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Hisense 32H3 LED TV Review

The 32H3 is the worst entry-level TV we've tested so far this year.

$1,049.99 at Amazon 32 in.
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Of the many reasons not to buy the Hisense 32H3 (MSRP $179.99), awful core performance stands out the most. To make matters worse, the H3 also suffers from a cheap design and offers almost no software options for customizing its picture. At this price, we might have forgiven these issues if this bargain TV even came close to performing at an acceptable level. It's great that a manufacturer is willing to sell an HDTV at this price, but given its flaws, it's just not worth it.

If you can afford to spend a little bit more, there are much better televisions on the market that trump the H3 in both performance and value. In fact, the excellent E-Series from Vizio offers a 24-inch model that's for sale at online retailers for a comparable price. As it stands, there's really no reason to purchase the Hisense H3, unless you're absolutely dead-set on finding the cheapest possible HDTV.

The Looks & Experience

The bare minimum

I give Hisense credit for thinking somewhat outside-the-box when designing the H3. Much like the H7, the H3 features a modern glass stand that compliments its small frame quite nicely. Unfortunately, the stand only looks nice. The assembly screws don't fit properly, so it wobbles around like it might snap off at any minute. This wasn't just a bad sample—we received two units, and both had this problem.

The assembly screws for the TV's stand don't fit properly, so it wobbles around like it might snap off at any minute.
Hisense-32H3-stand.jpg
Unfortunately, while the H3's modern glass stand is appreciated, the faulty assembly screws are not. These do not hold the TV in place whatsoever. View Larger

The H3 is partially traditional, if only because it hides its video connections on the back of the panel. You'll find three HDMI inputs, a VGA port, AV/Component inputs, a coaxial connector, a PC/DVI audio input, a single USB 2.0 port, and a headphone jack.

Naturally, at this price, you won't find any flashy extras. The H3 includes a very basic remote control and batteries. Likewise, the TV's menu software is bare-bones and a headache to navigate.

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The Picture

It came, it saw, it failed all of our tests.

Generally speaking, people don't expect entry-level TVs to dazzle them with picture quality. Every now and then, however, we discover one that performs above its price and pedigree. The Hisense 32H3 is not one of those TVs.

Blue-tinted skin tones take center stage, but choppy, broken movement plays a critical supporting role in this disappointing farce.

Right off the bat, The Dark Knight on Blu-ray did not look normal. Blue-tinted skin tones take center stage, but choppy, broken movement plays a critical supporting role in this disappointing farce. The H3 certainly doesn't suffer the worst black levels I've seen recently, but its shockingly poor color performance is another story. Greens and reds stray quite far from ideals, meaning content simply doesn't look as filmmakers intended. For more on the H3's technical struggles, check out the Science page.

With its sub-Full HD resolution (720p,) poor color, and terrible motion performance, I can't recommend the H3 for movies, sports, games, or even basic cable. From a performance standpoint, there's just nothing positive worth noting about the Hisense H3.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Hisense 32H3, take a look at these other televisions.

The Verdict

You get what you pay for.

Typically, even low-end televisions have a place within the consumer hierarchy. Know this: The Hisense 32H3 (MSRP $179.99) is the lowest of the low-end.

The only rational reason for purchasing this TV is to buy the absolute cheapest option available.

The only rational reason for purchasing this TV is to buy the absolute cheapest option available with no consideration for performance. You can't really do any worse than this from a performance standpoint, and in terms of value, the H3 doesn't offer anything that makes its price an actual steal. What you see is what you get–and what you get here just isn't great.

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