Ben Sin

Ben is an independent tech writer covering the latest gadgets - as well as review the occasional film - for the South China Morning Post. Prior to this, he was a five-year staff with the company, first as a culture writer and then later a sub-editor. He's also held staff writing positions with the Village Voice and Sports Illustrated in New York, and has been published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
Ben Sin
Ben is an independent tech writer covering the latest gadgets - as well as review the occasional film - for the South China Morning Post. Prior to this, he was a five-year staff with the company, first as a culture writer and then later a sub-editor. He's also held staff writing positions with the Village Voice and Sports Illustrated in New York, and has been published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Latest from Ben Sin

iPadOS first look: how Apple’s new tablet OS will boost iPad user experience

Apple’s new tablet software includes a bunch of new features designed to boost productivity, including a new storage system that lets users create folders, support for external storage and better multitasking functions.

9 Jun 2019 - 7:25PM

Apple’s new tablet software includes a bunch of new features designed to boost productivity, including a new storage system that lets users create folders, support for external storage and better multitasking functions.

iPadOS first look: how Apple’s new tablet OS will boost iPad user experience
Apple ends iTunes: Music, Podcast and TV apps replace it, but there’s no denying its legacy and cultural impact

iTunes will be replaced by Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV when consumers upgrade their MacOS software to the latest version. But in 2003 it changed the way we bought songs and albums as the music business struggled with online piracy and file-sharing sites.

4 Jun 2019 - 3:32PM

iTunes will be replaced by Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV when consumers upgrade their MacOS software to the latest version. But in 2003 it changed the way we bought songs and albums as the music business struggled with online piracy and file-sharing sites.

Apple ends iTunes: Music, Podcast and TV apps replace it, but there’s no denying its legacy and cultural impact
Apple conference highlights: Facebook put down, new iPad Pro updates and a stand-alone Watch

The Apple Worldwide Developer Conference had some shake-ups including its US$6,000 computer and the end of iTunes. There were other important announcements: an iPod update that makes it more of a computer, and a more independent Apple Watch.

4 Jun 2019 - 12:12PM

The Apple Worldwide Developer Conference had some shake-ups including its US$6,000 computer and the end of iTunes. There were other important announcements: an iPod update that makes it more of a computer, and a more independent Apple Watch.

Apple conference highlights: Facebook put down, new iPad Pro updates and a stand-alone Watch
Review | OnePlus 7 Pro full review: so fast, you won’t want to go back to another phone

Its screen refresh rate is a game-changer, its resolution is top notch, and its Android OS is the best – making for a fast, fluid phone. Downsides include camera niggles, battery life, and a bland-looking case, but they are minor.

2 Jun 2019 - 6:33PM

Its screen refresh rate is a game-changer, its resolution is top notch, and its Android OS is the best – making for a fast, fluid phone. Downsides include camera niggles, battery life, and a bland-looking case, but they are minor.

OnePlus 7 Pro full review: so fast, you won’t want to go back to another phone
Vivo X27 Pro full review: good, but no match for Oppo Reno, OnePlus 7 Pro from same manufacturer

In its favour is its 6.7-inch display and wild gradient design on rear, but Vivo’s processor is low-powered and other features – all-screen display, pop-up selfie camera, in-display fingerprint scanner – are standard on recent Chinese phones.

28 May 2019 - 8:00PM

In its favour is its 6.7-inch display and wild gradient design on rear, but Vivo’s processor is low-powered and other features – all-screen display, pop-up selfie camera, in-display fingerprint scanner – are standard on recent Chinese phones.

Vivo X27 Pro full review: good, but no match for Oppo Reno, OnePlus 7 Pro from same manufacturer
Review | Honor 20 Pro full review: telephoto, wide angle lenses welcome – but should you buy one?

New handset has a lot in common with the Honor View 20, but adds useful telephoto and wide angle camera lenses; however, if Google won’t service phone because of US ban on Huawei, don’t buy it if you’re outside China.

26 May 2019 - 7:20PM

New handset has a lot in common with the Honor View 20, but adds useful telephoto and wide angle camera lenses; however, if Google won’t service phone because of US ban on Huawei, don’t buy it if you’re outside China.

Honor 20 Pro full review: telephoto, wide angle lenses welcome – but should you buy one?
Hesitant about buying a Huawei? Five Android alternatives, from Samsung to LG

Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Oppo all offer superb smartphones for anyone who wants a top Android phone but who might be put off a Huawei after Google said it will stop supporting the Chinese firm.

