Best Handheld Telescope for Stargazing

Best Handheld Telescope for Stargazing
Best Handheld Telescope for Stargazing (Image: © Review Binoculars)

Handheld telescopes are specifically designed for easy portability and quick setup, making them ideal for stargazing on the go. They are smaller, lighter, and more compact than traditional telescopes, making them convenient to carry around and set up in various locations. With the advancements in optical technology, handheld telescopes can now provide sharp and clear images of celestial objects, such as planets, stars, galaxies, and even the moon. They offer a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the night sky up close and personal, providing an enriching and educational experience for astronomy enthusiasts of all ages.

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Stargazing is a fascinating hobby that offers a glimpse into the vast expanse of the universe. With the right equipment, stargazing can be an unforgettable experience that leaves you in awe of the wonders of the cosmos. One of the essential tools for any stargazer is a handheld telescope. These compact and portable devices allow you to explore the night sky and observe celestial objects easily.

However, with so many handheld telescopes available on the market, finding the right one for your needs can take time. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the best handheld telescopes for stargazing. Our buying guide and reviews will give you the information to choose the right telescope for your stargazing adventures.

We have carefully selected these handheld telescopes based on their features, performance, durability, and affordability. Our reviews include detailed information on the pros and cons of each telescope, as well as their key specifications, such as magnification, aperture, and focal length. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced stargazer, our list has something for everyone.

Recommended Telescopes for Stargazing

Award Image Model Price
Most Powerful Handheld Telescope Celestron 70mm Telescope Celestron 70mm Telescope See on Amazon
High Powered Mini Handheld Telescope MD.LIFE 80x100 HD Telescope MD.LIFE 80x100 HD Telescope See on Amazon
Budget Friendly Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope See on Amazon
High Rated Monocular Telescope for Stargazing Hd360pro 12X50 Telescope Hd360pro 12X50 Telescope See on Amazon
Best Overall 80x100 High Powered Telescope 80x100 High Powered Telescope See on Amazon

Included in this guide:

Handheld Telescopes Reviews

Celestron 70mm Telescope (Image credit: Amazon)

Celestron 70mm Telescope

Most Powerful Handheld Telescope

If you’re looking for a portable and easy-to-use telescope for stargazing, the Celestron 70mm telescope is an ideal option. This handheld telescope has fully-coated glass optics, a powerful 70mm objective lens, two high-quality eyepieces, and a custom backpack for easy transport.

The 70mm aperture on this refractor telescope allows for brighter, more detailed views of celestial and terrestrial objects without adding much extra weight. Its two eyepieces (20mm and 10mm) provide low- and high-power views, making it easy to observe various objects at night or during the day. It’s large 70mm objective lens means you can capture stunning views of the Moon, planets, and other celestial objects.

One of the best things about the Celestron 70mm telescope is how easy it is to set up and use. It weighs just 3.3 pounds and can be assembled in seconds, requiring no tools. Its included tripod and star diagonal make it easy to navigate the sky and observe objects from any angle.

In addition to its quality optics and ease of use, the Celestron 70mm telescope also comes with a bonus astronomy software package. You’ll receive a free download of Celestron’s Starry Night Astronomy Software, which provides information on thousands of celestial objects, printable sky maps, and more. This software is a great way to learn about the night sky and plan your next observing session.

Overall, the Celestron 70mm telescope is a great option for beginner stargazers or anyone looking for a portable, easy-to-use telescope. With its superior optics, powerful eyepieces, and bonus astronomy software package, it’s hard to beat the quality and value of this telescope.

MD.LIFE 80x100 HD Telescope (Image credit: Amazon)

MD.LIFE 80x100 HD Telescope

High Powered Mini Handheld Telescope

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a wilderness explorer, the 80x100 handheld Telescope is a must-have. This high-powered Telescope is designed to offer you the best view in your outdoor adventures, making it the perfect handheld Telescope for stargazing.

With 80 times magnification and a 100mm objective lens, this Telescope is equipped with fully multi-coated lenses that improve the light transmission rate and resolution. It features FMC Superior BAK4 green film prism, ensuring a compact, durable, and high-quality precision design. The Telescope is specially designed for outdoor enthusiasts, making it suitable for a variety of outdoor stargazing and sports, including hunting, observing animals, mountaineering, camping, travel, hiking, water sports, ball games, watching the scenery, driving, concert, monitoring, outdoor exploration, and other activities.

