Vaonis Hestia vs Dwarf II: Which Budget Device Is Best?

*If you click on links we provide, we may be compensated at no extra cost to you - Affiliate Disclosure / Review Guidelines.
Vaonis Hestia vs Dwarf II

Vaonis Hestia vs Dwarf II: 1 Minute Summary

  • The Vaonis Hestia is a compact and easy to use device that enhances your smartphone’s capacity for astrophotography. It doesn’t have a camera in-built like a smart telescope and therefore is (to an extent) future-proof as it can improve as your smartphone camera improves.
  • However, it will not track objects in the night sky like the Dwarf II. This is a barrier to deep sky astrophotography and will mostly limit you to photographing the Sun and Moon, but the app can guide manual tracking and an accompanying tracking mount will eventually be released.
  • The Hestia is cheaper than the Dwarf II, but if you need to add a separate tracking mount then these prices will likely become very close.
  • The Dwarf II is a budget, compact smart telescope. It is very similar to the Hestia in terms of aperture of the telescope/lens, and overall size and weight.
  • It is more expensive, but it is an all-in-one package including telescope, camera, and mount, which the Hestia is not. It also does not take away your smartphone, which means you can set it up in your backyard and operate it from inside (with your phone) while it takes images, but this is not possible with the Hestia.
  • However, I have found that it takes a fair bit of work to get the best from it, whereas the Hestia is likely to be very slick and easy to use, because that is what Vaonis excel at.

Why choose the Dwarf II over the Vaonis Hestia?

The Dwarf II is a compact, budget smart telescope from Chinese manufacturer Dwarflab:

  • It is small and light and comes with a perfect-fit carry case, and so is perfect for travel and convenient storage.
  • It is an all-in-one smart telescope package, that includes a tracking mount so that you can photograph deep sky objects.
  • You can set it up in your backyard at night and from inside with your phone. With the Hestia, you have to have the phone on it so you cannot operate it remotely and you have to stay close to it as you are unlikely to want to leave your smartphone in your garden or anywhere unoccupied.
  • On the downside, the user experience is not completely slick and seamless and it takes a bit of work to get the best from your images. This is fine, as long as that it what you are prepared to do.

Why choose the Vaonis Hestia over the Dwarf II?

The Hestia, from French company Vaonis, is not a smart telescope. It is a device to use with your smartphone for astrophotography to effectively turn it into a smart telescope.

Its advantages over the Dwarf 2 are:

  • It is cheaper.
  • It can improve as your smartphone camera improves. I.e. if you get a better phone that upgrades you from a 10 megapixel to a 200 megapixel, then so does your Hestia.
  • The app and user experience from Vaonis are seamless.
  • Because it has no camera or electronics inside, it is safer to carry and travel with without risk of breaking anything.

Telescope Specifications

The Dwarf II has 24 mm (1 inch) aperture, 100 mm focal length, f/4.2 focal ratio, and 3.2° × 1.6° field of view.

The Vaonis Hestia has 30 mm (1.2 inch) aperture and 1.8° x 1.8° field of view.

Camera Specifications

The Dwarf II has a 8 MP resolution camera of 3840 x 2160 size using a Sony IMX415 sensor and a pixel size of 1.45 μm.

The Vaonis Hestia uses your smartphone’s camera and so we cannot make a direct comparison here, but, for example, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 48 MP resolution camera and a pixel size of 1.9 μm.

Size and Weight

The Dwarf II weighs 1.2kg (2.6 lb) and has dimensions of 20 x 6 x 13 ((H x W x L in cm).

The Vaonis Hestia weighs 0.85kg (1.9 lb) and has dimensions of 17 x 24 x 5.5 ((H x W x L in cm).

Price and Value for Money

The Dwarf II starts from $459, and the Vaonis Hestia starts from $299.

Note, these may vary so check the links to compare retailers if thinking about buying.


Dwarflab DWARF II Vaonis Hestia
Year 2023 2024
Aperture 24mm (1 inch) 30mm (1.2 inch)
Focal Length 100mm Unknown
Focal Ratio f/4.2 Unknown
Limiting Magnitude 9.6 10.09
OTA type Refractor Refractor
Eyepiece No No
Field of View 3.2° × 1.6° 1.8° x 1.8°
Resolution 8MP N/A
Sensor Size 3840 x 2160 N/A
Sensor Sony IMX415 N/A
Pixel Size 1.45μm N/A
Mosaic Mode No No
Size (H x W x L) cm 20 x 6 x 13 17 x 24 x 5.5
Weight 1.2kg (2.6 lb) 0.85kg (1.9 lb)
Mount Included Not included
Tripod Included Included
Battery Life 3 hrs N/A
Internal Storage 64GB N/A
Dew Control Built-in None
Retail Price* $459 $299
*Price may be subject to change, so please use the links on this page to check at various retailers

Hestia vs Dwarf II: Verdict

I see this as essentially a choice between a casual device to use with your smartphone for photographing the Sun and Moon (the Hestia), versus a budget smart telescope for those that want to dabble in deep sky astrophotography (the Dwarf II).

If and when Vaonis release the tracking mount, this difference may lessen as the Hestia will then be able to do deep sky imaging and the overall costs are likely to be very similar.

However, you still have the challenge of the Hestia occupying your phone, so you are unlikely to want to set it up outside doing long exposure images of far off galaxies for extended periods.

Related content and more information

Other Dwarf II comparisons:

Other Vaonis Hestia comparisons:

About the Author

Anthony Robinson is the founder and owner of Skies & Scopes, a publication and community focused on amateur astronomy and astrophotography. His work has been featured in publications such as Amateur Astrophotography, Forbes, the Guardian, DIY Photography, PetaPixel, and Digital Camera World - read more.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.