There are a whole bunch of telescopes on sale for Black Friday. However, if we were to choose one that will be the best choice for most people, it's the Celestron AstroFi 102. While it isn't the cheapest or most feature-packed telescope you'll see, it combines performance with price extremely well, and you can currently save $92 if you buy it either at Amazon for $437.56 or B&H Photo for, er, $437.56.
We rate the Celestron Astro Fi102 among our list of the best telescopes, and it sits as our number two overall pick, because it's great for anyone on a budget who still wants the smart features of modern telescopes.
It's completely controllable via your smart phone (which makes it great for younger astronomers), and it's lightweight and easy to set-up, so you can transport it between locations. The objective lens is coated Maksutov-Cassegrain glass, with a 102mm diameter and f/13 focal ratio, which makes it ideal for zeroing-in on specific objects like the moon.
Check out more info below, or view all our top picks in our round-up of the best Black Friday telescope and binoculars deals.
Celestron Astro Fi 102mm f/13 Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope:
Was $529.95, now $437.56 on BHPhotoVideo
Save 17% on this enthusiast-level telescope with a 102mm objective lens and f/13 focal ratio. While we have seen this telescope cheaper a few years ago, this is the lowest price we've seen it since October 2021.
In our review of the Celestron Astro Fi 102 we praised the portability we experienced during testing, with our resident astronomer Jase stating: "The first thing we noticed when setting up the Celestron Astro Fi 102 is just how small it is. At just 6 lbs (2.7kg) this could easily be packed up into a backpack and taken out on a long hike to a dark sky spot."
For the price, the optics perform well, although they obviously aren't comparable to some of the premium scopes out there, like the Unistellar eVscope. In our review we said: "The telescope provides good, clear views of planets but of course there is a little softness around the edges of the image circle which we’d expect at this price — only much more expensive Maksutov-Cassegrains provide a truly flat field with edge-to-edge sharpness. With a wide aperture of 102mm and a focal length of 1325mm the Astro Fi 102 has an impressive f/13 focal ratio offering bright views with minimal chromatic aberration."
Overall, if you're looking for a good, sub-$500 telescope with excellent smart features, which allow you to control via a smart phone, then we'd heartily recommend this deal. However, you can spend far more on telescopes and get better quality, if you budget allows.
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Andy is a content director at Future, and has been working in media and journalism for over 20 years. He currently oversees Live Science's sister site, Top Ten Reviews, while working on projects across a number of brands at Future Plc. Andy is also a tutor in Game Design at the National Film and TV School in the UK, a photographer, and a professional mentor. In his spare time you'll find Andy out with a camera in his hand, capturing urban and night-sky landscapes, or building Lego with his son.