The Telescope features a wide-scope view, offering a true 80x100 viewing experience. It guarantees superior light transmission and brightness, reaching up to 99.5% visibility, thanks to its BAK-4 prism and fully multi-coated lens. The built-in low-light-level night vision helps you see things in low light. The adjustable eyecup allows you to twist up and down quickly and easily for optimal viewing even while wearing glasses.

The handheld Telescope is compatible with various latest 2023 devices, including Apple and Android smartphones. It is designed to fit glasses-wearers without interfering with the viewing experience, making it ideal for adults and children. Additionally, it comes equipped with a mobile phone bracket, suitable for many types of smartphones on the market. The Telescope weighs only 0.48 kilograms, making it lightweight and easy to carry. You can take it with you wherever you go.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a handheld telescope for stargazing, the 80x100 Telescope is the best option. It offers a high-powered definition with a BAK4 prism, a smartphone holder, and a tripod for stargazing. Its wide scope view, high contrast and resolution images, and low night vision capabilities make it an excellent choice for outdoor adventures.

Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope (Image credit: Amazon)

Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope

Budget Friendly

If you’re looking for a high-quality, handheld telescope that’s easy to use and perfect for stargazing, then the Celestron NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope is another one for you. This compact and portable telescope is designed with a Newtonian reflector optical design, 130mm aperture, and SkyAlign technology, making it a perfect choice for beginners and seasoned stargazers.

One of the best things about the Celestron NexStar 130SLT is that it’s computerized, so you don’t have to worry about manually locating objects in the night sky. With a database of more than 40,000 stars, galaxies, nebulae, and more, you can choose an object, and the telescope will find it for you and track it as it moves.

The Newtonian reflector optical design of the NexStar 130SLT means that it can gather enough light to see our Solar System and beyond. You can view Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s cloud bands, the Moon’s craters, and the Orion Nebula in brilliant detail. The telescope also has a Plossl eyepiece lens that provides crisp and clear images.

The Celestron NexStar 130SLT is compact, lightweight, and portable, making it easy to transport anywhere. It’s the ideal handheld telescope for adults and kids to use together, whether you’re at your favourite campsite, a dark sky observing site, or simply in your backyard.

Setting up the telescope is quick and easy with Celestron’s proprietary SkyAlign procedure. Centre any three bright objects in the eyepiece, and the NexStar SLT aligns with the night sky, ready to locate thousands of objects.

Lastly, you also get a bonus free download of Starry Night Special Edition astronomy software program, which lets you simulate the sky, learn about celestial objects, and plan your observing session.

In conclusion, the Celestron NexStar 130SLT Telescope is an excellent option for handheld stargazing. Its computerized system, Newtonian reflector optical design, and compact and portable features make it perfect for beginners and seasoned stargazers.

Hd360pro 12X50 Telescope (Image credit: Amazon)

Hd360pro 12X50 Telescope

High Rated Monocular Telescope for Stargazing


Advanced optics for crisp images

Smartphone adapter for capturing sharp details

Sturdy metal tripod for stability

Durable and waterproof design


Manual focus may require adjustments

Tripod may be bulky for some users

If you are a wildlife enthusiast or an avid stargazer, the Monocular Telescope 12X50 Outdoor Telescope with Smartphone Adapter by Hd360pro is a must-have tool in your collection. This handheld telescope offers an exceptional viewing experience with its advanced optics and high-quality features.

One of the standout features of this telescope is its ability to observe stargazing from a distance. With its 12X magnification and 50mm objective lens diameter, this handheld telescope allows you to visualize crisp images with vivid colors. The easily adjustable focus wheel can be operated with one hand, making it convenient to use and allowing you to concentrate on the beauty in front of you. The telescope also has a hand strap for increased accessibility, making it comfortable to hold and carry.

The handheld telescope also includes a smartphone adapter, which allows you to capture every sharp detail of your observations. The adapter lets you project the image from the telescope onto your phone, allowing you to take revealing pictures. The multi-layer broadband coating on the lens facilitates better light transmission and resolution, resulting in bright and clear images.

