Best Underwater Drone | Buyer’s Guide & Product Reviews | 2021
Flying drones have never been more popular, but underwater drones are only now becoming affordable to everyday consumers. The best underwater drones will transform the way you explore offshore environments. They can be a useful accessory for scuba divers and snorkellers looking to explore bodies of water prior to diving themselves. They can also be utilised by anglers looking to explore potential fishing grounds prior to casting off, assessing potential obstacles and what kind of fish species they can expect to catch. Curious about underwater drones? Our guide explains everything you should know before buying.
Underwater Drone Explained
An underwater drone is a submersible device that can be operated underwater via a remote controller. Many compact underwater drones can also be controlled via smartphones with a compatible app downloaded to them. Underwater drones are often called referred to as Remotely Operated Vehicles, or ROVs for short. Submersible drones include cameras that allow you to take underwater pictures and record videos. They can also be used to broadcast live streams.
Image Capture & Video Recording
This is probably the most important thing to consider when selecting an underwater drone. If you are specifically choosing a drone to take underwater photographs or capture underwater videos, you should look for a drone that includes a high-end camera. If your budget can stretch, go for a drone with a 4K camera that will allow you to record and broadcast in full 1080p HD.
LEDs will also prove useful when shooting at depth and in murky conditions. The best underwater drones include LED arrays that can compensate for dark water and can also be utilised as night vision aids. However, these models are usually more expensive. If the drone you are considering does not include LED lights as a standard feature, make sure you are buying a drone that can be upgraded with LEDs at a later date.
If you want to use your drone offshore, it should be able to dive to considerable depths and still function correctly. Basic underwater drones may only be able to handle diving depths of around 15 metres, although the best drone models can handle significantly deeper dives. Always refer to the guidance from manufacturers when selecting a drone. You can only guarantee the waterproof housing of your drone will be reliable at the maximum depths outlined by a manufacturer. Go any deeper than this limit and the internal mechanics and circuitry of your drone can become compromised.
Battery Life & Speed
Your drone needs to be able to function long enough to travel to your target destination and return safely. Therefore, you should ensure it has a reasonable battery life that will handle both the outbound and return journeys. Most drones have a runtime of around 30 minutes, which should be more than sufficient for those exploring underwater locations near to the shore. However, you will find more advanced models boasting significantly longer battery times. You should always go for a drone that includes a replaceable battery. This will allow you to purchase a second battery that can be swapped out for a dead one quickly.
Drone speed is also important. Variable speed controls will provide you with the option to adjust your drone speed to accommodate diminishing battery capacity. If you find your battery is running down to dangerously low levels, you can quickly return to shore at higher speeds. Alternatively, you can instead choose to control your drone at lower speeds to make the most of your battery reserves.
Best Underwater Drone Reviews
Keen to invest in a submarine drone to explore the underwater world? Below are some of the best remotely operated vehicles you can currently find on the market.
The CHASING Dory drone is an ideal piece of hardware for those looking to explore underwater environments in crisp detail. This high-quality drone can descend to maximum depths of 15 metres, making it suitable for most bodies of freshwater and ideal for use in saltwater when you are nearer to the shore. This underwater drone will also capture incredibly rich content, with the HD camera providing you with real-time playback. It can also record videos in 1080p HD, with two 250-lumen headlights also included to provide you with essential lighting when recording in darker underwater conditions. True colour restoration is also provided to enrich your recordings, delivering dynamic content, every time.
This is also a compact and portable choice for those looking for a drone they can travel with. This palm-sized drone can be carried around with ease and is very lightweight. Despite the small dimensions, this drone will operate for approximately 60 minutes thanks to the inclusion of a 4800mAh battery. This drone can be controlled via your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet when you have downloaded the compatible Dory app. Controls are simple and intuitive, meaning you will have no trouble mastering manoeuvring your device through the water. The Dory also features a dual play mode that allows you to operate the drone along with a friend. You can also quickly share your live streams or freshly captured content to social media.
