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

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
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 Sep 2019 - 12:22PM

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