This handheld telescope comes with a sturdy metal tripod to ensure stability during your observations. The tripod offers increased strength, preventing blur in your photos. It is ideal for stargazing, preventing shaking, and ensuring a steady viewing experience.

Durability is another notable feature of this telescope. It is solid rubber coating and textured surface offer a no-slip grip and can withstand humid environments, as it is splash-proof and fog-proof. This makes it a reliable partner for your outdoor adventures, whether birdwatching or stargazing. The ergonomic design of the telescope with the camera also ensures a secure grip and makes it a perfect gift for stargazers or wildlife enthusiasts.

To protect the lens and keep the telescope in top condition, this handheld telescope comes with a protective cover and a cleaning cloth. The sturdy carry case also protects it from dust when not in use. Lightweight and compact, you can take this telephoto zoom telescope everywhere.

In conclusion, the Monocular Telescope 12X50 Outdoor Telescope with Smartphone Adapter by Hd360pro is a reliable and high-performing tool for stargazing, wildlife observation, and other outdoor activities. Its advanced optics, smartphone adapter, metal tripod, and durable design make it a top choice for Stargazer. With its exceptional performance and convenient features, this handheld telescope is a must-have for anyone.

80x100 High Powered Telescope (Image credit: Amazon)

80x100 High Powered Telescope

Best Overall


Compact and lightweight design

Smartphone compatibility for remote control and image sharing

Suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities


Night vision capability may be limited in extremely low light conditions

The 80x100 Telescope High Powered for Smartphone with Low Night Vision is another perfect tool for a stargazer. With its HD magnification of 80 times and a 100mm objective lens diameter, this telescope offers an exceptional viewing experience.

This handheld telescope is a fully coated lens, ensuring excellent light transmittance and brightness. This means that your field of vision will be brighter, the image will be clearer and sharper, and no black stripes will obstruct your view. Whether you’re observing stars, wildlife, or distant landscapes, this handheld telescope will provide you with breathtaking images.

Another advantage of this handheld telescope is its compact and lightweight design. With a dimension of 7"D x 3" W x 4"H, it’s easy to carry wherever you go. It can be used with one hand, and the eye cup and focusing wheel can be easily adjusted to bring distant scenery into clear view.

The 80x100 telescope is also compatible with any smartphone, thanks to its quick positioning smartphone bracket and tripod. You can easily install your smartphone on the bracket and remotely control the telescope to capture high-definition images.

Designed for outdoor enthusiasts, this handheld telescope is ideal for various outdoor activities such as stargazing, hunting, mountaineering, camping, travel, hiking, water sports, ball games, and more. It provides an amazing visual experience and is suitable for adults and kids. Whether an experienced outdoor enthusiast or a beginner, this telescope will enhance your outdoor adventures and provide clear and bright images of the beautiful scenery in the distance.

In conclusion, the 80x100 handheld telescope High Powered for Smartphones with Low Night Vision is the best option for stargazing and other outdoor activities. Its HD magnification, compact design, smartphone compatibility, and wide applicability make it a reliable and versatile tool for outdoor adventures.

Benefits of Handheld Telescopes:

Handheld telescopes offer several advantages that make them an excellent choice for stargazing. One of the key benefits is their portability. Handheld telescopes are typically compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry around and set up in different locations. They are also convenient for travel, as they can be easily packed in a bag or carried in hand without needing a tripod or mount.

Another advantage of handheld telescopes is their ease of use, which makes them suitable for beginners. Unlike complex telescopes that require extensive knowledge and experience, handheld telescopes are designed with simplicity in mind. They often come with basic features and controls, making them user-friendly for those new to astronomy. Handheld telescopes are also a great option for kids interested in stargazing, as they are simple and safe to use with adult supervision.