22 May 2019 - 5:31PM

Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, OnePlus and Oppo all offer superb smartphones for anyone who wants a top Android phone but who might be put off a Huawei after Google said it will stop supporting the Chinese firm.

Hesitant about buying a Huawei? Five Android alternatives, from Samsung to LG
Review | Best action camera: DJI Osmo Action beats GoPro with its front-facing display

The DJI Osmo Action is a solid action camera with one game-changing feature: a secondary front-facing display that lets users see what they’re recording. Now extreme sport participants have more options than just GoPros.

22 May 2019 - 8:19PM

The DJI Osmo Action is a solid action camera with one game-changing feature: a secondary front-facing display that lets users see what they’re recording. Now extreme sport participants have more options than just GoPros.

Best action camera: DJI Osmo Action beats GoPro with its front-facing display
Review | Field test: real-time, in-ear bilingual translator WT2 Plus impresses – but it may be overpriced

Chinese start-up’s WT2 Plus real-time interpreting earpieces provide free-flowing translation of a bilingual conversation, but with a short time lag. Its algorithm-based app handles colloquial Cantonese without difficulty.

12 May 2019 - 8:02PM

Chinese start-up’s WT2 Plus real-time interpreting earpieces provide free-flowing translation of a bilingual conversation, but with a short time lag. Its algorithm-based app handles colloquial Cantonese without difficulty.

Field test: real-time, in-ear bilingual translator WT2 Plus impresses – but it may be overpriced
Review | Oppo Reno 10x Zoom full review: camera zoom is up there with Huawei P30 Pro, and it’s much cheaper

For those drawn to the prowess of the Huawei P30 Pro’s zoom lens but put off by its price – not far off that of an iPhone X – new Oppo handset is a great alternative. It looks clean and stylish, and the battery lasts all day.

20 May 2019 - 2:32PM

For those drawn to the prowess of the Huawei P30 Pro’s zoom lens but put off by its price – not far off that of an iPhone X – new Oppo handset is a great alternative. It looks clean and stylish, and the battery lasts all day.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom full review: camera zoom is up there with Huawei P30 Pro, and it’s much cheaper
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7: budget smartphone punches way above its US$190 price tag

Its sleek look and glass back offers a more premium in-hand feel than the plastic backs found on most phones in its budget price bracket. As for optics, the Note 7 advertises a 48-megapixel camera sensor, but that’s misleading.

21 Apr 2019 - 6:12PM

Its sleek look and glass back offers a more premium in-hand feel than the plastic backs found on most phones in its budget price bracket. As for optics, the Note 7 advertises a 48-megapixel camera sensor, but that’s misleading.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 7: budget smartphone punches way above its US$190 price tag
Review | LG G8 full review: better to use than Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30 Pro but lacks their looks

The G8 looks a bit bland, but use it for a couple of hours and it is clear that LG places usability and real-world benefits over the flashiness of competing phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Huawei’s P30 Pro.

14 Apr 2019 - 7:06PM

The G8 looks a bit bland, but use it for a couple of hours and it is clear that LG places usability and real-world benefits over the flashiness of competing phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Huawei’s P30 Pro.

LG G8 full review: better to use than Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30 Pro but lacks their looks
Review | Huawei P30 Pro full review: breakthrough zoom and extreme low light photography

The P30 Pro’s amazing 40-megapixel main camera lens and 8-megapixel telephoto lens have raised the bar for digital imaging. Its ‘periscope’ telephoto lens captures 5x and 10x zoom shots with far greater clarity than rivals.

20 May 2019 - 2:34PM

The P30 Pro’s amazing 40-megapixel main camera lens and 8-megapixel telephoto lens have raised the bar for digital imaging. Its ‘periscope’ telephoto lens captures 5x and 10x zoom shots with far greater clarity than rivals.

Huawei P30 Pro full review: breakthrough zoom and extreme low light photography
Apple Watch irregular heartbeat detection features debut in 19 markets including UK, Hong Kong

Inspired by stories such as that of Hongkonger whose Apple Watch detected his unusual heartbeat and saved his life, Apple adds new features to smartwatch – an electrocardiograph app and an irregular heart rhythm detector.

28 Mar 2019 - 3:11PM

Inspired by stories such as that of Hongkonger whose Apple Watch detected his unusual heartbeat and saved his life, Apple adds new features to smartwatch – an electrocardiograph app and an irregular heart rhythm detector.

