I’ll be the first to admit that telephoto zoom cameras in today’s best phones come in handy for certain situations, but getting crisp and detailed shots of the moon is always debatable. Case in point: Samsung’s space zoom claim in its flagship phones like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra, which both offer up to 100x zoom. There’s still speculation on whether AI is used to enhance the moon shots they capture, so that’s why I can’t stop raving about the images I’m able to capture with the Dwarf II smart telescope.
This smartphone assisted smart telescope is at its lowest price ever, with a 20% off discount attached to it. That might not sound as generous as some of the best Cyber Monday you can shop for right now, but the Dwarf II is one of those specialized gadgets that keeps on surprising me. Instead of shelling out $459 to buy it, Amazon’s Cyber Monday deal drops it down to $367.
Why I love the Dwarf II smart telescope
One of the main reasons I love the Dwarf II smart telescope is because it makes astrophotography easy for beginners. I’ve never used a telescope before, so I was astounded the moment I captured my first deep space objects in the night sky — all from my backyard.
Unlike a conventional telescope that requires multiple components to be pieced together, then calibrated by some sort of software to track the movements of the objects in the sky, the Dwarf II simplifies everything because I only need to pair it with my smartphone. Once it’s calibrated in the app, I can pick and choose planets, galaxies, star clusters, and nebulas from its pull down menu in the app. From there, it’ll automatically do its thing by capturing multiple images and stacking them all together.
The end result? I’m able to see nearby galaxies like the Triangulum Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy. Even better, it takes better photos of the moon than any other smartphone I’ve ever used. In fact, it captures sharper details that reveal some of the moon’s craters and notable areas — whereas most phones make the moon look like a blobby mess. It’s all fashioned into a compact design that I can easily stow away in my backpack to use just about anywhere.
Here's a few images of some celestial bodies I captured with the telescope. If you are interested in looking at the night sky — or know someone who is, this is a great Cyber Monday deal to check out.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.