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Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Android TV smarts
Solid 1080p picture
OK price for size
Limited viewing angles
The Hisense 40H5590F Smart TV is a solid-quality budget option, but you can do better without straying far from this price point.
We purchased the Hisense 40H5590F Smart TV so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Haven’t heard of Hisense? You’re probably not alone on that front, but the Chinese gadget giant has recently pushed hard into the American market as a budget TV brand to rival Vizio. However, the TV market is incredibly competitive these days throughout the price scale, even if you only want to spend a couple hundred bucks. Can Hisense really break through?
If the Hisense 40H5590F 40-inch Smart TV is any indication, then they have a fighting chance. For just $200, this 1080p set delivers a good-quality experience, even packing in the useful Android TV interface for streaming apps of all sorts—even if navigation does feel a bit sluggish. Even so, the Hisense 40H5590F feels like a solid deal at this bargain price. I tested the TV for more than 60 hours across a variety of streaming media and video games.
Up close, the black plastic bezel around the Hisense 40H5590F’s screen doesn’t have a very polished finish—it looks and feels like cheap, basic plastic. But from several feet away, I’m hard-pressed to tell much of a difference from pricier rivals. Besides, the bezel here is kept pretty thin around the 1080p panel, although it’s a smidge larger at the bottom to accommodate the Hisense logo and a slim glossy accent.
Still, while there’s nothing particularly flashy about the design, it’s ultimately pretty minimal and doesn’t stand out as a “budget” TV at a glance. Still, it is a budget TV, so you won’t find as many HDMI ports as some other sets—there’s just two here. But otherwise, it has all the basics in store, including Ethernet, headphone, USB, and A/V ports, as well as a coaxial jack and optical audio output.
Up close, it looks and feels like cheap, basic plastic. But from several feet away, I’m hard-pressed to tell much of a difference from pricier rivals.
The two included legs strike a wide stance, otherwise, you can wall-mount the TV if you please. Meanwhile, the included remote has an array of useful buttons, including a few programmable buttons for favorites as well as dedicated buttons for Netflix, YouTube, VUDU, and Google Play.
The base stand legs are easy to install: they slide in on the bottom left and right of the TV and require just two included screws each to secure. For wall mounting, you’ll need to provide your own mount: it uses the VESA mounting standard at 100x200.
Once the Hisense 40H5590F was powered up, I was able to transfer my Google account and Wi-Fi information from my Android smartphone to save a few moments of hassle, and then the TV downloaded an update. Curiously, once the installation was completed, it said “Erasing” on the TV and I had to start over again. It might’ve just been an odd glitch, but it was a mild annoyance when trying to get up and running to watch TV.
Given the cost, the Hisense 40H5590F doesn’t attempt to compete with the higher-end TVs of today, which typically deliver higher-resolution 4K panels with HDR (high dynamic range) support for richer contrast. Still, this 40-inch 1080p panel is mostly nice for the price.
It’s crisp and detailed from a distance of about five feet away, although the fuzziness of content is easier to spot the closer you get to the screen. The display delivers solid contrast and brightness, and the “Motion Rate 120” feature helps smooth out fast-moving sports and action sequences. However, the TV has a bit of backlight bleed and the viewing angles also suffer if you’re not watching it head-on. This isn’t a set to try and watch comfortably from a sharp angle. While this isn’t one of the best screens you’ll find, it works just fine for games, TV, movies, and more.
The Hisense 40H5590F’s 7W stereo speakers produce adequate audio playback, but they don’t impress. Action scenes and louder moments feel significantly confined by their capabilities, producing muddled audio as a result. DTS Studio Sound attempts to deliver virtual surround sound effects, but if you’re serious about sound quality, then you’ll want to opt for a soundbar or external speaker system instead of relying on the internal hardware.
With Android TV driving the interface, you don’t need an external device to access all of your favorite streaming services. It’s all right there on the TV itself, which can connect to your home internet network via 2.4Ghz (but not 5Ghz) Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. As the included remote suggests, a few services are already included out of the box, including Netflix and YouTube.
The Google Play Store opens up access to plenty more streaming services, from Hulu to Twitch and SlingTV. Additional apps and games are available, as well, and many of them are free to download and use. You can also use Google’s installed services to rent and purchase digital movies and TV shows.
While this isn’t one of the best screens you’ll find, it works just fine for games, TV, movies, and more.
Unfortunately, Android TV doesn’t run as well here as it does on some other sets. The Hisense 40H5590F is most sluggish right when you turn it on, as it takes several seconds for apps to respond and fully open, and I’ve had apps like Sling TV just load and load without ever reaching a destination. Even once it has been on for a while, Android TV just doesn’t feel as snappy as it should—but it is functional the vast majority of the time.
You can also use the built-in Google Assistant to use voice commands to search for content, ask questions, and tweak settings. Additionally, if you have an Amazon Echo or another Alexa-equipped device in your home, you can control the Hisense 40H5590F with it.
The Hisense 40H5590F won’t cost you a lot out of pocket, as it is consistently priced at $200 at most retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. However, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to spend a lot more money to get a solid quality boost. A quick glance at Amazon shows 43-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV sets from TCL and Insignia for just $240 apiece, and both are well-reviewed by users. On the surface, that seems like $40 well spent.
The 43-inch Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition (see on Amazon) is one of those aforementioned $240 sets, and it’s a strong option that only costs a little bit more cash. As noted in our review, the 4K-resolution display looks great, even if the HDR doesn’t quite match up to more premium 4K alternatives, and the viewing angles are better than you’ll find on the Hisense set.
With Amazon’s Fire TV interface built-in, you can access the same array of streaming services and channels, and it feels snappy in usage. It’s the better buy if you can spare a little more cash, especially as more and more content comes out in 4K resolution.
Sensible and solid TV for the price.
The Hisense 40H5590F is a pretty good 1080p budget option at $200, and if you can find it for less than that, then it could be a great deal. But it doesn’t take much more cash to get a low-end 4K set with a better screen and other improvements, and that seems like a wise investment to make if you’re eyeing a set that can last some time into the future.