Mini Underwater Drone, 4K UHD Underwater Camera for Real Time Viewing, Remote Controller and APP Remote Control
This MINI underwater drone from Gladius is the perfect choice if you are looking to capture 4K UHD video and premium photos below the surface. The submersible drone allows you to capture UHD video footage at 1080p or 4K resolution, giving you plenty of choice when it comes to recording underwater scenes. You can also take photos at 12 megapixel resolutions. A F3.0 lens and twin 1200-lumens LED lights are included to enhance your captured content. This drone is also easy to control. A remote controller is included along with the drone itself, with video game like controls that make it easy to get this drone exactly where you want it to be. You can make quick adjustments to the tilt angle of your drone, diving depth, speed and more. You can also adjust the LED brightness to ensure you can capture quality content, even when you have descended to considerable depths.
This is a very portable choice, weighing just 2.5 kilograms in total. It can also handle depths of up to 100 metres, with a tether cord included so your drone never gets away from you. This compact drone is a great investment for scuba divers looking to scope out potential dive locations ahead of time to ensure obstacle avoidance. However, it is also a good choice for anglers looking to assess potential fishing grounds. However, with its good field of view and impressive technical specs, this is a good piece of hardware to invest in if you are simply looking to explore the underwater world and broadcast live video or capture quality content via the UHD camera.
The GoFish Cam is a quality choice of underwater camera for angler and those looking to scope out new fishing grounds. This premium underwater camera records in full 1080p HD, with an impressive 60 fps possible. You can also choose to record at a slower frame rate at 30fps. It can also record at a slower frame rate if required, while 720p recording is also available for those who want to maximise their storage specs. You can also look forward to reliable image stabilization and steady recording thanks to the hydrodynamic design of this camera and its in-line rigging. Night vision is also possible thanks to the inclusion of specialised LED lights. Even if you are using this drone in the daytime, these night vision LEDs will come in handy when you descend to considerable depths.
This fishing camera can also be used to stream life to your Android or iOS mobile device of choice. When combined with the GoFish Cam Float Accessory, you can transform your drone camera into a handy bobber that will allow you to live stream all underwater recordings. If you are not using the float accessory, you can still review your footage via the downloaded app once the drone has been reeled in. This is definitely more focused at the angling market, but it is still a handy underwater accessory to have in your arsenal.
PowerEgg X Wizard 4K/60FPS Multi-Purpose Waterproof Drone for Flying and Landing in Inclement Weather & Water Sports Photography
If you are looking for flying drones that offer exceptional waterproofing, the PowerEgg X Wizard is a good option. This premium drone boasts waterproof housing, as well as water-landing floats that make it ideal for use near and on the water. It also includes an additional battery, dramatically extending your battery life. This waterproof drone features a 4K UHD camera that will capture superior videos or allow you to broadcast professional quality live streaming. You can also use the drone to capture still images at a resolution of 12 megapixels. This drone also features SyncVoice technology that ensures sound is easily detectable via your smartphone microphone or a wireless microphone accessory. This sound can then be perfectly synced with the audio captured along with your video footage.
This drone also features All Face Recognition technology that allows for remote face recognition from multiple angles. This technology will always ensure the drone camera is successfully locked onto your subjects, allowing for better recording results. In addition to the drone itself, you will find a remote controller so you do not have to worry about downloading an app for control via your smartphone or tablet. A wrist strap, spare propellers, intelligent charger and landing floats are also included. A carry case and separate protective case for safe storage of the drone arms are also included.
Drone with 4K Camera for Adults 31Mins Flight, Potensic Dreamer GPS RC Quadcopter with Brushless Motors, Auto Return, Altitude Hold, 5.8G WiFi FPV Transmission, Long Control Range Flycam for Beginner
This Potensic flying drone has plenty of superior tech to get excited over. This drone features a 4K camera, complete with Sony sensor to ensure clear images and smooth video recording and live streaming. The sensor provides you with an auto-exposure function that ensures you get the best recording results. This is particularly useful when recording in 4K resolution. An anti-shake feature is also included, reducing the amount of vibration experienced by the camera when the drone is in flight. If you are looking to live stream your footage, this feature is very useful.
