What Is the Best Underwater Drone?

Best underwater drone

Wondering what the best underwater drones are? Check out this guide for our top options.[Credit: CanvaPro]

Editor's note: The following article is not intended to be a ranking, but is only to serve as a list of possible options. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

The best underwater drone for you is one that will easily allow you to capture what you need while underwater. The greatest part is that you don’t even have to be under the water to do so. Uses for underwater drones continues to grow and they’re no longer an unobtainable product for people simply looking for another hobby. There is a long list of underwater drones available and we dug into the details on a few of the best ones to help you make a good investment. Keep your underwater adventures fun and effortless with the best underwater drone today. 

Quicklook: 6 Best Underwater Drones 

6 Underwater Drones Options

Knowing which underwater drone is best for you can be tough, but you’re not left to figure it out alone! Read on to learn about six of the top options listed in no particular order. 

Gladius Mini Underwater Drone

The list of attachments and accessories that the Gladius Mini underwater drone supports makes it one of the best for underwater exploration. You can get the attachments you need for each adventure and never skip a beat. The high quality camera lets you capture it all along the way. 

Best For: Thorough Underwater Exploration 

Technical Specifications: 

Weight1.8 kg or ~4 lbs
Battery Life120 minutes 
ControlsTethered 
Range100 meters
Max Depth100 meters or 330 feet
Speed4 knots 
Video Resolution4K UHD
Camera Resolution12 MP
CaseBackpack not included
Dimensions385 x 226 x 138 mm
LightsYes

Special Features

  • Precise game control remote controller  
  • Changeable ballasts for both fresh and saltwater  
  • One touch depth-lock mode

Benefits:

  • ±45°Adjustable Tilt-Lock Mode
  • f/3.0 lens support a wider FOV
  • Supports many attachments and accessories 

Disadvantages: 

  • Not known for its stability 
  • Battery time drops for higher speeds (2 hours forward at low speed, 1.5 hours forward at medium speed, 40 minutes at high speed) 
  • App is lacking 

Nemo Underwater Drone

The easy-to-change, rechargeable battery on the Nemo underwater drone makes it an ideal option for long adventures under the water. With an extra charged up battery, you can easily swap them out and continue exploring without hassle. While the Nemo does not come with its own virtual reality headset, it can be paired with most. 

Best For: Long Underwater Explorations 

Technical Specifications: 

Weight3.3 kg or ~7 lbs
Battery Life180 minutes 
ControlsTethered to WiFi base station
Range100 meters
Max Depth100 meters or 328 feet 
Speed3.9 knots 
Video Resolution4K
Camera Resolution16 MP 
CaseBackpack included 
Dimensions404 x 290 x 114 mm 
LightsYes 

Special Features

  • Detachable C-hyper helix rechargeable battery
  • QAS-Balance stabilizing system
  • Strong kevlar zero buoyancy tether

Benefits: 

  • Pairs well with most VR headsets 
  • Real-time images and video on your connected phone or tablet 
  • 2 - 1000 lumen LED lights

Disadvantages: 

  • VR headset is additional cost 
  • Additional/replacement batteries are costly
  • App has been known to have downloading issues 

Fifish V6

The Fifish V6 is absolutely the best underwater drone when high quality images and videos are in demand. With an ultra wide angle of up to 166° and the ability to shoot in 4K Ultra High Definition at 30 fps, this camera impresses photographers of all skill levels. The motion sensor headset makes operating this drone a breeze. 

Best For: Underwater photography and videography 

Technical Specifications

Weight3.9 kg or ~8 lbs
Battery Life240 minutes 
ControlsTethered to wireless surface unit 
Range100 m 
Max Depth100 meters or 328 feet 
Speed3 knots 
Video Resolution4K UHD at 30 fps
Camera Resolution12 MP 
CaseCase not included 
Dimensions381 x 348 x 168 mm
LightsYes 

Special Features:  

  • Motion sensor headset with real-time view 
  • Smart controller with attitude, sport, and combined control modes 
  • True color algorithm through FIFISH app 

Benefits: 

  • Robotic arm accessory available  
  • 166° wide angle    
  • 2 - 2000 lumen LED lights 

Disadvantages: 

  • Speed will slow in moving water 
  • Android users have had issues with the app 
  • Thruster protector is additional (ideal for seaweed, etc) 

Geneinno S2

The wireless Geneinno S2 is a great underwater drone for people who already have a GoPro or similar camera. This powerful little drone can hold your camera or light and help you explore the waters with ease. The travel safe battery makes this the best underwater drone for those that fly with theirs frequently. 

Best For: GoPro users wanting a mountable underwater drone 

Technical Specifications:

Weight~2.6 kg or 5.9 lbs 
Battery Life45 minutes 
ControlsWireless 
RangeN/A 
Max Depth30 meters or 98 feet 
Speed2.3 knots 
Video ResolutionNo camera, compatible with GoPro
Camera ResolutionNo camera, compatible with GoPro
CaseCase not included 
Dimensions19 x 8 x 5.8” 
LightsNo 

Special Features:

  • Comes with mount for GoPro
  • FAA travel safe battery 
  • Quick charging battery 

Benefits: 

  • Size equivalent to laptop 
  • 22 lbs. thrust 
  • LED battery indicator on top 

Disadvantages: 

  • Battery has been known to have charging issues
  • Camera not included
  • Can only attach one item at a time (camera or light) 

Chasing Dory

The Chasing Dory underwater drone is an impressive option for the price point. With a shorter tether than its competitors, it can be a more restricted exploration, but for new divers, this can be ideal. An underwater drone for under $500 that comes with a 1080p camera is hard to beat. There’s no doubt the Chasing Dory is a fun place to start for anyone interested in underwater exploration.  

