All Telescope Reviews

Each of our telescope reviews goes into great detail about the features and capabilities of the scope in discussion. In order to help you choose the best telescope for your needs, we consider nine factors: optics, focuser, mount, accessories, moon and planet viewing capacity; wide-field viewing of DSO; ease of use; portability; and value. We then assign a final telescope rating of 1–5 stars to each telescope, with 5 being the best. There are many excellent telescopes available, but there are significant differences between them, and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. Find all our in-depth review of telescopes below.
Why trust us?

When it comes to the telescopes we review, our editorial board (which is comprised entirely of astronomers) make unbiased judgments. Please keep in mind that our performance rating system on this page is completely unrelated to any kind of monetary gain. Read our telescope testing methodology.

Last updated Feb 25, 2022

Zhumell Z130 Tabletop dobsonian

Zhumell Z130 Tabletop Dobsonian

4.2

The Z130 is a fun, friendly, easy to use tabletop Dobsonian with enough power to look at planets as well as many deep-sky-objects.
Celestron Omni XLT 150 EQ Telescope

Celestron Omni XLT 150 EQ Telescope

3.35

The XLT150 is a serious telescope, but its (nice & sturdy) equatorial mount is often frustrating to use and doesn’t allow for serious astrophotography anyway.
Celestron Advanced VX 700

Celestron Advanced VX 700 Telescope

A stunning 7” Maksutov-Cassegrain for amazing planetary/lunar performance in a small package, with a stable, sturdy Go-To mount.

Apertura AD8 Dobsonian

4.75

The Apertura AD8 combines very good optics with a good mount and a “deluxe” set of accessories giving most of what you need to get started.
Apertura DT6

Apertura DT6 Dobsonian

4.55

One of the best beginner telescopes, with enough aperture to do well on deep sky objects and excellent performance on planets and the moon, with an easy to use mount.

SkyWatcher FlexTube 200P Dobsonian

3.8

The FlexTube Dobsonians pair the same high quality optics from other Dobsonians with a quirky collapsible tube which may come in handy if storage space is tight.
Celestron Astromaster 114EQ telescope

Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Telescope

1.55

This has terrible, difficult-to-collimate optics on a wobbly, shaky, and difficult to understand equatorial mount, with accessories that are questionable at best.
Coronado Personal Solar Telescope

Coronado PST Solar Telescope

A wonderful introduction to the world of Hydrogen-Alpha solar viewing. This is perhaps the most affordable way to observe prominences, plages, and filaments. Pricy though.
Celestron C90 on EXOS Nano EQ3 mount

Celestron C90 Spotting Scope

A high-power, compact telescope with good (not quite great) optics. Works better as a daytime spotter than an astronomical scope; but shows fantastic Moon views.
Celestron CPC 800 SCT

Celestron CPC 800 Telescope

A sharp, high-quality telescope for moon, planets, and deep-sky in a very compact form, with a somewhat bulky and finicky but ultimately usable Go-To mount.
Celestron SkyProdigy 6 Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope

Celestron SkyProdigy 6 Telescope

A high-quality 6” SCT on a questionable Go-To mount, with mediocre accessories, a wobbly tripod, and a questionable implementation of its plate-solving gimmick.

Celestron TravelScope 70

2.85

This is a fairly decent small telescope with acceptable accessories for the price, however the included tripod is garbage. Consider only if you already have a good tripod.
Celestron 80 mm LCM Computerized Telescope

Celestron 80LCM GoTo Telescope

Celestron 80LCM has Questionable, overpriced design with sharp optics, mediocre accessories, and a pretty terrible Go-To mount.
Explore Scientific 10

Explore Scientific 10″ Truss Tube Dobsonian

A high-quality light-bucket Dobsonian which can be taken apart to store very compactly, with almost no accessories and with a steep learning curve.
Celestron Firstscope

FirstScope and Clone Telescopes

3.4

The FirstScope is a tiny 3” toy telescope. It’s fun to scan the sky for brighter DSOs, but won’t show planets and barely shows the Moon.
Gskyer 80 AZ refractor telescope

GSkyer 80mm AZ Refractor Telescope

A short refractor primarily for deep-sky viewing, with some acceptable accessories and a usable altaz tripod mount.

Orion ShortTube 80 Refractor Telescope

The ST80 is a compact, portable telescope for observing wide fields of view for deep sky objects, but with the right accessories it shows nice planetary views too.

Sarblue Maksutov Cassegrain 60

3.7

A great toy telescope with superb optics and an excellent eyepiece, but just a little undersized to do any serious observing with. Spectacular on the Moon.
FlexTube 250P retracted, showing the only practical Telrad position

SkyWatcher FlexTube 250P Telescope

3.8

The FlexTube may come in handy for storage, but its mount has a few quirks with balance and usability. Great optics: a light-bucket for DSOs and planets.
SkyWatcher StarTravel 102 AZ3

SkyWatcher StarTravel 102 AZ3

A compact, short tube refractor capable of stunning, contrasty deep sky views. Mount is sturdy & usable but has a learning curve. False color on bright objects.
SkyScanner Packed Up

Orion Skyscanner 100mm Telescope

3.75

The SkyScanner is a great tabletop toy telescope. Its optics can show the Moon and Planets, but excels at DSO views with a easy to use mount.

Vivitar Refractor Telescope

Irredeemable garbage. Terrible “optics” and a tripod that would collapse if you stared at it too hard. The unaided eye is a far better instrument.