Ben Sin

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

Nubia, Realme, Vivo: new Chinese phones we would’ve seen at MWC – what the plans are now

What do smaller Chinese phone brands have planned after the Mobile World Congress was cancelled? From Nubia’s Red Magic 5G to Realme’s X50 5G, here are the phones we expect to see soon, and how they might be launched.

19 Feb 2020 - 3:05PM

What do smaller Chinese phone brands have planned after the Mobile World Congress was cancelled? From Nubia’s Red Magic 5G to Realme’s X50 5G, here are the phones we expect to see soon, and how they might be launched.

Nubia, Realme, Vivo: new Chinese phones we would’ve seen at MWC – what the plans are now
Review | Huawei Mate X review: folding phone is the most futuristic out there, despite last-gen components

Huawei’s Mate X is the best-looking folding phone on the market. Opening it inspires looks of wonder on the streets. It uses last-generation components, but the finely tuned software makes up for any lag.

7 Feb 2020 - 11:02AM

Huawei’s Mate X is the best-looking folding phone on the market. Opening it inspires looks of wonder on the streets. It uses last-generation components, but the finely tuned software makes up for any lag.

Huawei Mate X review: folding phone is the most futuristic out there, despite last-gen components
Mobile World Congress: coronavirus may hit Chinese phone launches – two reasons why

Chinese phone brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo have dominated trade show in Barcelona, but the coronavirus outbreak spreading from China could affect their presence this year.

6 Feb 2020 - 8:28PM

Chinese phone brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo have dominated trade show in Barcelona, but the coronavirus outbreak spreading from China could affect their presence this year.

Mobile World Congress: coronavirus may hit Chinese phone launches – two reasons why
Review | Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro review: Chinese earbuds are feature-packed but have average sound

Apple AirPods led the way for truly wireless earbuds, but other brands are catching up. The Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro from Chinese start-up Mobvoi look similar, but have upped the ante when it comes to features.

29 Jan 2020 - 5:30PM

Apple AirPods led the way for truly wireless earbuds, but other brands are catching up. The Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro from Chinese start-up Mobvoi look similar, but have upped the ante when it comes to features.

Mobvoi TicPods 2 Pro review: Chinese earbuds are feature-packed but have average sound
Review | Insta360 One R action camera review: capable, clever – like having your own film crew

The Insta360 One R action camera allows you to shoot different types of footage and edit it on the fly. With its amazing software, features and ability to swap out lenses, it is like having your own professional film crew. Here’s our review.

15 Jan 2020 - 7:40PM

The Insta360 One R action camera allows you to shoot different types of footage and edit it on the fly. With its amazing software, features and ability to swap out lenses, it is like having your own professional film crew. Here’s our review.

Insta360 One R action camera review: capable, clever – like having your own film crew
Review | Honor V30 Pro full review: no Google Maps is a problem, and a shame – mid-tier phone’s specs are close to pricier flagship Huawei Mate 30 Pro’s

The best processor available, the same camera set-up as much pricier Huawei Mate 30 Pro – it’s a shame Honor handset lacks Google Home Services because of US sanctions against Chinese electronics giant.

10 Jan 2020 - 9:00AM

The best processor available, the same camera set-up as much pricier Huawei Mate 30 Pro – it’s a shame Honor handset lacks Google Home Services because of US sanctions against Chinese electronics giant.

Honor V30 Pro full review: no Google Maps is a problem, and a shame – mid-tier phone’s specs are close to pricier flagship Huawei  Mate 30 Pro’s
Smartphones in 2020: the big reveals expected at CES, Mobile World Congress

New handsets from Oppo, Huawei sub-brand Honor, Realme, and LG, and a OnePlus concept phone are expected at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. Apple will be back at CES too.

30 Dec 2019 - 11:56AM

New handsets from Oppo, Huawei sub-brand Honor, Realme, and LG, and a OnePlus concept phone are expected at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. Apple will be back at CES too.

Smartphones in 2020: the big reveals expected at CES, Mobile World Congress
Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro review: great value gaming phone – but pay for the additional controller accessory to make it feel like a Nintendo Switch

The Black Shark 2 Pro is a huge improvement on last year’s Xiaomi gaming phone, and results in a mobile gaming experience on par with the PlayStation Vita or Nintendo Switch – but only when you invest in two controller accessories.

21 Dec 2019 - 7:43PM

The Black Shark 2 Pro is a huge improvement on last year’s Xiaomi gaming phone, and results in a mobile gaming experience on par with the PlayStation Vita or Nintendo Switch – but only when you invest in two controller accessories.

