Starscope Monocular Review

I often go hiking and take photos with my phone to send to friends, so they know how healthy I am.

My phone’s zoom is useless and distorts photos, so I purchased the Starscope Monocular for better zoom and photos; it works ok for a slightly better zoom but does not live up to the advertising hype.

I’m going to do a full and fair review so you can see if it’s right for you or whether you need a more expensive monocular.

What the Starscope Monocular is like

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The Starscope Monocular is very light at about 260 grams and fits in your hand easily, so it isn’t a big bulky device you need to deal with; it’s around 7 inches long and 4 inches wide.

Because I’m walking with the Starscope Monocular, I need a way to carry it, and unfortunately, you only get a clip to hold it around your neck, which isn’t ideal unless you’re actively using it. You really need a case or pouch to clip it to your belt; otherwise, you’re going to be sticking it in your pocket.

It doesn’t come with a phone mount which isn’t critical, but you need to hold both your phone and monocular when taking photos; otherwise, you can get some shaky images or could drop both and break your phone; the phone mount is an extra $7 if you bundle it together with the monocular.

Overall the Starscope Monocular is a big magnifying glass that makes it slightly easier to get some long-distance shots. They indicate it should be good for 0.6 miles, but that’s pushing the limits of how good your photo will turn out from that distance.

Starscope Monocular Compared To Other Monoculars

Starscope MonocularVivreal MonocularGosky Scope
Weight260 g1.64 lbs3.4 lbs
Magnification10 x12 x60 x
Distance Usable1000 yards1000 yards1000 yards
Overall User ReviewsNegativePositivePositive

The Starscope Monocular is one of the cheapest monoculars available, so the features you get with it are on the low end as well, but it’s much lighter and easier to deal with than the more expensive options on the market.

Your magnification is set at 10x, and I’ve found the adjustments you can make provide minimal benefit, so as I said, it’s a big magnifying glass. Other monoculars on the market offer more magnification and the ability to zoom in and out as needed.

One of the most significant differences between Starscope and its competitors is the marketing and promises from them all. While competitors are pretty accurate and reviews agree that what they promise is delivered, Starscope overpromises and underdelivers on the features.

Starscope Monocular Compared To Older Models

There is a new Starscope Monocular available, and you can buy the older model still on Amazon. The first difference is that the new model is more expensive by about $7 and weighs slightly less than the previous model.

One big issue I see with the new model is that you no longer get the carry case or the tripod, so you’re paying more for less stuff in your overall package. The technical specs appear to be exactly the same.

Starscope Monocular Pros and Cons

Starscope Monocular Pros
  • Very cheap
  • Very light
  • Waterproof
Starscope Monocular Cons
  • No carry case or pouch
  • Not adjustable
  • Minimal magnification

Key Factors To Buy The Starscope Monocular

Key FactorsDescriptionRating 0/10
Field of View1000 yards5
Quality of lensLow Quality5
Included AccessoriesLimited0


The Starscope Monocular is the cheapest monocular you’re likely to find on places like Amazon, so it’s a big winner if you need a basic and cheap monocular. You do get what you pay for though, advanced features and fantastic quality will require you to spend at least double.


The magnification is set at 10x, and you can’t adjust it, so there are situations where it’s just not going to work well for what you’re trying to see. It does provide better magnification than your standard phone is going to offer, so it’s a basic enhancement over your phone.

Field of View

Most monoculars report to have a 1000 yard field of view, so this is pretty standard; the big problem is that it’s not entirely true, and if you’re expecting the same quality photo at the whole 1000 yard distance, you’re going to be disappointed. 

Many online reviews indicate it’s half that distance, and then the quality starts to suffer, and I would mostly agree. You can probably get a little more than half, but 1000 yards is not doable with this monocular.

Quality of Lens

I’ve stated a few times that the Starscope Monocular is a big magnifying glass. You don’t get enhanced quality as you do with some of the more expensive lenses, but it does a reasonable job at keeping the same quality at different distances.


It’s a very light and small device, so I have concerns about how well it’ll do if dropped too often, but the product details indicate it’s scratch-resistant and comes in a rugged case. I didn’t find anybody complaining that it broke too easily, so durability should be reasonable if you buy a case for it.

Included Accessories

Most of the competitors provide a case and a tripod with their product, Starscope previously included these, but with the most recent model, you don’t get any of that. Instead, you get a strap for around your neck, but I really don’t like it and won’t use it.

Is The Starscope Monocular Worth It?

The Starscope Monocular will be best for people who need a basic monocular that is light, compact, and easy to use. For example, it would be better for birdwatching or checking things out as your hiking rather than as a device to enhance your phone pictures.

As an accessory to enhance your phone’s zoom when taking photos, it provides basic 10x zoom, which may be good enough for some people, especially if cost is a factor in the decision.

Anybody looking for advanced features, adjustable zoom, and better picture quality in long-distance photographs would be better off to spend more money on a different monocular; even the $99 model listed in the comparison chart has fantastic reviews for this.

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Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API