Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ telescope review

This smartphone-operated Newtonian reflector has everything a beginner needs, but is limited for astrophotography

Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ
(Image: © Jamie Carter)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ telescope is all about the smartphone app used to align it, though it’s a more manual affair than you might expect. Just about light enough for car travel and capable of really sharp image quality it’s nevertheless a poor choice for astrophotographers.


  • +

    Simple set-up and aligning

  • +

    Lightweight for travel

  • +

    Excellent smartphone app

  • +

    Very sharp images


  • -

    Afocal astrophotography only

  • -

    No motorized tracking mount

  • -

    Smartphone runs out of battery

  • -

    Needs collimating

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The Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 130AZ telescope isn’t going to do much for your astrophotography ambitions, but it will definitely help you learn to navigate the night sky. Its headline act is surely its clever StarSense app, which is used to align it to objects in the night sky, though that’s only half the story. 

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for www.WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.