I like to use monoculars as monoculars and scopes and scopes. They just work well and the buttons are laid out better for their specific use. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying something like the Pulsar Core RXQ30V for $1,899 and using it as a handheld for now but always having the option of using it as a scope if you wanted to. The most affordable budget monocular that will probably do what you are wanting is the Pulsar Quantum Lite XQ23V and it's $1,699, so that makes the RXQ30V a pretty easy upgrade.
Neither of those units are going to have the image quality of the $2,500 Pulsar Apex, but they are both small and affordable. At the end of the day, only you can really decide what to do, but I can see how it's tempting to buy something like the RXQ30V to use as a handheld with the option of mounting it later.
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