Haier 65S9QT QLED TV review: stylish and visually impressive

The renowned consumer electronics brand Haier, known for its home appliances, offers a wide range of TVs in India. Prices start as low as Rs 15,990 and go up to Rs 2,15,990 for the Haier OLED 65-inch C11 TV with Harman Kardon speakers. That said, if you have a budget of around a lakh and are looking for a large-screen TV, the Haier 65S9QT QLED TV is worth considering. 

The TV is currently priced in India at Rs 92,990 and can be credited for its exceptional viewing experience, courtesy of Dolby Vision IQ picture quality, HDR10 support, high contrast ratio, and MEMC 120Hz refresh rate, among other things. However, there are a few areas where the TV might leave you wanting for more. Read on to find out more in this Haier 65S9QT QLED TV review.

Design

The Haier 65S9QT QLED TV is one of the most well-designed TVs I have come across. It is sleek and stylish, boasting a metal frame that contributes to thinner bezels around the screen compared to TVs with plastic frames. There is a substantial chin at the bottom that is covered with a navy blue fabric finish that adds a contrasting appeal. The chin is also where you will find Haier branding, along with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision logos.

The back panel is made of plastic and includes all the essential ports to connect external devices. While the wall-mounted stand is not included in the box, the TV ships with an elegant table stand, comprising two sleek metal rods and a metal bridge. The stand is stable enough to handle the load of the TV, which weighs 19.7kgs and features anti-skid grips at the base for stability.

Display and audio

The Haier 65S9QT boasts an array of display features expected from a premium QLED TV. The 65-inch panel supports Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10, and HLG video formats. Additionally, it offers 4K HDR, 400 nits of brightness, a 7,000:1 contrast ratio, and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz with MEMC. While the picture quality isn’t flawless, the overall experience is fantastic. The display delivers vibrant picture quality, with excellent contrast and rich colours across different lighting conditions. The Dolby Vision IQ monitors the brightness in the room to adjust the display quality for an optimum experience. The difference is subtle, with the colours appearing punchier in darker environments than brighter ones.

I streamed some of my favourite TV shows and movies on the device, and let me tell you, Ford vs Ferrari, which I have watched countless times on a variety of devices, didn’t feel as exhilarating to me as it did on the Haier 65S9QT. It almost transported me back to its theatrical release, at least visually, if not in terms of audio. The TV presented detailed and well-calibrated visuals, even during scenes with the sun and car headlights behind. Having said that, streaming shows/ movies with predominantly darker scenes, such as Sherlock and the newly-released Dark Matter, might not be very satisfying. While the Dolby Vision and HDR capabilities attempt to mask this limitation, the visuals don’t always appear realistic. An OLED TV might be a better fit for such content.

Be that as it may, gamers are going to be pleased with the Haier 65S9QT panel which supports up to 120Hz refresh rate for smooth animation and improved video frame rate. As with any other QLED TVs within the segment, the Haier smart TV doesn’t have 4K gaming at 120Hz. The maximum supported resolution that you are going to get with that refresh rate is UHD, and the experience remains quite enjoyable. Even for a casual gamer like me, playing games such as Dirt Racing 5 and FIFA 23 was highly engaging. The transition from bright to dark scenes was smooth, thanks to the TV’s local dimming technology.

Coming to the audio, the Haier 65S9QT QLED TV is equipped with 30W stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos. The speakers are positioned behind the display and are certified by dbx-tv for an enhanced listening experience. While the audio is clear and crisp, it feels a bit underwhelming for the 65-inch panel, especially if it is placed in a living-cum dining room. It didn’t sound as fuller and engaging as I would have anticipated. Sports content remains acceptable, but dialogue clarity from movies and TV shows leaves a bit to be desired. Although the TV offers several audio modes to boost performance, investing in a high-quality soundbar or external speaker system is recommended for a truly immersive experience.

Remote control and connectivity

You get a Bluetooth-compatible remote with the Haier 65S9QT QLED TV, enhancing its premium feel with a metal frame. This remote boasts a good range, ensuring convenient control from a distance, and more buttons than some of the newly launched TVs from other brands. It features a circular dial for effortless navigation and hotkeys for popular OTT platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime. Moreover, there are dedicated buttons for Google Assistant, source selection, home, returning to the previous screen, media controls, audio settings, and general settings, among other things. 

Notably, the volume rocker and mute button are positioned on the right spine of the remote, and require a bit of a learning curve to get used to. While everything else looks fine, my only qualm with the remote is its colour choice. It comes in a silver shade, prone to getting dirty rather easily. The TV can also be controlled using a joystick positioned on the right edge at the back of the unit.

The Haier 65S9QT features all sorts of connectivity options that you come to expect from a smart TV. Starting with wireless, the TV boasts dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Additionally, it offers 4x HDMI ports, with up to 4k resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, as well as 2 x USB 2.0 ports, LAN, headphone jack, video/ audio input, antenna/ cable, and optical output for speaker.

Performance and software

This Google-powered TV is equipped with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The performance of the Haier 65S9QT was pretty seamless during my review. It offered smooth animation while scrolling between the UI and launching apps. Everything functioned effortlessly, even though the apps took a fraction of a second to load. Nevertheless, there were no awkward app freezing or crashing issues.

The UI is similar to other Google TVs, featuring curated content on the home screen from various OTT platforms based on my preferences. A Google account is required to access the app marketplace and download additional apps. This is all very nice, as it also seamlessly integrates your favourite content across devices, facilitating an effortless viewing experience. However, it presents a problem too. You see TV is not as personal device as your smartphone or laptop. The Haier 65S9QT was positioned in my dining room, and used by others in the household as well. While separate profiles can be created, my not-so-tech-savvy parents would inadvertently end up using my profile, impacting the content recommendations. It would have been better if there was a mechanism to password-protect the profile. Worth mentioning that Google TV does offer a settings lock option in settings, and also a way to turn off content recommendations. Also, a password is needed to switch to a adult user from a kids profile. 

Nevertheless, the Google TV OS has a few positives as well such as Chromecast, which lets you cast photos, videos, music, and more from your Android smartphone to the big screen wirelessly. Additionally, there is a built-in AI Google Assistant for hands-free control to search for shows and adjust volume. I encountered a few glitches like the TV disconnecting from Wi-Fi while streaming. This was fixed with a software update.

Verdict

The Haier 65S9QT QLED TV is currently priced at Rs 92,990 in India. However, more affordable 65-inch TVs from brands like Sony, Samsung, Hisense, and Vu are available. Among these is the OnePlus Q2 Pro (review), which offers more features than the Haier QLED TV. The OnePlus Q2 Pro boasts 70W speakers, a 120Hz refresh rate panel, Dolby Vision support, and a Google TV interface, among other things. Additionally, the OnePlus TV is retailing in India for as low as Rs 69,999.

However, if you are looking for a TV with a sleek design and remarkable viewing experience, the Haier 65S9QT QLED TV presents an enticing package. Boasting Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10 support, and a high refresh rate, it delivers vibrant visuals and smooth motion. However, its audio performance may not fully match its large screen size. Nevertheless, considering its overall performance and feature set, it remains a compelling choice within the premium 65-inch QLED TV segment.

Editor’s rating: 7.5 / 10

Pros

  • Elegant design and good build quality
  • Excellent picture quality with vibrant colours
  • Smooth performance and user-friendly interface

Cons

  • Audio quality could have been better
  • Dark scene performance is a bit unsatisfactory
  • Pricey