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

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
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.

14 Apr 2019 - 7:06PM

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
Review | Mortal Engines film review: young adult fantasy’s striking visuals can’t lift generic story

After a brilliant opening, this steampunk, dystopian story of two young adults who survive the evil scheming of Hugo Weaving is dragged down by underdeveloped characters, exposition-heavy dialogue, and a jumbled third act

6 Dec 2018 - 4:30PM

After a brilliant opening, this steampunk, dystopian story of two young adults who survive the evil scheming of Hugo Weaving is dragged down by underdeveloped characters, exposition-heavy dialogue, and a jumbled third act

Mortal Engines film review: young adult fantasy’s striking visuals can’t lift generic story
Review | Xiaomi Black Shark review: phone has a snap-on gamepad that really boosts precision play

The gamepad is well built and genuinely boosts precision gameplay, while the phone’s ‘Shark Space’ mode for gaming is a cool touch.

29 Nov 2018 - 4:28PM

The gamepad is well built and genuinely boosts precision gameplay, while the phone’s ‘Shark Space’ mode for gaming is a cool touch.

Xiaomi Black Shark review: phone has a snap-on gamepad that really boosts precision play
Nubia X dual screen phone first impressions: notch-free handset well designed, but cameras are a let-down

LCD front display is almost bezel-free, while smaller OLED screen serves as viewfinder for your selfies; Sleek, light, but let down by its poor performance on nighttime photography, this is one for the geeks.

21 Nov 2018 - 1:30PM

LCD front display is almost bezel-free, while smaller OLED screen serves as viewfinder for your selfies; Sleek, light, but let down by its poor performance on nighttime photography, this is one for the geeks.

Nubia X dual screen phone first impressions: notch-free handset well designed, but cameras are a let-down
Review | The Soul-mate film review: crime drama, buddy movie, supernatural romance – it’s a glorious mishmash

Contrived plot points, coincidences, nonsensical action and off-the-wall pacing – this Korean film starring Ma Dong-seok and Kim Young-kwang is like one from the heyday of Hong Kong cinema

20 Nov 2018 - 7:15AM

Contrived plot points, coincidences, nonsensical action and off-the-wall pacing – this Korean film starring Ma Dong-seok and Kim Young-kwang is like one from the heyday of Hong Kong cinema

The Soul-mate film review: crime drama, buddy movie, supernatural romance – it’s a glorious mishmash
Apple iPad Pro 2018 review: powerful tablet that offers glimpse at future of computing

The new Pro is designed to cater to creatives and gadget geeks who want a glimpse at the future of computing, but it may not be favoured by regular desktop users. The price starts at US$799

19 Nov 2018 - 8:46AM

The new Pro is designed to cater to creatives and gadget geeks who want a glimpse at the future of computing, but it may not be favoured by regular desktop users. The price starts at US$799

Apple iPad Pro 2018 review: powerful tablet that offers glimpse at future of computing
Review | OnePlus 6T full review: probably the best upper mid-range phone you can buy

Fingerprint scanner under screen, bigger display and more powerful battery make handset an improvement on its already excellent predecessor the OnePlus 6; however, audio output is relatively weak and there is no wireless charging.

17 Nov 2018 - 5:25AM

Fingerprint scanner under screen, bigger display and more powerful battery make handset an improvement on its already excellent predecessor the OnePlus 6; however, audio output is relatively weak and there is no wireless charging.

OnePlus 6T full review: probably the best upper mid-range phone you can buy
Marvel’s three biggest Asian superheroes during Stan Lee’s time

Comic master who’s died aged 95 always tried to give a platform to people on the margins of society, and in 1950s America that included Asians; Wong, Colleen Wing and Jimmy Woo live on today in Avengers and Ant-Man films, and on Netflix.

13 Nov 2018 - 3:51PM

Comic master who’s died aged 95 always tried to give a platform to people on the margins of society, and in 1950s America that included Asians; Wong, Colleen Wing and Jimmy Woo live on today in Avengers and Ant-Man films, and on Netflix.

Marvel’s three biggest Asian superheroes during Stan Lee’s time
Review | Huawei’s Mate 20 series: epic battery life, best photos – Pro and X smartphones put through their paces

Both models are fast and powerful; the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has no external speakers and can charge wirelessly, while the Mate 20 X is aimed at gamers and has a huge screen. They’re also good value for money.

10 Nov 2018 - 8:57AM

Both models are fast and powerful; the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has no external speakers and can charge wirelessly, while the Mate 20 X is aimed at gamers and has a huge screen. They’re also good value for money.

Huawei’s Mate 20 series: epic battery life, best photos – Pro and X smartphones put through their paces
Honor Magic 2: notch-free slider phone with six cameras and serious power – first impressions

Phone’s 6.4-inch OLED screen slides up to reveal a triple selfie camera set-up to go with three strong rear shooters, while Huawei’s neural processing unit and Kirin 980 chip give photo performance an impressive boost.

9 Nov 2018 - 6:17AM

Phone’s 6.4-inch OLED screen slides up to reveal a triple selfie camera set-up to go with three strong rear shooters, while Huawei’s neural processing unit and Kirin 980 chip give photo performance an impressive boost.

Honor Magic 2: notch-free slider phone with six cameras and serious power – first impressions
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 first impression: no notch needed thanks to a satisfying slider screen

The selfie camera and proximity sensor are housed behind the screen. Users just need to slide down the screen with their finger to access the front camera

30 Oct 2018 - 7:19PM

The selfie camera and proximity sensor are housed behind the screen. Users just need to slide down the screen with their finger to access the front camera

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 first impression: no notch needed thanks to a satisfying slider screen