Best For: Users new to underwater drones 

Technical Specifications:

Weight1.1 kg or ~2 lbs 
Battery Life60 minutes 
ControlsTethered 
Range15 meters
Max Depth15 meters or 50 feet 
Speed1.5 knots 
Video Resolution720p streaming/1080p recording at 30 FPS
Camera Resolution2MP
CaseSmall case for drone included 
Dimensions247mm x 188mm x 92mm
LightsYes

Special Features:

  •  Wide f/1.6 lens
  •  Waterproof Wi-Fi buoy 
  •  2 - 250 lumen lights 

Benefits: 

  •  Can be angled between 45° up or down for better views 
  •  Depth Lock 
  •  Dual play mode 

Disadvantages: 

  • 49’ tether can be restricting 
  • No remote control, must use app 
  • Smaller propellers can cause issues with underwater plants 

PowerVision PowerRay Wizard

The PowerVision PowerRay Wizard is an impressive underwater drone that offers versatility. With a more affordable price point than many of its competitors, the Wizard comes with virtual reality goggles that deliver an incredible first person point of view. The 4K, 12-megapixel camera makes it easy to capture high quality images nearly anytime it’s in the water. 

Best For: All-around underwater exploration

Technical Specifications:

Weight~3.8 kg or 8 lbs
Battery Life240 minutes
ControlsTethered 
Range100 meters
Max Depth30 meters
Speed4 knots 
Video Resolution4K
Camera Resolution12MP
CaseWheeled case included 
Dimensions465x270x126mm
LightsYes

Special Features

  • VR goggles for first-person view 
  • PowerSeeker sonar 
  • Bait drop

Benefits:

  • Comes with 64GB SD card  
  • 1080p live feedback  
  • Additional add-ons available 

Disadvantages: 

  • 70m (230ft) tether can be restricting
  • LED lights aren’t the best underwater 
  • Motor isn’t very protected 

What Is an Underwater Drone?

There are many types of drones out there and they continue to advance. While many people think of flying drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) when drones are being referenced, underwater drones or ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) are an option as well. Underwater drones are essentially waterproof submarine-type vehicles that can explore the ocean or other waters for you or with you. Several of the best underwater drones come equipped with cameras of varying quality to allow you to capture images and videos of your underwater adventures. There are also underwater drones that allow you to mount your own camera or light as well. Underwater drones are advancing year after year, so be sure to find the best underwater drone for your next underwater adventure. 

Underwater Drone VS Regular Drone

Regular drones are also called unmanned aerial vehicles and depending on the size, require registration with the FAA. While you will always need to check rules and restrictions in the water space you’re looking to explore, you won’t have to worry about registration with your underwater drone. Regular drones and underwater drones both often come equipped with cameras allowing you to capture your adventures. While you won’t have to learn to fly your underwater drone, it is recommended to learn the controls before you take it out for exploring. The controls are often similar between regular drones and underwater drones making the crossover easy for those looking to have a hobby in both. It’s amazing what drones can do these days, no matter what you’re looking to do with a drone, the right one is out there when you know what your requirements are. 

What to Consider With an Underwater Drone

With major price differences among the best underwater drones, it’s highly recommended to do some research before you buy. 

Price

Price will always be a major factor to consider when purchasing an underwater drone. They can be a significant investment, but when you do a little research to ensure you get the one best suited for you, you’ll be pleased with your fun and rewarding investment. Lower price options are available at $399, but that is an option that comes without a camera and instead of a camera mount. Other options are available in the $1,000 to $2,000 range and the camera features continue to impress. 

Tether Cable

While not all underwater drones have a tether cable, many do and the length is a very important piece to consider. The shorter the tether cable, the more restricted you are in your underwater exploration. If you are looking at a tethered underwater drone, make sure it has a cable long enough to allow for the exploring you’re wanting to do. Wireless options are available, but they do have limited ranges as well. 

Underwater Camera Capabilities 

Unfortunately, being underwater can drastically affect the quality of your images or video. Sometimes, not even the best camera can assist when the water is dark or murky. Thankfully, there are underwater drones that come with not only outstanding camera options, but they have high quality lights as well. Underwater drones have lights with varying lumens so you can be sure your subject can be lit up properly. 

Battery Life

The battery life of the underwater drone must be considered because it’s likely you don’t want to interrupt your exploration just to change or charge a battery. Several of the best underwater drones have long-lasting batteries that you can typically rely on for 3-4 hours. If the underwater drone has varying speeds, the higher speeds will often reduce your underwater drone’s battery life. 

Licensing and Permits

This is where regular drones and underwater drones still differ greatly. As of right now, you do not have to register your underwater drone. While this may change in the future, you currently just need to ensure you are allowed to be in the water space you are in while following any rules or regulations for that water space. 

Explore the Waters On Your Terms 

Underwater drones can be used for many things and they can help you explore the water on your own terms. Not only are underwater drones great for exploring, but they’ve helped make it safer to do so. Waters can hold the unknown and while that’s intriguing for many, it can also be a dangerous place to be. Don’t let yourself wonder any longer, find out which of the best underwater drones will work for you and get your adventure started in no time. FLYING is always exploring the latest and greatest drones and can help you get the information you need, subscribe today! 

FAQ


FAQ

How Expensive are Underwater Drones

Some of the best underwater drones range in price from around $400 to $2,000. There are also incredible underwater drone options that cost more in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. Consider your needs before investing in an underwater drone so you get one that works for you.

What is the Deepest an Underwater Drone Can Go?

The Geneinno Titan can dive up to 492 feet or about 150 meters underwater.

What Can Underwater Drones Be Used For?

Underwater drones have a plethora of uses for both personal and hobby as well as professional and industrial. From underwater filming to underwater inspections, the best underwater drones can assist in all areas.


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