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

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
Martial arts star JuJu Chan on role in Netflix’s all-Asian Wu Assassins

Chan, who has previously acted alongside Donnie Yen and Max Zhang, plays the femme-fatale bodyguard of a triad boss in Wu Assassins, a role she considers unique given most ‘top enforcer’ characters in films are men.

16 Sep 2019 - 12:42PM

Chan, who has previously acted alongside Donnie Yen and Max Zhang, plays the femme-fatale bodyguard of a triad boss in Wu Assassins, a role she considers unique given most ‘top enforcer’ characters in films are men.

Martial arts star JuJu Chan on role in Netflix’s all-Asian Wu Assassins
‘World’s first’ foldable phone reviewed – and it’s not a Samsung or Huawei

Chinese company Royole makes history releasing FlexPai, the first foldable device that can be used as a tablet and a smartphone. Be warned, the camera is terrible and Google apps cannot run on the device, though.

30 Jul 2019 - 8:19PM

Chinese company Royole makes history releasing FlexPai, the first foldable device that can be used as a tablet and a smartphone. Be warned, the camera is terrible and Google apps cannot run on the device, though.

‘World’s first’ foldable phone reviewed – and it’s not a Samsung or Huawei
Samsung Galaxy A80 smartphone full review: no selfie camera, no bezel, good looks, poor hardware

Samsung has given its A80 a daring design, but the camera is not up to standard and the fingerprint sensor is slow. It has dropped the annoying Bixby digital assistant button and has a camera that rotates to face the front or back.

21 Jul 2019 - 7:58PM

Samsung has given its A80 a daring design, but the camera is not up to standard and the fingerprint sensor is slow. It has dropped the annoying Bixby digital assistant button and has a camera that rotates to face the front or back.

Samsung Galaxy A80 smartphone full review: no selfie camera, no bezel, good looks, poor hardware
Review | TicWatch Pro LTE full review: best smartwatch for Android users – shame it’s only carried by Verizon as yet

Android device’s 4G connectivity via eSIM is a given, its circular display houses two panels, it tracks your heart rate and steps, and lets you use chat apps. Easy to use and navigate, at US$300 it is expensive.

10 Jul 2019 - 8:00PM

Android device’s 4G connectivity via eSIM is a given, its circular display houses two panels, it tracks your heart rate and steps, and lets you use chat apps. Easy to use and navigate, at US$300 it is expensive.

TicWatch Pro LTE full review: best smartwatch for Android users – shame it’s only carried by Verizon as yet
Review | 4K laptop, unbeatable value: Chuwi LapBook Plus review – just don’t try to multitask

Chuwi LapBook Plus is a MacBook Air clone with a gorgeous 15.6-inch screen, full-size keyboard and large, responsive trackpad; best used to consume media or do basic office work, it’s not capable of graphic-intensive work.

2 Jul 2019 - 8:00PM

Chuwi LapBook Plus is a MacBook Air clone with a gorgeous 15.6-inch screen, full-size keyboard and large, responsive trackpad; best used to consume media or do basic office work, it’s not capable of graphic-intensive work.

4K laptop, unbeatable value: Chuwi LapBook Plus review – just don’t try to multitask
Review | Xiaomi Mi 9T full review: full-spec, all-screen phone is best deal for buyers on a budget

Smartphone’s 6.4-inch OLED display is uninterrupted thanks to pop-up selfie camera, its processor is second-tier but very capable, and its triple-lens rear camera performs well in daytime; at this price, it offers unbeatable value.

28 Jun 2019 - 10:24AM

Smartphone’s 6.4-inch OLED display is uninterrupted thanks to pop-up selfie camera, its processor is second-tier but very capable, and its triple-lens rear camera performs well in daytime; at this price, it offers unbeatable value.

Xiaomi Mi 9T full review: full-spec, all-screen phone is best deal for buyers on a budget
iOS 13 best new features: dark mode, swipe, maps, photos and speed – hands on

Ben Sin has spent a day testing the new iPhone operating system and is so far impressed, with dark mode, swipe typing, better maps, improved photo app and an overall speed boost the stand-out improvements.

27 Jun 2019 - 7:24PM

Ben Sin has spent a day testing the new iPhone operating system and is so far impressed, with dark mode, swipe typing, better maps, improved photo app and an overall speed boost the stand-out improvements.

iOS 13 best new features: dark mode, swipe, maps, photos and speed – hands on
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