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Hisense Air Conditioner Review: Stay Cool With High Tech and Low Temps

With a programmable app, smart-home compatibility, and a sleek design, this Hisense air conditioner might make sense for small rooms.
Tom Scalisi Avatar
Close up of installed Hisense Air Conditioner
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

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When it comes to keeping smaller rooms cool, there are a lot of air-conditioning options on the market, from mini-splits to portable to window air-conditioning units. And while cooling a small room isn’t difficult, many smaller window air conditioners rattle and are pretty limited on technology. Sure, they’re inexpensive and get the job done, but they can also be less user-friendly than other appliances.

That’s why I wanted to test this 8,000-BTU window unit from Hisense that has smart features and a clean design. While Hisense may not be the most recognizable brand in small air conditioners, this consumer electronics and appliance manufacturer has been gaining steam over the past few years. Hisense is a Chinese company with a global presence, including Hisense USA, headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia. Many shoppers may already be familiar with the brand for its TVs. In 2020, it was the fastest-growing TV brand among the best-selling brands in the U.S., with Tech Radar and PC Magazine naming Hisense products among their favorites.

Based on my experience with this 350-square-foot window unit, Hisense air conditioners deserve some serious consideration, too. This model has some smart features and a design that made me think it could be the ideal air conditioner for a small room in my home—my office, namely. I installed it and pitted it against other small air conditioners to test its quality, cooling capabilities, and tech-friendly features. This Hisense air conditioner review explains what I found and may be able to help shoppers decide if this window AC is right for the small rooms in their homes.

Hisense 350-Square-Foot Window Air Conditioner: At a Glance

Hisense Air Conditioner installed in white vinyl window
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

Rating: 8.6/10

PROS

  • Installation is straightforward without any tricky brackets
  • App is simple and easy to use for programming schedules and to check on the AC
  • Clean control panel and crosshatch grill make it a uniquely attractive window unit

CONS

  • Control panel buttons aren’t intuitive and sometimes don’t seem activated
  • Fairly loud, which isn’t ideal in a small space

Get the Hisense 350-Square-Foot Window Air Conditioner at Lowe’s for $319.

What is the Hisense air conditioner?

The Hisense air conditioner fits into windows between 24.5 inches and 39 inches and weighs 48.5 pounds. Powered by a standard 115-volt outlet, it produces up to 8,000 BTU (British thermal units) of cold air, making it suitable for rooms up to 350 square feet. This Energy Star–certified unit also has an automatic shutoff and provides four air-conditioning modes: cool, fan, dry (dehumidify), and eco mode.

Hisense has made adjusting these modes—as well as temperature and speed—very user-friendly, thanks to the included remote control and its Wi-Fi connectivity. This smart AC is compatible with Android, iOS, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa, allowing users to control the device with their digital assistant or free ConnectLife app.

Is the Hisense air conditioner easy to install?

Installing the Hisense air conditioner was a simple task. There aren’t any brackets to install, and since the air conditioner is compact, it’s relatively easy to handle.

There is a bit of assembly necessary, however. The top brace of the air conditioner must first be secured with the included screws. A Phillips screwdriver works, but a screw gun set to a lower torque setting is better. Once the top brace is on, the accordion panels slide into the grooves in the sides of the air conditioner while the top and bottom arms of the panels slide into the braces at the top and bottom of the air conditioner. At that point, the air conditioner is fully assembled.

Installation is also easy. Simply open the window and place the bottom brace outside of the windowsill’s lip and then lower the bottom sash until it’s behind the top brace. Next, extend the side panels so they overlap the window jamb and screw them into place with the included hardware. Next, drive a screw through the hole in the top brace and into the window sash to secure it in place. For more security, install the small L-bracket on the top sash to stop the bottom sash from lifting.

Side view of Hisense Air Conditioner in window
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

Does the Hisense air conditioner look good once installed?

Most people probably don’t think of the aesthetics of window air conditioners. They never look better than an opened window, and they also block light. As far as window air conditioners go, however, the Hisense is actually somewhat stylish.

The Hisense is a fairly attractive air conditioner. It’s not overly boxy like some window units, giving it a more upgraded look than a traditional window unit. Also, the control panel (despite my struggles with it) looks great, and there is a mode that dims that lights out completely for a clean look.

I’m also a big fan of the grille. Rather than a standard grille full of right angles, the Hisense’s grille features a tapered weave pattern that starts larger at the bottom and condenses toward the top of the grille. It’s an interesting look that definitely helps it stand out against other window air conditioners.

Is the Hisense air conditioner easy to use?

