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Unistellar eVscope 2 Review: Not Recommended Scope

The Unistellar eVscope 2 is a highly deceptive product with capabilities that are neither groundbreaking nor capable of justifying its exorbitant price or wild marketing claims.
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When you read one of my reviews at TelescopicWatch, you can trust that not only have I gotten to use the product, but I’ve compared it to numerous others and tinkered with it down to the literal nuts and bolts. When I'm not writing reviews, I'm out under the night sky with my own homemade or modified telescopes, with over 7 years of hands-on experience in astronomy, having owned 430 telescopes myself, of which 20 I built entirely.

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To put it mildly, I’ve found the Unistellar eVscope 2 to be essentially an overpriced, low-quality device that has certainly disappointed me. I feel its marketing seems intentionally designed to target and mislead individuals with little to no knowledge of astronomy or telescopes, and it misrepresents fundamental aspects of how telescopes function and the performance one can expect from the product.

I’ve noticed Unistellar frequently disparaging traditional telescopes as obsolete compared to their product, when, in fact, the eVscope 2 is not particularly innovative or capable. Apart from its slightly better camera sensor, I see no improvement in the eVscope 2 over its predecessors in terms of hardware design or functionality, and otherwise justifies its outright insane price tag with… a Nikon-made “eyepiece” which is little more than a glorified jeweler’s loupe pointed at a screen.

I know for certain that telescopes priced at a fraction of the eVscope 2’s cost outperform it significantly in terms of lunar and planetary “views” (and imaging capabilities on these targets), while the eVscope 2’s deep-sky imaging functionality could be duplicated with a kit-bashed basic astrophotography setup for a small fraction of the price and a few hours of watching tutorial videos on YouTube. Ironically, I’ve noticed that the eVscope 2 actually requires more effort to use than a well-tuned astrophotography setup at around the same price would because it doesn’t even have an autofocusing capability.

We also cannot stress enough how important it is to remember that with the eVscope 2 and other “digital telescopes,” you’re not “viewing” anything –  to experience real photons traveling thousands or millions of light-years to reach your eyeball, you’d have to cut the camera out of the equation. And for the price of the eVscope 2, there’s really no excuse; you could buy a pretty nice big Dobsonian telescope and fill up your gas tank plenty of times for trips to dark skies, take yourself on a vacation to a remote dark-sky paradise and rent out a monster telescope for a few nights, or outright buy a car to take yourself on stargazing adventures given this scope’s exorbitant price tag. Even if you’re still sold on the eVscope 2 for some reason, wouldn’t a luxury vacation be nicer than this potentially disappointing gizmo? That’s the price we’re talking about here. The eVscope 2 costs more than twice as much as the “budget” eQuinox.

Simply put, there isn’t a lot of justification for purchasing the eVscope 2 no matter your intentions. We strongly recommend exploring our guides on astrophotography telescopes, as well as our Best Telescopes and other articles, to better understand what a telescope, especially one in this price range, can do for you.

Unistellar eVscope 2

How It Stacks Up

Ranks #46 of 46 $3000+ Telescopes





Unistellar eVscope 2


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What We Like

  • GoTo and self-aligning mount
  • Turnkey astrophotography setup that’s easy to use
  • Very portable
  • Images are acceptable and certainly better than eQuinox version

What We Don't Like

  • Unreasonably expensive
  • No autofocus
  • Not good for Solar System or terrestrial purposes
  • Mediocre build quality
  • Not really “viewing” in the normal sense
  • Not very good quality images compared to astrophotos
  • Oddly short battery life
Not Recommended Telescope

In essence, the Unistellar eVscope 2’s only redeeming quality is its contribution to citizen science; its images are not particularly impressive and certainly not worth the ~$5,000 USD price tag. The telescope is a glaringly poor investment compared to purchasing an astrophotography rig or a traditional telescope and eyepieces separately. The fact that the designers didn’t even bother to put in a beefier battery to compensate for its more power-hungry sensor despite nearly tripling the price tag is really all you need to know about the level of thought that was actually put into delivering a quality or worthwhile product.

The Optical Tube

The eVscope 2 is a simple 114mm f/3.9 reflector telescope with a 450mm focal length. It uses the same primary mirror as the Zhumell Z114, Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro, and similar 114mm f/3.9 reflectors, but replaces the secondary mirror with a 7.7-megapixel Sony IMX347 CMOS camera sensor. The eVscope 2 is intended to capture images that can be viewed on a mobile device, but it does have a Nikon electronic “eyepiece” at the back of the tube, which is essentially just a round display with a loupe (the optics of this loupe are Nikon’s contribution). 

