To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Unistellar Odyssey Pro review: The easy way to explore the night sky

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £3499
Odyssey Pro, inc VAT. Also available: Odyssey, £2,199

A optical/digital hybrid scope that delivers great views of the stars and planets with minimal effort, albeit at a steep price


  • Simple to setup and use
  • Great views, especially if you’re patient
  • Built-in astrophotography


  • Undeniably expensive
  • Digital eyepiece still can’t replace the real deal

Unistellar’s high-tech telescopes do a fantastic job of making backyard astronomy accessible to those without much expertise, but the new Odyssey Pro takes convenience to a whole new level.

Lighter and more compact than the brand’s eVscope 2, it’s incredibly easy to set up and use; just tell the smartphone app what you want to look at, and the integrated, computerised mount points the tube in the right direction.

What’s more, it delivers great views – and some impressive photos – using a mix of traditional optics and digital enhancement. Like the eVscope 2, the Odyssey Pro is a big investment, but if you’re keen to see some of the best sights the night sky can offer and you’re short on time and astronomy know-how, it could be just what you’re looking for.

Check price at Jessops

Unistellar Odyssey Pro review: What do you get for the money?

The Odyssey Pro is effectively a short-tube Newtonian reflector telescope with the secondary reflector – the mirror that transmits the view to the eyepiece – replaced by a CMOS sensor. The 85mm primary mirror is actually pretty small – especially for £3,499 – as is the 320mm focal length, but the Odyssey Pro does more with less by using real-time digital processing and enhancement.

Once the telescope has zeroed in on its target, the onboard processor captures and stacks exposures in the same way amateur astrophotographers do in post-processing, but while you watch. Ambient light from street and city lights is filtered out and light from the stars, planets and deep-sky objects is enhanced; as a result you get something that looks less like a small and indistinct ball or a grey cloud in the view, and more like the kind of image you’d expect from a high-end telescope. This is then sent to the telescope’s digital OLED eyepiece, and to your smartphone, where you can view it and capture it for later viewing and sharing.

The telescope tube comes integrated into a motorised GoTo mount, which slots and locks into the sturdy extending tripod supplied, and connects to the accompanying Unistellar app on iOS and Android. This covers all the basic setup tools, including auto-alignment and sensor calibration, then provides you with a changing menu of stars, planets, clusters, nebulae and galaxies to look at, with the top picks for the current night sky on the first tab.

The selections change hour by hour as targets emerge from or go over the horizon, and you can always request your own targets with a quick search. 

READ NEXT: Best flasks

Unistellar Odyssey Pro review: What does it do well?

I was impressed with the ease-of-use of the eVscope 2, but the Odyssey Pro is even better. Assemble the telescope/mount and tripod and connect the app to the built-in Wi-Fi. You’re then quickly taken through the alignment process and sensor calibration, and from there you’re good to go.

The optical system, developed with Nikon, takes care of itself, so there shouldn’t be any need for collimation as with most Newtonian reflectors. As long as you can get the mount level, using the circular spirit level on the top of the tripod, and point it at some stars, it will sort out everything else for you. And if you need to re-align or recalibrate, the tools are only a couple of menus away.

Meanwhile, Unistellar’s app is an excellent way to navigate and learn about the cosmos, with simple panels that give you the basic facts about your chosen target, and a single button to tap to set the telescope to slew there.

Most importantly, you can get some fantastic views – and some impressive stills – out of what’s still quite a compact and easy-to-store telescope; without the tripod legs extended and the tube upright in its parked position, it stands just under 82cm high and 37cm wide. The initial view is nearly always underwhelming, but tap the enhance button and wait. Contrast will improve and stars will come into crisper focus.

Planets will, given ample brightness and proximity, start to show their colours, bands, spots and distinct rings, not to mention nearby moons. Best of all, nebulae and galaxies will go from indistinct cloud patches or blurry patches of colour into visible objects with their own distinctive shapes.

Sure, you may get better views in a dark sky area with a 150mm or larger telescope with a decent eyepiece, but that’s not always an option. I’m lucky enough to live on the edges of a small-ish town, but there’s still some light pollution to contend with, and the Odyssey Pro gave me good views of a wide range of objects, including galaxies and nebulae. I could have it up and running within ten minutes, then start enjoying what that night’s sky had on show.

A key part of this is that – unlike the eVscope 2 – the Odyssey Pro has autofocus. I sometimes struggled to get the views from the former sharp and clear, while I only discovered some captured stills were less than crisp when I viewed them on my laptop later. With its new autofocus system, the Odyssey Pro seems to be bang on every time, and there’s no issue with viewing and capturing distant stars then nearby planets without having to refocus in-between.

READ NEXT: Best wildlife camera

Unistellar Odyssey Pro review: What could it do better?

There’s a small price to pay for that autofocus, and it’s the speed with which the tube can lock on and then focus on a target. Like the eVscope 2, the Odyssey Pro can sometimes take its time to locate and then narrow down on a planet, star or deep sky object, and the autofocus can then add another ten to twenty seconds while it tries to get the image sharp.

Given the precision and finesse with which these mechanisms need to work, it’s hard to grumble, but there were times when I caught myself thinking that I could have found the moon or the Great Orion Nebula myself a little faster (though in practice, I’m not sure that I could).

And while the Nikon digital eyepiece is a plus for more traditional astronomers, it’s still not perfect. The image still looks more like a live video feed from a camera – which is what it is – and is slightly grainy, and not really much different from what you can already see on your smartphone screen. It has advantages over an optical eyepiece, including hassle-free focusing, more eye-relief and less time spent trying to make your eyes adjust to see dimmer objects, but for a lot of experienced amateur astronomers it won’t be the real deal.

Check price at Jessops

Unistellar Odyssey Pro review: Should you buy one?

That last point is pretty crucial. For some backyard astronomers, part of the appeal will always be that you’re seeing the light of a star or the dim glow of a galaxy or nebula transmitted to your eyes, unmediated by a sensor, screen or any processing. The Odyssey Pro doesn’t deliver that experience. 

It’s also extremely expensive – you could save over £1,000 by going for the Odyssey base model – which has the same optics, app and processing, but not the Nikon eyepiece. Even then, £2,200 could still buy you a lot of conventional telescope, along with a computerised GoTo mount and eyepiece camera.

All this is true, yet the Odyssey Pro still offers a fantastic combination of compact design, convenience, ease-of-use, simple astrophotography and consistently impressive views, especially if getting out to a dark sky area isn’t a practical option for you. It’s a shame you’ll need deep pockets to afford it, but you probably won’t regret it if you do.

Read more