Apple Watch irregular heartbeat detection features debut in 19 markets including UK, Hong Kong
Huawei P30 Pro/P30 first look: handsets raise bar for smartphone zoom photography

New flagship phone has everything you’d want: telephoto lens and re-engineered main camera lens produce world-beating 10x lossless zoom images, and we can’t wait to test phones’ lowlight shooting prowess.

26 Mar 2019 - 9:39PM

New flagship phone has everything you’d want: telephoto lens and re-engineered main camera lens produce world-beating 10x lossless zoom images, and we can’t wait to test phones’ lowlight shooting prowess.

Huawei P30 Pro/P30 first look: handsets raise bar for smartphone zoom photography
A great phone for watching movies, but Sony’s Xperia 10 Plus is poor in many other areas

The 21:9 aspect ratio on the Xperia 10 Plus delivers a quality cinematic experience, but the camera performance, chipset speed and battery life are well below that of similarly priced phones.

17 Mar 2019 - 8:13PM

The 21:9 aspect ratio on the Xperia 10 Plus delivers a quality cinematic experience, but the camera performance, chipset speed and battery life are well below that of similarly priced phones.

A great phone for watching movies, but Sony’s Xperia 10 Plus is poor in many other areas
Review | Samsung Galaxy S10: best phone overall is sleek and stunning, with looks to rival Apple

For the 10th anniversary of its flagship S line, the company has pulled out all the stops to deliver a trio of powerful, sleek handsets that have a mostly unique identity and look from the sea of phones out there.

23 Mar 2019 - 7:25PM

For the 10th anniversary of its flagship S line, the company has pulled out all the stops to deliver a trio of powerful, sleek handsets that have a mostly unique identity and look from the sea of phones out there.

Samsung Galaxy S10: best phone overall is sleek and stunning, with looks to rival Apple
MWC 2019 winners? Chinese phone brands. Here’s what they revealed

Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, ZTE and Nubia all had a great showing at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Huawei’s foldable Mate X was the star, but the other brands all did their bit to grab attention.

10 Mar 2019 - 5:37PM

Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, ZTE and Nubia all had a great showing at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Huawei’s foldable Mate X was the star, but the other brands all did their bit to grab attention.

MWC 2019 winners? Chinese phone brands. Here’s what they revealed
First impressions of LG G8 and V50: 5G-ready and a second screen or infrared palm unlock

LG’s two latest flagship handsets appear identical at first glance but they differ inside. The V50 can be attached to a second screen, and the G8 can be unlocked with a sweep of the palm.

26 Feb 2019 - 11:22AM

LG’s two latest flagship handsets appear identical at first glance but they differ inside. The V50 can be attached to a second screen, and the G8 can be unlocked with a sweep of the palm.

First impressions of LG G8 and V50: 5G-ready and a second screen or infrared palm unlock
Huawei Mate X first look: foldable phone outshines rival Samsung handset in almost every way

5G-ready Mate X beats rival Samsung’s foldable phone in almost every way; its back-to-back, almost edge-to-edge screens fold out to 8 inches wide in tablet mode, and it is only 5.4mm thick. It goes on sale in June for US$2,600.

25 Feb 2019 - 12:31PM

5G-ready Mate X beats rival Samsung’s foldable phone in almost every way; its back-to-back, almost edge-to-edge screens fold out to 8 inches wide in tablet mode, and it is only 5.4mm thick. It goes on sale in June for US$2,600.

Huawei Mate X first look: foldable phone outshines rival Samsung handset in almost every way
32-megapixel pop-up selfie camera is biggest ever on a phone: Vivo V15 Pro first impressions

With a 48 megapixel triple-lens back camera array and the monster selfie camera, it takes great photos for a mid-tier phone. It also has some good software and features, but the handset feels cheap.

21 Feb 2019 - 4:28PM

With a 48 megapixel triple-lens back camera array and the monster selfie camera, it takes great photos for a mid-tier phone. It also has some good software and features, but the handset feels cheap.

32-megapixel pop-up selfie camera is biggest ever on a phone: Vivo V15 Pro first impressions
Meizu Zero first look: phone without buttons or ports takes minimalism to new extremes

Charging is done wirelessly, buttons have been replaced by pressure-sensitive panels, and e-SIM niche technology replaces the SIM card. These innovations are still unpolished, but they will be the norm sooner than you think.

19 Feb 2019 - 8:28PM

Charging is done wirelessly, buttons have been replaced by pressure-sensitive panels, and e-SIM niche technology replaces the SIM card. These innovations are still unpolished, but they will be the norm sooner than you think.