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Pro review: great value gaming phone – but pay for the additional controller accessory to make it feel like a Nintendo Switch
Honor MagicWatch 2 review: jaw-dropping battery life, great value and stylish looks make it ideal for Android users

The incredible battery life – Apple Watches only last two days – is a huge bonus, while Huawei’s watch software is quicker than Google’s WearOS. But the one digital assistant available only uses Mandarin.

11 Dec 2019 - 12:50PM

The incredible battery life – Apple Watches only last two days – is a huge bonus, while Huawei’s watch software is quicker than Google’s WearOS. But the one digital assistant available only uses Mandarin.

Honor MagicWatch 2 review: jaw-dropping battery life, great value and stylish looks make it ideal for Android users
Best Apple apps and games of 2019: winning Chinese developer on his non-toxic game that’s antidote to the usual greed and desire for domination

Social role-playing game Sky: Children of Light named iPhone game of the year. Shanghai native Jenova Chen, who developed it, explains why players win by showing kindness, not killer instinct.

5 Dec 2019 - 9:02PM

Social role-playing game Sky: Children of Light named iPhone game of the year. Shanghai native Jenova Chen, who developed it, explains why players win by showing kindness, not killer instinct.

Best Apple apps and games of 2019: winning Chinese developer on his non-toxic game that’s antidote to the usual greed and desire for domination
Apple MacBook Pro 2019 16-inch review: best MacBook in years thanks to better keyboard, insane power, great battery life and more

Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 finally dumps the butterfly keyboard, automatically making it a winner, while insane power, great battery life, improved design and superb speakers make it one of the best laptops out there.

27 Nov 2019 - 6:07AM

Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro 2019 finally dumps the butterfly keyboard, automatically making it a winner, while insane power, great battery life, improved design and superb speakers make it one of the best laptops out there.

Apple MacBook Pro 2019 16-inch review: best MacBook in years thanks to better keyboard, insane power, great battery life and more
ZTE Nubia Z20 review: dual screen phone’s rear display great for selfies and flipping between apps

The ZTE Nubia Z20’s OLED back screen allows users to take selfies with the phone’s main camera system, which sports a 48-megapixel Sony sensor, and easily flip between apps like games and WhatsApp.

27 Nov 2019 - 5:44PM

The ZTE Nubia Z20’s OLED back screen allows users to take selfies with the phone’s main camera system, which sports a 48-megapixel Sony sensor, and easily flip between apps like games and WhatsApp.

ZTE Nubia Z20 review: dual screen phone’s rear display great for selfies and flipping between apps
How a Chinese company’s pressure sensors spell end of physical smartphone buttons

Physical buttons could be replaced by highly sensitive pressure sensors made by Shenzhen tech company NDT. The sensors can detect 1,000 levels of pressure and sit under the phone’s screen or body.

19 Nov 2019 - 8:28PM

Physical buttons could be replaced by highly sensitive pressure sensors made by Shenzhen tech company NDT. The sensors can detect 1,000 levels of pressure and sit under the phone’s screen or body.

How a Chinese company’s pressure sensors spell end of physical smartphone buttons
Review | Xiaomi Mi Note 10 full review: first 108-megapixel camera phone lives up to hype – but only in certain conditions

The 108MP specialist lens will be of most use to travellers and adventurers who want to photograph landscapes and architecture. However, the lens – one of six – struggles in low light and overall, this Chinese-made phone does not offer great value.

6 Nov 2019 - 7:13PM

The 108MP specialist lens will be of most use to travellers and adventurers who want to photograph landscapes and architecture. However, the lens – one of six – struggles in low light and overall, this Chinese-made phone does not offer great value.

Xiaomi Mi Note 10 full review: first 108-megapixel camera phone lives up to hype – but only in certain conditions
Review | LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen full review: all the versatility of two screens for a third of the cost of Samsung Galaxy Fold

LG’s two screens are great for multitasking, typing documents and playing games. As a smartphone it’s nothing special, but the dual-screen configuration makes up for any shortcomings.

31 Oct 2019 - 8:17PM

LG’s two screens are great for multitasking, typing documents and playing games. As a smartphone it’s nothing special, but the dual-screen configuration makes up for any shortcomings.

LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen full review: all the versatility of two screens for a third of the cost of Samsung Galaxy Fold
Review | Xperia 5 review: Sony’s best phone for some time, uniquely designed but hard to recommend

The Xperia 5’s quirky, narrow form will appeal to fans of Sony’s other smartphones and it feels good in the hand, but the relatively high price compared and mediocre camera performance will put some people off.