A 3000mAh smart battery with brushless motor provides you with a decent amount of runtime. When fully charged, the battery life will ensure your drone flies for around 30 minutes. Stable flight is also guaranteed thanks to a dynamic PowerAC system. The drone motor is also designed to handle rapid temperature changes and changes in weather conditions. Although this is not an underwater drone, it is a suitable option for those looking to carry out flights over bodies of water.
Nemo 4K Underwater Camera Drone System, Aqua Pro Sea Photography, WiFi Recorder for Fishing, Scuba Diving with Travel Backpack
This Nemo underwater camera and drone system will allow you to explore and record the underwater world in beautiful detail. This drone is a good choice for scuba divers and snorkellers, with the option to record video in 4K resolution. You can also take 16-megapixel photographs with ease. When shooting in video, you can opt to record at impressive 120 fps, while a QAS balance system means your images are always dynamic in detail. Matrix lights and underwater shooting filters are also included to ensure you get the best possible results.
A C-Hyperhelix battery is also included with this drone. This battery charges more quickly than many other units on the market, meaning it can be ready to use at short notice. Live feeds can be viewed remotely via the Nemo app, once you have downloaded it to your iPhone, smartphone or tablet. Although this ultra HD camera drone offers exceptional technical specs, it is fairly lightweight at just 3.3 kilograms. A full camera kit is also included, with essentials like a wifi base station, reel, zero buoyancy line and power charger all thrown in.
60Mins GPS Drones with Camera for Adults Long Flight Time 4K Photo1080P Video, Ruko F11 FPV Drone Quadcopter Drone for Beginners 2500mAh Battery Brushless Motor-Black (1 Extra Battery+Carry Case)
If you are looking for a drone with impressive flight time and superior recording capabilities, the Ruko F11 is something to think about. This drone offers an extended flight time of 60 minutes after a full charge, allowing to explore a wider area. The 2500mAh intelligent battery provides you with a 30-minute runtime, while a second battery is also included so you can double your fight time. This drone also maintains a strong and very stable GPS signal at all times, allowing you to enjoy live video transmissions at a range of around 490 metres. It can also be controlled at a maximum distance of around 1.2 kilometres.
In terms of recording capabilities, this drone will certainly impress. The ultra HD camera will allow you to capture video in 1080p clarity, providing you with vibrant colours, deep contrast and stunning clarity. The lens offers a wide field of view and has an adjustable angle, allowing to take in and capture your surroundings with ease. This is also a very easy to control drone, with auto return capabilities and tap fly modes on hand to make life easier.
What to Remember When Selecting an Underwater Drone
If you are looking to explore the underwater world with a drone, there are a few things to remember. For one, you need to think about the underwater environment you are looking to explore. Make sure the drone you pick can descend to the depths required. You should also think about battery life and speed control. A battery that will only last for 20 minutes is no good if you want your drone to venture far from shore and be able to return without you having to manually retrieve it. If you are planning on descending to significant depths, you should also look for drones that include LED lights. These can compensate for dark conditions, while also providing you with night vision capabilities.
You will no doubt want high-quality videos and images, so an ultra HD camera is essential. When recording video, you want to be able to capture content at a minimum resolution of 1080p. However, 4K recording is also possible if you shell out a little bit more for an underwater drone. In terms of still photography, you want a camera that can snap images in 12 megapixels as a minimum.
You should also not overlook the importance of user-friendly controls. More basic underwater drones may require you to download a compatible app to your smartphone or tablet, with your device serving as the controller for your drone. However, many drones will also include a conventional remote controller for navigating your drone through underwater environments.