In addition, handheld telescopes can enhance the stargazing experience by providing a closer view of celestial objects. They typically offer decent magnification and lens quality, allowing users to clearly observe planets, stars, and other objects in the night sky. Handheld telescopes are also versatile, as they can be used for terrestrial and celestial viewing.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Handheld Telescope:

When selecting a handheld telescope, several important factors must be considered to ensure you make the right choice for your stargazing needs. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

  1. Aperture: Aperture refers to the diameter of the telescope’s main lens or mirror. A larger aperture allows more light to enter the telescope, producing brighter and clearer images. Consider the size of the aperture based on the objects you want to observe and the level of detail you wish to see.
  2. Magnification: Magnification is the amount by which the telescope enlarges the image of an object. However, higher magnification sometimes means better performance. It depends on the telescope’s optics and the atmospheric conditions. Look for a telescope that offers a range of magnification options and a good-quality eyepiece for optimal viewing.
  3. Lens quality: The quality of the lens or mirror in a telescope greatly affects the clarity and sharpness of the images. Look for telescopes with lenses made from high-quality glass and coated with anti-reflective coatings to minimize glare and improve contrast.
  4. Type of telescope: There are three main types of telescopes - refractor, reflector, and catadioptric. Refractor telescopes use lenses to gather and focus light, while reflector telescopes use mirrors. Catadioptric telescopes combine both lenses and mirrors. Each type has pros and cons, so consider your needs and preferences when choosing the type of telescope.
  5. Size and weight: Handheld telescopes are meant to be portable, so consider their size and weight when deciding. choose a lightweight telescope that is easy to handle, especially if you plan to carry it around for extended periods or while traveling.
  6. Price: Handheld telescopes come in a wide range of prices, so determine your budget before purchasing. Remember that while cheaper telescopes may be more affordable, they may only sometimes offer the best performance or durability. Invest in a telescope that offers good value for your money and meets your specific needs.

Tips for Using Handheld Telescopes:

Using a handheld telescope requires skill and practice to get the best results. Here are some tips to help you use your handheld telescope effectively:

  1. Stability: Handheld telescopes can be sensitive to movement, so keeping your hands steady while observing is essential. Find a stable surface to rest your hand, or use a tripod or mount for better stability.
  2. Alignment: Properly aligning your telescope is crucial for accurate stargazing. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for aligning your telescope, and take your time to ensure it is properly aligned to the celestial objects you want to observe.
  3. Light pollution: Light pollution can negatively impact the visibility of celestial objects. Try to find a dark location away from city lights for optimal stargazing. If that’s not possible, consider using a light pollution filter to improve the quality of your observations.
  4. Eyepiece selection: Different eyepieces provide different magnification levels, so experiment with different eyepieces to find the best combination for your viewing needs. Start with lower magnification eyepieces to get a wider field of view and gradually increase the magnification as needed.
  5. Patience: Stargazing requires patience and persistence. Objects in the night sky may not always be visible or appear faint, so be patient and take your time to observe and appreciate the beauty of the night sky.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a handheld telescope for astrophotography?

Handheld telescopes are not typically ideal for astrophotography due to their limited stability and magnification capabilities. For astrophotography, it’s recommended to use a telescope with a stable mount and specialized equipment.

What can I observe with a handheld telescope?

With a handheld telescope, you can observe the moon, planets, stars, constellations, and some deep-sky objects, such as galaxies and nebulae, depending on the telescope’s aperture and optics.

Are handheld telescopes suitable for beginners?

Handheld telescopes can be suitable for beginners due to their portability and ease of use. However, choosing a telescope with appropriate features for beginners, such as lower magnification options and simple alignment processes, is important.

How do I clean the lens or mirror of my handheld telescope?

Cleaning the lens or mirror of a telescope requires special care to avoid scratching or damaging the optics. Use a soft, lint-free cloth and gentle cleaning solution specifically designed for optics.

Can I use a handheld telescope during the day for terrestrial viewing?

Yes, many handheld telescopes are versatile and can be used for terrestrial viewing during the day, such as observing wildlife, landscapes, or sports events. Just be sure to use an appropriate filter for solar viewing and follow safety precautions.

Mark is an avid outdoors enthusiast and a self-proclaimed "gear nerd." He has a passion for all things related to telescopes, binoculars, and rangefinders. He's spent countless hours researching and testing various models and always looks for the latest and greatest gear. Mark has been writing reviews on the website for several years and has built a reputation as one of the industry's most trusted and knowledgeable reviewers. He's known for his thorough testing and unbiased reviews, and he's helped thousands of people make informed decisions when buying their next piece of gear. He's also an amateur astronomer and enjoys stargazing with his telescope.