29 Oct 2019 - 3:46AM

The Xperia 5’s quirky, narrow form will appeal to fans of Sony’s other smartphones and it feels good in the hand, but the relatively high price compared and mediocre camera performance will put some people off.

Xperia 5 review: Sony’s best phone for some time, uniquely designed but hard to recommend
Realme X2 Pro review: best phone screen around and amazing value, with spec sheet to rival top Samsung and LG phones

The X2 Pro by Oppo sub-brand Realme has a mesmerising 90Hz display that, in this reviewer’s opinion, is the best available on the market right now, and overall the phone offers value far beyond its price tag.

26 Oct 2019 - 3:00PM

The X2 Pro by Oppo sub-brand Realme has a mesmerising 90Hz display that, in this reviewer’s opinion, is the best available on the market right now, and overall the phone offers value far beyond its price tag.

Realme X2 Pro review: best phone screen around and amazing value, with spec sheet to rival top Samsung and LG phones
Review | Brave Father Online: Our Story of Final Fantasy XIV film review – father and son bond over video game in Japanese family drama

The cult Japanese game plays centre stage in this thinly disguised tribute to the Final Fantasy franchise. The film cuts between live action and CGI and despite the cheesy melodrama, it is fun to watch.

15 Oct 2019 - 11:18AM

The cult Japanese game plays centre stage in this thinly disguised tribute to the Final Fantasy franchise. The film cuts between live action and CGI and despite the cheesy melodrama, it is fun to watch.

Brave Father Online: Our Story of Final Fantasy XIV film review – father and son bond over video game in Japanese family drama
Review | Huawei Mate 30 Pro full review: excellent handset, but lack of Google apps will be a deal-breaker for many

Cameras, battery life and design are the best on the market, but US export ban that means there’s no official Google apps support makes the phone useless for many. Don’t buy one until the Google issue is resolved.

8 Oct 2019 - 4:18PM

Cameras, battery life and design are the best on the market, but US export ban that means there’s no official Google apps support makes the phone useless for many. Don’t buy one until the Google issue is resolved.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro full review: excellent handset, but lack of Google apps will be a deal-breaker for many
Review | Gemini Man film review: Will Smith confronts dodgy CGI double in Ang Lee’s actioner

A predictable plot, terrible CGI and shaky camera work mar this sci-fi thriller. Smith’s CGI double is reminiscent of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but without the charisma.

8 Oct 2019 - 11:24AM

A predictable plot, terrible CGI and shaky camera work mar this sci-fi thriller. Smith’s CGI double is reminiscent of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but without the charisma.

Gemini Man film review: Will Smith confronts dodgy CGI double in Ang Lee’s actioner
Review | Fitbit Versa 2 review: one of the best Android smartwatches – five-day battery life, great fitness tracking

The US$199 Fitbit Versa 2 fixes many of its predecessors’ shortcomings, boasts a best-in-class five-day battery life and is spot on with its fitness tracking. There are some minor performance quibbles, though.

3 Oct 2019 - 9:04PM

The US$199 Fitbit Versa 2 fixes many of its predecessors’ shortcomings, boasts a best-in-class five-day battery life and is spot on with its fitness tracking. There are some minor performance quibbles, though.

Fitbit Versa 2 review: one of the best Android smartwatches – five-day battery life, great fitness tracking
Review | Apple Watch Series 5 full review: the best, but not worth upgrade if you have Series 4 watch already

One of the few significant changes Apple has made from its Series 4 smartwatches is an ‘always-on display’ – but we don’t find much use for it; if you have a Series 4, don’t bother upgrading.

1 Oct 2019 - 6:14PM

One of the few significant changes Apple has made from its Series 4 smartwatches is an ‘always-on display’ – but we don’t find much use for it; if you have a Series 4, don’t bother upgrading.

Apple Watch Series 5 full review: the best, but not worth upgrade if you have Series 4 watch already
Review | My week with Samsung Galaxy Fold: it’s the future of personal computing, assuming screen hinge is durable

Foldable phone may be one of the small number of handsets that, like the iPhone, changes the direction of smartphone design; folded up its screen is small, but open it and you have a 7.3-inch display that’s great for multitasking.

30 Sep 2019 - 8:11PM

Foldable phone may be one of the small number of handsets that, like the iPhone, changes the direction of smartphone design; folded up its screen is small, but open it and you have a 7.3-inch display that’s great for multitasking.