Meizu Zero first look: phone without buttons or ports takes minimalism to new extremes
Mobile World Congress preview: Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony news we expect to hear, and more

We’ll see true foldable phones from Samsung and Huawei, Galaxy S10 and P30 launches, a seamless unibody smartphone from Vivo, 5G devices and Sony’s comeback.

17 Feb 2019 - 6:44PM

We’ll see true foldable phones from Samsung and Huawei, Galaxy S10 and P30 launches, a seamless unibody smartphone from Vivo, 5G devices and Sony’s comeback.

Mobile World Congress preview: Samsung, Huawei, LG, Sony news we expect to hear, and more
LG V40 ThinQ smartphone: best Android video phone, perfect for vloggers

The V40 ThinQ can shoot videos with both electrical and optical stabilisation at resolutions up to 4K/30fps, offering more control than any other Android phone. It can even shoot at 4K/60fps, something Huawei phones still can’t.

3 Feb 2019 - 7:03PM

The V40 ThinQ can shoot videos with both electrical and optical stabilisation at resolutions up to 4K/30fps, offering more control than any other Android phone. It can even shoot at 4K/60fps, something Huawei phones still can’t.

LG V40 ThinQ smartphone: best Android video phone, perfect for vloggers
Review | Apple’s HomePod smart speaker can hear Cantonese whispers, but only works with iOS products

The HomePod has been adapted for use in Hong Kong, hence its late release. It offers intelligent omnidirectional sound, the ability to be paired for stereo sound, but only Apple hardware and software are compatible.

27 Jan 2019 - 6:08PM

The HomePod has been adapted for use in Hong Kong, hence its late release. It offers intelligent omnidirectional sound, the ability to be paired for stereo sound, but only Apple hardware and software are compatible.

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker can hear Cantonese whispers, but only works with iOS products
Doogee S90 modular phone turns into night vision camera, walkie talkie, and is rugged to boot: review

Shenzhen-based Doogee’s S90 is a US$399 modular ‘rugged phone’ catering to people who frequent rough environments. Four add-ons are currently available, with more promised in the future.

18 Jan 2019 - 2:41AM

Shenzhen-based Doogee’s S90 is a US$399 modular ‘rugged phone’ catering to people who frequent rough environments. Four add-ons are currently available, with more promised in the future.

Doogee S90 modular phone turns into night vision camera, walkie talkie, and is rugged to boot: review
Honor View 20 first look: hole-punch selfie camera replaces notch, and a 48-megapixel main camera

Huawei sub-brand is first to market with front-facing camera housed in a hole punched in display instead of a notch, a trend likely to stick in 2019; its main camera can take ultra-bright 12-megapixel photos or huge-resolution images.

9 Jan 2019 - 10:45AM

Huawei sub-brand is first to market with front-facing camera housed in a hole punched in display instead of a notch, a trend likely to stick in 2019; its main camera can take ultra-bright 12-megapixel photos or huge-resolution images.

Honor View 20 first look: hole-punch selfie camera replaces notch, and a 48-megapixel main camera
2018: the year Apple’s iPhone XS Max made this Android fan a convert

Chinese smartphones – from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei – take four of the top five spots in our ranking of the best smartphones of 2018, but the No. 1 spot goes to Apple.

30 Dec 2018 - 4:25PM

Chinese smartphones – from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Oppo and Huawei – take four of the top five spots in our ranking of the best smartphones of 2018, but the No. 1 spot goes to Apple.

2018: the year Apple’s iPhone XS Max made this Android fan a convert
Review | DJI Osmo Pocket handheld camera: the tiny package that takes super steady 4K video

The DJI Osmo Pocket can lock onto and track a face or object even when it is moving. However, it relies heavily on add-ons, even for basic functionality.

16 Dec 2018 - 6:12PM

The DJI Osmo Pocket can lock onto and track a face or object even when it is moving. However, it relies heavily on add-ons, even for basic functionality.

DJI Osmo Pocket handheld camera: the tiny package that takes super steady 4K video
Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition first look: the dual-screen phone done right

On first impressions, Chinese handset maker’s newest offering, with its dual OLED display panels and impressive camera system, will be a top performer

13 Dec 2018 - 1:10PM

On first impressions, Chinese handset maker’s newest offering, with its dual OLED display panels and impressive camera system, will be a top performer

Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition first look: the dual-screen phone done right