4K TV, backed up with playback of the HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision HDR formats. It only manages just over 200 nits of peak brightness on a 10 per cent white HDR window, though; that's pretty much standard dynamic range light levels, meaning its HDR performance will be limited. Nor is there a local dimming system to drive the backlighting.

The 43A6KTUK uses a 50/60Hz panel, so 120Hz gaming is off the menu. The TV's Dolby Vision skill doesn't extend to DV gaming, either. There is auto game mode switching, though, and the screen takes a zippy 10.2ms to render images in its Game preset.

The only other 'HDMI 2.1' feature supported is eARC for passing audio through the TV to compatible AVRs or soundbars.

The set's smart features are built around Hisense's own easy-to-use VIDAA system. Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix, Prime TV, YouTube and Freeview Play are all present, among many others, and there's Bluetooth and USB file playback, too.

Sensible approach
In terms of audio, the 43A6KTUK is rather good, with a soundstage that spreads wider than most models in this price range, and plenty of detail unearthed. There isn't much bass, but at least what bass there is doesn't become overbearing.

Pictures don't get off to a particularly great start, as they lack brightness compared with some other ultra-affordable rivals (including, actually, Hisense's own 50in A6KTUK sibling). As a result, there's only a small step up in brightness and dynamism when playing HDR content. But the more time I spent with the 43A6KTUK, the more sensible a choice its limited brightness started to look.

For starters, it helps the TV create better black levels than most of its peers. The dark tunnels and rooms in Prometheus (4K Blu-ray), when the crew first explore the alien structure, look convincing in terms of black level depth, and the set avoids both backlight 'flicker' (as long as you avoid the unnecessary Adaptive Contrast option) and clouding. Dark scenes do sometimes reveal a faint inner border of light around the image's edges, but it's seldom noticeable enough to be a distraction.

The 43A6KTUK's colour is good for such an affordable TV. Inevitably the screen's low brightness limits the colour volume it can reproduce, but the convincing black levels give tones a good foundation to bounce off, as seen in the alien ship cockpit in Prometheus when all the bright, colourful navigation systems are running.

Bright highlights, such as in the artificial lighting during Weyland's virtual introduction to the ship's mission, don't suffer badly with clipping (lost shading details) either.

Viewing angles are predictably limited, a fancy-sounding AI Picture Optimisation preset that auto-optimises pictures based on your viewing habits didn't seem to do much, and upscaling of HD sources is only average. Also, motion in games and films can look a touch blurry, taking the edge off the screen's 4K experience.

Overall, though, if you're okay with the 43A6KTUK's brightness-limited HDR performance, its pictures are comfortably above the sub-£300 TV par.

HCC Verdict: 4/5

Hisense 43A6KTUK
Price: £229

We say: Despite limited HDR brightness and a little motion blur, this affordable well-featured TV gives a consistent and involving picture.


4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: DR10; HLG, Dolby Vision CONNECTIONS:: 3 x HDMI inputs; Ethernet; 2 x USB; composite input 4K/120 PLAYBACK: No SOUND (CLAIMED): 2 x 7W BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): 200 nits CONTRAST (CLAIMED): 3,800:1 native DIMENSIONS (OFF STAND): 963(w) x 560(h) x 74(d)mm WEIGHT (OFF STAND): 6.8kg

FEATURES: Motion processing engine; Adaptive Contrast feature; VIDAA smart system; AirPlay 2; Android screen sharing; Amazon Alexa via remote; AI Picture Optimisation processing; Quad Core processor; DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Audio decoding; eARC; Game mode; Wi-Fi; Freeview HD

Hisense UK