Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ telescope review

Advanced smartphone targeting is wasted on this basic backyard telescope

Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ
(Image: © Jamie Carter / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Telescopes like the Celestron StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ used to be too heavy. A telescope that isn't easy to move isn't easy to use, but at a mere 6.6 lbs/2.99 kg it’s easy to pick up and move the StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ – and its tripod – in one hand. Is that a good thing? If a telescope has been designed to travel, yes it is, but this affordable Newtonian reflector is actually best left at home. That’s despite it coming with one of the most impressive automatic ‘go-to’ systems we’ve yet come across.


  • +

    Amazing StarSense app

  • +


  • +

    Simple to assemble

  • +

    2x Barlow Lens


  • -

    Poor red dot finder

  • -

    Struggles with deep sky

  • -

    Lightweight design

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    Lacks precision

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The key reason to buy the StarSense Explorer LT 114AZ is to get your hands on its impeccable StarSense app-driven goodies. Comprising a StarSense Explorer universal smartphone dock that physically attaches to a computer and the StarSense app for smartphones, this ‘go-to’ system is immense. Once you've entered the code supplied in the box into the app all you do is place your smartphone in the dock. Select an object from the app's vast database and arrows will be presented on the screen to direct you to that object. You have to move the telescope manually – this is not a motorized telescope – but it's incredibly easy to do.

(Image credit: Jamie Carter / Digital Camera World)

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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.