Here at CNET, we get to review a lot of cool technology but I gotta say nothing is cool as these guys.
These celestron telescopes have one unique feature to them.
They utilize your smartphone to help you find objects in the night sky.
[SOUND] A couple of things to know.
We originally got these telescopes before the Shelter in Place Order in San Francisco.
The plan was to review them in the office.
And second, I am not an expert in astronomy nor have I ever owned a telescope but I’ve always wanted to buy one.
So I was going to use this review to inform my decision on which one to purchase.
So first off these telescopes are the Newtonian design, named after and invented by Sir Isaac Newton.
It uses a concave primary mirror and a flat diagonal secondary mirror housed in this large cylinder These telescopes have a short focal length, which means a wide field of view.
Unlike all telescopes, the images appear upside down.
But despite these common designs, the telescopes are actually quite different in terms of price and built the celestron lT 114 az cost $179.
It’s pretty compact and lightweight.
It has 114 millimetre or four and a half inch aperture and a focal length of 1000 millimetre for 39 inches.
The telescope can both pan and tilt and uses knobs to lock them in place.
Vlt also has an altitude slow motion adjustment rod.
The celestron dX 130 az retails for $399.
It’s quite heavier and sturdier.
The dx has a wider 130 millimeter or 5 inch aperture and 650 millimeter or 26 inch focal length.
The wider aperture means it collects more light allowing you to see more objects in the sky than the LT.
The dx also has to slow motion adjustment rods one for pan and one for tilt located below the telescopes two Both telescopes come with 25 millimetre and 10 millimetre lenses that you can easily swap out.
The LT also includes a Barlow lens which attaches to any of the lenses and increases magnification two times.
There’s also a red dot finder scope that you pair along with the telescopes eyepiece.
Once aligned you can find things easily with the naked eye.
But let’s say you don’t know when you’re looking for Well, that’s when the star sense app comes in handy.
Star since app is basically a star chart in your pocket celestron pack this app with a wealth of information about the night sky.
Each of the telescopes has a smartphone mount.
The Mount has a mirror at the top, you first align your phone’s camera lens to the mirror so that the camera can see the sky above.
You then pair the lens of the telescope with the lens of the phone.
Now word of advice.
You should do the pairing during daylight or ample amount of light because it’s just easier for you to align the telescope when you can see things There is a night mode in the app but it’s a little clunky to use.
The app uses your phone’s camera to scan a night sky and then analyzes the scans against an internal database to automatically align the telescope.
Once in line, the app shows a map of the night sky from your location.
The app also lists what are the best visible objects that night.
It lists these objects as either city viewable or dark sky viewable.
Now city viewable means just that objects you can view in the city.
Dark Sky viewable means you need to travel away from the city lights pollution to view these objects.
There are several handy websites online that can help you find the light pollution in your area like this one called light pollution map dot info.
The areas with purple and red have high amounts of light pollution, while the greener areas have less light pollution.
The beauty of the app is you can select an object of view and you’re taken to a screen that shows all the pertinent information about the object.
As well as some observing tips.
There is even handy audio guided tour as well.
Neptune is the most distant from the sun and the most challenging to observe.
Select the locate button and the app immediately guides you to where the object is in the sky.
You simply move the telescope to that exact point.
Now setting the telescope was really simple.
I think I was up and running in five minutes.
But pairing the app and the telescope sometimes took ten to 15 minutes and sometimes it wouldn’t work at all.
Remember, the app uses your cell phone’s camera to take scans in the night sky and send it back to celestron database.
Using those scans the app should know where you are and pairs itself with the telescope.
The conditions to do that though, is that it must be dark outside and the telescope cannot be moving.
Now, even when it was dark, and when I wasn’t moving the telescope, the app could still take a long time to pair and sometimes it wouldn’t work at all.
So I’d have to restart the app, go through the whole process again.
And maybe if I was lucky, it would pair But sometimes it didn’t.
Now, it didn’t happen all the time.
But it was kind of an annoyance when you want to find something in the sky and you’re waiting for the app to pair.
Now another thing missing from the app are weather conditions data.
That to me is a big Miss because there were certain nights where there’s certain things I wanted to see in the sky.
They were available but when I went outside it was just too cloudy.
Now taken as a whole, however, the app is still very useful especially for beginners like me exploring the night sky.
So what are the differences?
What is $200 worth of telescope get you?
Well, let’s start with the dx.
The dx is definitely sturdier, which means that let’s say I found that object that really small object, and I accidentally brushed up against it.
Well, I never felt like I was going to take it out of position but sturdiness also means heavier and heavier also means Getting it in and out of my house is a pain.
So I rarely did that.
Now the one thing about the DX to note is that you also have a wide viewing angle which is great to find things.
But if you want to get real detailed, doesn’t really give you that much.
The other thing I wanted to know was that the focus rings see these focus rings are really robust But I could never get things in focus clearly, I don’t know why that is.
The saving grace on the DX are those slow motion adjustment rods.
I mean the ability to Pan and Tilt really precisely made finding things in the sky.
So what about the LT?
Well, the lt is definitely more toy like looking that is, but it’s also lightweight and being lightweight.
I was able to get it in and out of my house with ease and even in Into my car.
Now though one thing I did love about the lt was the viewing angle.
I mean even at 25 millimeters, I was able to see the craters on the moon so you can imagine with a ten millimeter lens look like.
Now, the other thing I noticed was that even the focus rings which look toy like I actually had an easier time focusing on things in the DX, but the thing to keep in mind is you have two knobs that lock the pin until respect to And depending on the position of the object you’re looking at, and the position of the telescope and where it’s pointing.
Those two knobs may not be next to each other so it can be a pain to lock the pin and pain to lock the tilt.
Now you do have that slow motion adjustment rod, but That only takes you so far.
It’s something of viewing things in the lt is a problem.
In fact, I actually prefer it over the dx.
But there’s just no simple way to navigate and find objects with precision.
So which one do I prefer?
Well, you might think it’s the DX because of the slow motion controls and the wide viewing angle, but that’s $399.
Remember, I came in this as a novice, a beginner so I was looking for a big Beginners telescope and the LT is perfect.
I mean, I was using it to look at the moon and some bright stars, nothing too complex so I didn’t really need all that fancy stuff.
And remember the LT is lightweight, so I can move it in and out of my house, I can move it from one side of the yard to the other.
I could even put it in my car But if you already have a beginners telescope, I would certainly look at the DX just because of the slow motion controls and just the sturdiness of the telescope.
Now I can give up and forgive the focus rings and the viewing Bring angle just because I just had an easier time finding things for the dx.
But to be honest with you, you can’t go wrong with either of them because the inclusion of the star sense app is just a handy companion to have.
Honestly, this was a fun exercise.
I learned a lot about astronomy and I learned a lot about telescopes The Star Sense app is a handy tool to have, especially if you’re a beginner because it helps you find objects in the night sky.
I just wish it consistently worked all the time.
So if you have any telescope related content you’d like to see, leave a comment below.
Be safe, be well, everybody and thank you for watching.