I found the Hisense air conditioner easy to use, though it could use some improvements. First, I got ahead of myself and downloaded a Hisense app and tried to link my phone to the air conditioner. This air conditioner doesn’t use the Hisense app, however, as it uses the ConnectLife app instead. Once I figured this out, linking the air conditioner to my phone and Google Assistant was straightforward.

The remote is also easy to use. The buttons are fairly straightforward with one exception: the mode button. The mode button cycles through the different modes. I found that if I was across the room, I couldn’t tell which mode I was in. The display has lights to indicate the mode, but the labeling is so small that it’s impossible to see from more than a few feet away (and I have excellent vision!). Otherwise, using the remote to adjust temperatures, activate sleep mode, or set up timers is simple.

My other complaint is that the buttons on the control panel itself aren’t exactly buttons. There isn’t any tactile response when pressing the button, and this air conditioner does respond somewhat slowly to touch. This makes it somewhat difficult to adjust at the control panel, so I preferred to make most of my adjustments via voice commands or app interface.

It’s also easy to change the filter, which is often not the case with small window air conditioners. The grille in the front drops down and the filter pulls straight out. Other small air conditioners have filters that slide in from the side, and in my experience they’re usually a pain and often knock the thermostat loose.

Close up of Hisense Air Conditioner control panel
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

How well does the Hisense air conditioner perform?

The Hisense air conditioner performs well. It’s able to cool my small-but-uninsulated 140-square-foot office relatively quickly (about 10 minutes from feeling like a greenhouse to comfortable). While the office is small, it has no insulation in its roof, which remains warm to the touch while the room is comfortable.

I’m able to easily adjust its settings from my phone or with voice activation. It responds relatively slowly to both, taking a few seconds for the new settings to take hold, but I haven’t found this to be an issue. Overall, it’s powerful enough to cool a hot office full of glass windows that bakes in the sun all day long.

Here’s the issue I have with performance, however: it’s loud. Even with the fan set to low, this air conditioner is too loud to run during a phone call or meeting. It was at 58 decibels from around 4 feet away on low and 70 decibels on high. That’s a major downside, especially being that it is designed for a small room. However, it’s not rattly or cheap sounding, it just has a loud hum while it’s running.

Is the Hisense air conditioner worth the money? 

With all the features included, one might think that this air conditioner is much more expensive than it is—I know I was surprised. As it turns out, it’s reasonably priced at $319, compared with similar window units that cost about $100 more.

If anything, it might even be budget-friendly, particularly considering that most 8,000-BTU air conditioners don’t have Wi-Fi or remotes to offer. They simply have knobs or digital displays, and that’s the extent of it. The Hisense has Wi-Fi and a remote, and it’s compatible with digital voice assistants. All in all, the Hisense window unit is worth the money despite its tricky buttons and loud noise level.

Close up of Hisense Air Conditioner filter
Photo: Tom Scalisi for Bob Vila

Is the Hisense air conditioner right for you?

Deciding whether the Hisense air conditioner is a good fit takes some consideration. First, it’s designed for smaller rooms. If you have a large room, there are other Hisense models that will likely be a better fit. Second, folks who appreciate smart-home devices will enjoy this model’s app and compatibility with voice assistants. Both functions are excellent and make this a great choice for most people if that’s what they value.

However, for those out there who prefer their small rooms to stay quiet, the Hisense might not be the best option. It’s relatively loud, making it less than ideal during conference calls in small rooms. For those scenarios, I suggest the Midea 8,000-BTU U-shaped air conditioner.

On the other hand, this unit would be great for a bedroom. Users can set up different schedules to ensure that it isn’t running during the day when no one is home, or they can check on the status of their air conditioner remotely, ensuring that the home stays cool all day. They can also allow the white noise of the air conditioner to block out street noise and other sounds throughout the night to help them sleep better.

For anyone who needs a window AC at a reasonable price—and doesn’t mind a bit of white noise—the Hisense window air conditioner is a great option.

Get the Hisense 350-Square-Foot Window Air Conditioner at Lowe’s for $319.

Meet the Tester

Tom Scalisi is a full-time DIY and construction writer for many of the largest websites in the industry, including BobVila.com, This Old House, Family Handyman, and Forbes. He has plenty of experience installing, using, and maintaining window air conditioners to cool his otherwise stuffy 70-year-old home without central air.

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Tom Scalisi

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Tom Scalisi is a freelance writer, author, and blogger with a passion for building. Whether it’s a DIY project or an entire website, Tom loves creating something from the ground up, stepping back, and admiring a job well done.

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