My week with Samsung Galaxy Fold: it’s the future of personal computing, assuming  screen hinge is durable
Review | iPhone 11 Pro Max full review: triple lens camera, an all-day battery at last, and bokeh cat photos to boot

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has three 12-megapixel lenses for general, wide-angle and telephoto shots with consistent image quality. In a first for Apple phones, it comes with a battery that can endure a whole day of heavy use.

22 Sep 2019 - 8:27PM

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has three 12-megapixel lenses for general, wide-angle and telephoto shots with consistent image quality. In a first for Apple phones, it comes with a battery that can endure a whole day of heavy use.

iPhone 11 Pro Max full review: triple lens camera, an all-day battery at last, and bokeh cat photos to boot
Vivo Nex 3 first look: almost everything you want from a smartphone, and for less than other flagship handsets

With its huge 6.9-inch ‘waterfall screen’, triple camera and huge, fast charging battery, the Nex 3 is very good value for money. It lacks wireless charging, waterproofing and stereo speakers, but is cheaper than many high-end phones.

20 Sep 2019 - 12:21PM

With its huge 6.9-inch ‘waterfall screen’, triple camera and huge, fast charging battery, the Nex 3 is very good value for money. It lacks wireless charging, waterproofing and stereo speakers, but is cheaper than many high-end phones.

Vivo Nex 3 first look: almost everything you want from a smartphone, and for less than other flagship handsets
Smallest action cam? Insta360 Go review: best video for camera this tiny

Possibly the world’s smallest action camera, the Insta360 Go weighs 18.3 grams and is probably smaller than your thumb. There’s no other camera on the market of this size that can capture better videos.

8 Sep 2019 - 8:52PM

Possibly the world’s smallest action camera, the Insta360 Go weighs 18.3 grams and is probably smaller than your thumb. There’s no other camera on the market of this size that can capture better videos.

Smallest action cam? Insta360 Go review: best video for camera this tiny
LG’s new foldable dual-screen phone hands on: practical, sleek, sturdy – the future for folds?

The G8X ThinQ Dual Screen comes with a detachable second screen attachment that brings functionality not available elsewhere on the market – and is likely to be cheaper than a Samsung Fold or Huawei Mate X.

6 Sep 2019 - 6:38PM

The G8X ThinQ Dual Screen comes with a detachable second screen attachment that brings functionality not available elsewhere on the market – and is likely to be cheaper than a Samsung Fold or Huawei Mate X.

LG’s new foldable dual-screen phone hands on: practical, sleek, sturdy – the future for folds?
Review | DJI Osmo Mobile 3 review: smallest smartphone gimbal of its kind, light and folds into your pocket

The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is strong and more manageable than just about any other smartphone three-axis gimbal – it’s the smallest of its kind and its clever arm design allows it to shoot wide-angle camera modes without obstruction.

20 Sep 2019 - 12:23PM

The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is strong and more manageable than just about any other smartphone three-axis gimbal – it’s the smallest of its kind and its clever arm design allows it to shoot wide-angle camera modes without obstruction.

DJI Osmo Mobile 3 review: smallest smartphone gimbal of its kind, light and folds into your pocket
Review | Xiaomi Mi A3 full review: good for Android fans on a tight budget, but better options are out there

Hardware compromises mean the six-inch OLED screen has a resolution of just 720p, and it runs on an old processor, with only 4GB of RAM. But battery life is good and video recording in 1080p mode impressive.

18 Aug 2019 - 8:34PM

Hardware compromises mean the six-inch OLED screen has a resolution of just 720p, and it runs on an old processor, with only 4GB of RAM. But battery life is good and video recording in 1080p mode impressive.

Xiaomi Mi A3 full review: good for Android fans on a tight budget, but better options are out there
Review | Asus ROG Phone 2 review: gaming handset’s high refresh rate, processor, monster battery make it a game changer

The latest smartphone from Asus is marketed as a gamer’s phone and it lives up to the claim. The screen refreshes twice as quickly as iPhones and Samsung handsets and there are plenty of game-centric options.

11 Aug 2019 - 7:30PM

The latest smartphone from Asus is marketed as a gamer’s phone and it lives up to the claim. The screen refreshes twice as quickly as iPhones and Samsung handsets and there are plenty of game-centric options.

Asus ROG Phone 2 review: gaming handset’s high refresh rate, processor, monster battery make it a game changer