Before the review, I have to mention that this is a beginner telescope designed for ease of use .What you are paying for is the StarSense Explorer App experience more than the optics. Is the app experience worth the extra cost? Yes, absolutely, without a doubt, and yes. The software is one of the most impressive astro-tech I’ve ever seen. There are two main things you should know about the optical design: It needs regular collimation and is better than a refractor in terms of color accuracy. So what am I going to see with this scope?
Jupiter will show its stripes and its Galilean Moons. The Great Red Spot is visible in ideal condition. You can easily get the unique brown-beige-red colors of the planet.
Saturn shows it Rings and its largest moon Titan. The yellow-green color of the planet is clear.
Mars will appear as a bright red disk. You can get some surface detail as black and white stains in ideal conditions and with a premium eyepiece.
Venus appears as a bright yellow disk. Its phases are observable.
Neptune and Uranus appear as tiny blue dots.
Mercury is barely observable. It appears as a tiny dot.
The Moon looks detailed with countless craters and mountain ranges. The Moon is great for close-ups with any telescope or binocular.
Deep space performance is admirable. You are limited to the brighter spectrum of the Messier Catalog but combined with the 2″ focuser and 130mm aperture; the field view is delightfully wide and detailed.
This product is quality built and will bring fun for the whole family to be able to explore the night sky on a clear night and get lost in how big it really is. This is a fun telescope that very well may take a young seeker to the next level of space and beyond. The technology with this scope is great and simple to use and with that it will open the mind to what could be out there. The mount is strong, can carry the 130mm optical tube. But it doesn’t negate the fact that there are vibrations that last 2-3 seconds, and the slightest breeze affects the observation experience. The tripod is aluminum and around 2″ in width. It is slightly better than the worst models, but it is sufficient for such a lightweight telescope.
Everyone has a smartphone now, and the app is free. Although it works with StarSense Explorer telescopes only, it drives the cost of automation down dramatically. The App is free and is easy to use and explore, I think you will not only have fun with the telescope but it will enhance learning in new and exciting ways.