The double walls of the eVscope 2’s tube are constructed of thin aluminum on the outside and somewhat reflective satin black plastic on the inside, which can negatively amplify the glare and contrast loss of unwanted stray light. At the end of the tube, a spider with four unusually thick vanes holds the central camera sensor in place at the focal point of the mirror, rather than a typical secondary mirror found in Newtonian telescopes. As a result, the tube is slightly longer than the typical 114mm f/3.9 reflectors with which it shares its primary mirror.

On the back of the telescope, there is a large plastic knurled knob that is used for focusing with the aid of the included Bahtinov mask. It’s unfortunate to see that this new, more expensive version of the old eVscope still has to be manually focused when many of its competitors offer autofocusing capabilities. Autofocusing would be incredibly cheap to add compared to the cost of this telescope (which is actually outrageous itself), and requiring manual focusing pretty much ruins the idiot-proof design philosophy that the eVscope 2 attempts to achieve.

Unistellar eVscope 2 114mm f/4 GoTo Reflector Telescope

Camera & Software Capabilities

The camera sensor is where the eVscope 2 made the most improvements as compared to its predecessor, the original eVscope, and the trimmed-down eVscope eQuinox. This time, it is equipped with a 7.7-megapixel Sony IMX347 CMOS camera sensor, which is a jump from the 4.9-megapixel IMX224 sensors of the original eVscope and eVscope eQuinox. Unfortunately, the sensor is still not cooled, which can result in high levels of noise during long exposures, but image stacking algorithms help with this. 

The included Unistellar software is a significant part of what you pay for when you purchase the eVscope 2 and is pretty much universal across all of the models. Available for both Apple and Android devices, the app enables you to do things from controlling the telescope’s movement and settings, viewing and saving images, and even contributing to citizen science. 

To connect the eVscope to the app, the telescope creates a wireless access point in the form of a discoverable wifi network, which your smartphone or tablet can then connect to from distances up to a few hundred feet away. From there, the Unistellar app uses your GPS location to orient itself, and its sky catalog provides information and allows you to slew to over 5,000 objects, while also letting you filter and sort them based on their type or proximity to the telescope’s current location.

The photo gallery and telescope control tabs let you see your images and prepare the telescope for pointing and observation. While the automatic alignment of the eVscope is usually very accurate at centering objects on the first try, sometimes it fails when the star field is obscured by clouds or not dark enough.

One of the neatest features of the app is the ability to contribute to scientific observations, such as tracking asteroid occultations, exoplanet transits, comets, and more. All you have to do is sign up for membership (free) and download coordinates from the Unistellar website.

Finally, the settings tab at the top right lets you adjust your photo-saving options, focus, orientation, and sensor calibration while monitoring the telescope’s battery life and storage capacity.


The eVscope 2 is supplied with a fairly sturdy camera tripod and a motorized fork arm that securely holds the tube. Setting up the telescope is a breeze due to its simple design; just unfold the tripod, level it, and attach the telescope to the tripod head.

Similar to the eVscope eQuinox, the telescope is secured to the tripod head with just two thumb screws spaced 120 degrees apart from each other, which is a poor design and may allow for some unwanted shifting on the head. Adding a third thumbscrew would have been an easy task for Unistellar to do for this second version, but they did not seem to bother.

Unistellar also seemed to take inspiration from the now-discontinued Meade ETX with the black plastic fork mount. Considering its high price tag, it’s extremely disappointing that the fork mount is made of plastic, as it seems susceptible to damage if the telescope were to fall or get hit up against something.


The Sony IMX347 sensor in the eVscope 2 is not cooled, resulting in increased noise levels, particularly during long exposures. The alt-azimuth design of the telescope’s mount leads to image blurring due to insufficient tracking accuracy and “star-step” motion across the sky. The eVscope 2 attempts to mitigate these issues by stacking multiple short exposures, minimizing noise buildup, though it doesn’t entirely solve the problem. Unistellar refers to this as “enhanced vision technology,” which is misleading. They haven’t developed any groundbreaking technology; they are simply employing the well-established astrophotography technique of stacking, specifically “live stacking” of short exposures over the course of a few minutes.

While stacking is a fundamental component of deep-sky astrophotography, genuine astrophotography employs a better-optimized sensor, hours-long integration or total exposure times, and extensive post-processing. In contrast, live stacking exposures of a few minutes with an uncooled sensor and real-time automated processing are bound to disappoint. It falls short of genuine astrophotography, lacks the dynamic range or contrast of actual visual observation, and prevents you from directly observing the objects themselves; the photons that have traveled thousands, millions, or even billions of light-years never directly enter your eye.

