Vaonis Hestia Review: How Does It Perform for Astrophotography?

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The Vaonis Hestia is a new product from Vaonis, who specialize in top-of-the-range smart telescopes like the Stellina and Vespera.

I have got my hands on a Hestia which I put through its paces in this preliminary review.

Read on to understand the pros and cons and decide if this is a good product for you.

Key Points

  1. The Vaonis Hestia was released in 2024 and is a device that you use with your smartphone for astrophotography.
  2. It is not a smart telescope. It does not have an in-built camera, instead it uses your smartphone camera.
  3. It will not track objects in the sky like a smart telescope. This is a barrier to deep sky astrophotography but the app can guide manual tracking and an accompanying tracking mount will eventually be released.
  4. How it differs from a regular telescope (or monocular or spotting scope) is that it works with the dedicated app to guide you for astrophotography and capture and process the images.
  5. It is compact, easy to use, relatively cheap (compared to a smart telescope), and (to an extent) future-proof as it can improve as your smartphone camera improves.
  6. However it has a small aperture and the lack of tracking will mostly limit it to photographing the Sun and Moon. This should be fixed with the tracking mount but this will add cost.

What is the Vaonis Hestia?

The Vaonis Hestia is a device that enables you to enhance your smartphone as a tool for astrophotography. It does this in two ways:

  1. It provides a small telescope/lens that directs light to your smartphone camera
  2. The accompanying app will guide you and process the images for you

Despite being a product of Vaonis, it is not a smart telescope:

“Hestia, alone, does not qualify as a smart telescope since it lacks an embedded computer, camera, mechanical components, or electronics. However, when paired with a smartphone, Hestia transforms into a smart telescope.”

Cyril Dupuy, Vaonis founder & CEO

Is the Hestia a telescope at all?

It’s hard to know whether calling it a telescope is correct, or whether lens or monocular is more appropriate. Vaonis call it:

“An optical system equipped with lenses and prisms that direct the collected light onto the phone’s sensor”

Vaonis Customer Support

The aperture is 30 mm / 1.2 inch. This is pretty small for a telescope, but this is a pretty compact device, so it’s not really fair to compare that way.

In addition, the Dwarf 2 smart telescope has an aperture of just 24 mm and that can perform really well due to its capacity to track astronomical objects for long periods and thereby gather enough light to create the image.

A telescope usually has a focal length stated, but the Hestia does not. Instead they list 25X magnification as the key specification. The fact that they specify magnification like this is why the Hestia might be better compared to a monocular or possibly a spotting scope.

The difference with these is that the Hestia comes with the dedicated Gravity app specifically for the purpose of guiding you to take astrophotography images.

This is demonstrated in this short video:

“With the Hestia telescope, all you need to do is to place your smartphone on the device. And then align the phone’s camera with Hestia’s ocular. Using the Gravity app, you can pick the object of interest that you want to see and follow the guide to point Hestia in the right direction.”

Cyril Dupuy, Vaonis founder & CEO

Hestia Images

These are the images that I’ve been able to take so far with the Hestia and my Google Pixel smartphone:

There are also a number of deep sky images that Vaonis have shared on their website taken with the Hestia and iPhone 14 Pro.

These do look ok given that they are smartphone images, but the lack of tracking is going to have an impact here:

Vaonis say:

“Hestia will not be able to track objects. The Gravity by Vaonis app will guide the user to do the tracking manually.”

Vaonis Customer Support

I guess this means it can take you through manually taking a number of images by nudging the device along each time to ensure the object is centered and then the app will stack them. I haven’t had the chance to test this yet.

This is not a terrible workaround for a relatively budget device and presumably that is what has been done in the above images.

Vaonis Hestia: Pros and Cons

Vaonis Hestia Advantages

  • Relatively cheap compared to a smart telescope. The Hestia is sub-$300 and the cheapest smart telescopes are the Dwarf 2 and Seestar S50, which are in the $500 region.
  • It is very compact and easy to travel with. The shape is convenient for packing and storing, in contrast to most telescopes.
  • Extremely easy to use. Just attach your smartphone and allow the app to guide you to capturing and processing the image.
  • It has the capacity to improve over time with the addition of a tracking mount and is compatible with any smartphone and so will improve as you upgrade your smartphone in the future to one with a better camera

Vaonis Hestia Disadvantages

  • The lack of tracking will definitely impact your capacity to capture astrophotography images. When you photograph deep sky images you need to take long exposures to capture enough light and this is usually done by tracking it as it moves across the night sky (or rather the earth rotates). With no tracking this will not be possible and so the Hestia will be limited to photographing the Sun and Moon, and maybe other planets in the right conditions.
  • The aperture is pretty small and the specs are below that of some good Celestron monoculars and spotting scopes that are cheaper and also smaller. These do not have an accompanying app though to guide you for astrophotography and process the images.
  • To use it, it occupies your phone, so you cannot operate it remotely and you have to stay close as you are unlikely to want to leave your smartphone in anywhere unoccupied.
  • It’s not that cheap, especially if you factor in that you will probably want to add the tracking mount for deep sky astrophotography in the future. The price of this is unknown, but since Vaonis tripods range from $100 to $399, it is likely to be in this ballpark at least.

Vaonis Hestia Alternatives

There is currently no direct competitor to the Hestia as it is the first of its kind.

The main alternatives would be the more budget and/or compact smart telescopes:

See our overview of the Best Smart Telescopes to see how they all compare.

Vaonis Hestia Specifications

  • Aperture: 30 mm (3.3 inch)
  • Magnification: 25x
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs (0.85 kg)
  • Size: 7 x 24 x 5.5 cm
  • Year of release: 2024
hestia in box
Vaonis Hestia (Image Credit: Anthony Robinson/Skies & Scopes)

Our Verdict

The Hestia is a brilliant idea – it takes advantage of the fact that we are all walking around with amazing smartphone cameras in our pocket to create a compact and easy to use device for astrophotography.

What Vaonis have shown themselves to be great at with the Stellina and Vespera smart telescopes is a brilliant user experience that is tailored for people with no astrophotography experience.

It’s worth noting the limitations of the device, but as smartphone camera’s improve every year and with the addition of a tracking mount, you have a powerfult in your hands that could easily compete with the budget smart telescopes like the Dwarf 2 and Seestar S50 and even exceed them with a better camera sensor.

Order Now
Vaonis Hestia

Transform Your Smartphone Into A Smart Telescope

  • Extremely easy to use - just attach your smartphone and allow the app to guide you to capture and process astrophotography images
  • Compact and portable
  • Future-proof with all smartphones compatible
  • No tracking will limit capacity to capture deep sky images
  • Small aperture for a telescope
Buy at Agena Astro Buy at High Point Scientific

Sources and further information

Submit Your Review of the Vaonis Hestia

If you own (or have used) a Vaonis Hestia, you can submit your review and ratings to us via this form to be incorporated in this review:

Vaonis Hestia
vaonis hestia review 1

Astrophotography Smartphone Device

Product SKU: VAO-HE30-STD

Product Brand: Vaonis

Editor's Rating:


  • Extremely easy to use - just attach your smartphone and allow the app to guide you to capture and process astrophotography images
  • Compact and portable
  • Future-proof with all smartphones compatible


  • No tracking will limit capacity to capture deep sky images
  • Small aperture for a telescope

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.


4 thoughts on “Vaonis Hestia Review: How Does It Perform for Astrophotography?”

  1. Your advertisement doesn’t really give enough information to make an informed opinion. Is this a simple telescope using an Afocal process, with a small objective lens and providing automatic image processing?

    • Hi William, apologies if this is not clear – I was worried I provided too much information!

      It was also hard for me to work out initially exactly what the Hestia was and how it works, but I think your description is correct.

      I write it above as:
      1 – It provides a small telescope/lens that directs light to your smartphone camera
      2 – The accompanying app will guide you and process the images for you

  2. I am one of the first backers of this device. Number 338 in July of last year
    Although I specifically ordered the eclipse pack (I am viewing from Mexico) I have received nothing from Vaonis except that all models are being sent to the U.S.
    Early backers like myself totally ignored and I’ve no idea when if ever I might get this device . Totally disgraceful customer service. My order details July 2023

    Confirmation Number

    Estimated delivery
    Dec 2023


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