Because of the larger IMX347 sensor, you get a field of view of approximately 34 x 47 arcminutes with the eVscope 2, which is up from the original eVscope and eQuinox’s 27 x 37 arcminute field of view but still tiny – not much bigger than the 30 x 30 arcminute full Moon and quite a bit smaller than the area of sky many deep-sky objects take up. This is still tiny, though – for comparison, a 1.25” eyepiece coupled to a typical 450mm focal length telescope (such as the Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro, which uses the same primary mirror as the eVscope 2) can get a field of view 3.5 degrees across, or close to 5x the field of the eVscope’s long axis and over 5x the field you get when looking through its fake “eyepiece”. Even a typical APS-C sensor with a 450mm focal length telescope can achieve a similar, if not quite as wide, field of view.

Unfortunately, there seems to have been zero thought put into the eVscope 2’s upgraded sensor, because due to its greater power consumption, the eVscope 2’s battery life is unfortunately 9 hours at the first charge, while the eQuinox and the original eVscope have battery lives of 11 hours. 11 hours is already short; 9 hours is pitiful, and this is again with a brand-new unit under optimal conditions.

Images produced by the eVscope 2 are not half bad, but they are not even close to what a sophisticated astrophotography rig at a similar (or even far cheaper) price point could produce. However, the primary selling point of this telescope is its convenience rather than its quality.

As for the included Nikon “eyepiece” on the side of the telescope – it doesn’t improve the viewing experience in any way, is again not actually an eyepiece, and even crops out some of the image edges due to the circular display, which is designed for aesthetic purposes.

Should I buy a Used Unistellar eVScope 2?

Since the eVscope 2 is an entirely integrated system, any malfunction can render the entire device inoperable. The components are not easily replaceable or repairable, making it unwise to purchase a used unit.

Unistellar offers a 2-year warranty from the purchase date that covers second-hand purchases as well. However, this warranty is void if the telescope has been tampered with or modified in any way, which can be difficult to ascertain when purchasing a pre-owned device.

Alternative Recommendations

At this price point, there are many telescopes that are larger or pack more features than the eVscope 2, but at the cost of portability and ease of use. There are no direct alternatives to the eVscope 2, as it is not a product one would want to replicate, but depending on your priorities, there may be some options for you to consider. We’ve picked the products below as just a small sampling, but feel free to check out our telescope rankings. Our OTA and mount ranking pages can help you assemble your own deep-sky astrophotography rig if you wish, too.

  • The Vaonis Stellina is a similar all-in-one package to the eVscope 2, but is actually designed for a serious user. It’s more compact, easier to use, has a wider field, and actually has autofocus capabilities, while also avoiding the false promises and silly fake eyepiece of the eVscope 2. It’s an all-in-one astrophotography rig and isn’t trying or pretending to be anything else. 
  • The Vaonis Vespera is a smaller version of the Stellina with a shorter focal length and a wider field of view, as well as a lower price.
  • The Celestron Nexstar Evolution 8 is a lot bulkier than the eVscope 2, but also has a decent built-in battery and WiFi. Despite not coming with one, you can still attach a cheap planetary camera to it and take better planetary images than the eVscope 2 could ever dream of. Deep-sky imaging is also possible by putting the scope on a different mount and adding in some aftermarket kit.
  • The Sky-Watcher 12” Flextube Collapsible Dobsonian is a great choice for those who want more aperture while wanting to maintain some portability. A GoTo version is available as well.
  • The Sky-Watcher Virtuoso GTi 150P is one of the cheapest GoTo options on the market but is surprisingly comparable to the eVscope 2, although without the camera of course. However, a small, lightweight planetary camera can be used for basic astrophotography with one.

Aftermarket Accessory Recommendations

There are not many accessory recommendations we can offer for the eVscope 2 since it is a self-contained package, but Unistellar offers a travel backpack for it. However, the Unistellar backpack is excessively expensive for what it is, so we suggest just purchasing a basic padded case or backpack that can accommodate it instead.

On humid nights, dew has the potential to be a problem if it forms on the sensor, so it’s advisable to purchase a wrap-around dew shield to prevent condensation from collecting on the camera sensor and interfering with the telescope’s operation.

Zane Landers

An amateur astronomer and telescope maker from Connecticut who has been featured on TIME magazineNational GeographicLa Vanguardia, and Clarin, The Guardian, The Arizona Daily Star, and Astronomy Technology Today and had won the Stellafane 1st and 3rd place Junior Awards in the 2018 Convention. Zane has owned over 425 telescopes, of which around 400 he has actually gotten to take out under the stars. These range from the stuff we review on TelescopicWatch to homemade or antique telescopes; the oldest he has owned or worked on so far was an Emil Busch refractor made shortly before the outbreak of World War I. Many of these are telescopes that he repaired or built.

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