Whether you want to capture the marine world or just get closer to aquatic nature, you will need an underwater drone. These remote-controlled little submarines let you record videos from previously unattainable depths!

Explore our picks of the 5 best underwater drones - their features, strengths, and our verdict.

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  • Editor’s choice: Chasing Innovation Gladius Mini
  • Best for casual use: Chasing Innovation Dory
  • Best for professionals: YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K

PowerVision PowerRay

Pros:

  • Elegant design
  • 4K video capabilities
  • Great app with sharing features

Cons:

  • Umbilical could be longer

Specs:

  • Max depth: 30m
  • Control: Wireless Remote Control
  • Camera: 4K / 12 MP
  • Battery: 4 hours
  • Speed: 4 knots
  • Size: 465 x 270 x 126 mm
  • Weight: 3.8Kg

Features

Long cable and vertical thruster
The PowerRay underwater drone comes with a 70m umbilical cable which follows behind the drone as it is propelled by its two horizontal props. The body is also equipped with a central vertical thruster that makes changing depth an easy and straightforward process with zero tangling of the communication cable.

Capable lighting

The PowerRay has two dimmable 450-lumen headlight lights that effectively illuminate your subject The drone can capture 4K video footage and 4,000 x 3,000-pixel stills. The camera is more than capable in the depths with a maximum ISO of 1600. The provided storage can be either 32GB or 64Gb in an SD card - choose the one that best suits your needs.

Verdict

The PowerVision PowerRay Explorer underwater drone is a solid little submarine that is also stylish and fun to film with. Its remote system synchronizes with a smartphone or a VR headset, resembling a PlayStation controller. It can deliver 4K video up to 30 meters, and it is suitable for both those who want to capture professional-looking videos and those who want to play around.

Chasing Innovation Gladius Mini

Pros:

  • Five thrusters allow for tilt control
  • Smart features
  • HDMI out on the base

Cons:

  • Less stable than heavier craft

Specs:

  • Max Depth: 100m
  • Control: Wireless remote, umbilical to Wi-Fi unit
  • Camera: 4K / 12 MP
  • Battery: 4 hours
  • Speed: 4 Knots
  • Size: 383 x 223 x 137 mm
  • Weight: 2.5Kg

Features

Depth-lock and five thrusters
This underwater drone is equipped with some smart features like depth-lock, which acts like altitude hold on a flying drone, and five thrusters that ensure quick response which is useful when tilting the body up and down to look around. The 64GB storage is also a sweet addition, as well as the bright distinguishable color.

Operates in fresh and seawater
The Gladius Mini drone can operate in both fresh seawater—just swap out a screw-in buoy. The drone can operate as deep as 100 meters. If you want the drone to loiter at a certain depth, you can do it by locking in the drone’s angle and the desired depth.

Free companion app

With the free companion app, you can live stream the underwater footage directly to Youtube or connect the drone to a VR headset and view it from there. The app also gives some flexibility in adjusting exposure parameters on the camera.

Verdict

The Chasing Mini Gladius underwater drone is an aesthetic and powerful gear able to go to significant depths in fresh and seawater. Its smart features make the performance step to another level. Along with the features, it's also beautifully designed in a recognizable bright yellow color. The bundle deal includes the mini-vehicle, the base station, a wireless controller or transmitter, batteries and charger, and a memory card of 32 GB memory.

Chasing Innovation Dory

Pros:

  • Fantastic price
  • Waterproof Wi-Fi buoy
  • For professional and casual use

Cons:

  • Only 1080p video footage
  • Need to recover buoy to retrieve the drone

Specs:

  • Max Depth: 15m
  • Control: Umbilical to Wi-Fi unit, phone app
  • Camera: 1080p
  • Battery: 1 hour
  • Speed: 1.5 Knots
  • Width: 188mm
  • Weight: 2.5Kg

Features

Decent lighting and image quality
Chasing Innovation Dory is a compact underwater drone with a remote control that can transmit images and videos at the depth of up to 15 meters - not much compared to some other drones on our list, but still, deep enough. It’s controlled by a smartphone or a tablet, and you can stream live 720p video directly to the device and social media. The 1080p video footage is enhanced by a color-restore algorithm for dynamic imagery. The two 250-lumen LED lights illuminate the scene and the subject, with color temperatures of 4000k to 5000k.

The customizable control app

The Chasing Dory app, available for both iOS and Android, acts as a remote for drone control. You can customize the imagery inside the app with 19 different filters, share footage on social media, and stream live. The app also enables the use of the Dory drone in a pair, where one can maneuver and the other - control the camera.

Verdict

Chasing Innovation Dory is an easy-to-use, capable drone that can dive at nice depths and deliver incredible photos and videos. While its features may not win the competition against other models, it’s a great gear to film and deliver the footage to social media and to stream live. Won’t be suitable for underwater inspection, but perfectly fine for casual use.

PowerVision PowerDolphin

Pros:

  • Wireless control
  • 4k camera
  • Sonar mapping and bait dropping

Cons:

  • Not submersible
  • No obstacle avoidance

Specs:

  • Max depth: 2m
  • Control: Wireless Remote Control
  • Camera: 4K UHD / 12 MP
  • Battery: 2h
  • Speed: 10 knots
  • Size: 530 x 230 x 130mm
  • Weight: 2.3Kg

Features

Water surface drone with 4K capabilities
Unlike other drones, this craft isn’t designed for underwater use and remains on the water's surface. Still, you can expand the 4K camera on an arm to look 150 degrees down in the water and 70 degrees above. The latter is pretty much the same as you would tilt an aerial drone’s gimbal. The GPS return-to-home is available thanks to the above-water design.

Unique dual-joint rotating camera

The PowerDolphin features a special dual-join rating camera that offers a shooting angle of 132 degrees. You can rotate the drone according to your above and underwater shooting needs. No matter the speed, the drone will take in everything at a glance.

Verdict

The PowerVision PowerDolphin is a water surface drone that allows you to capture images above and below water. It’s unique compared to other drones, as it can flatten on the surface instead of diving to great depths. The vehicle can capture the world under the surface, map the seabed, and tow things - there are plenty of applications for this drone. Add the sleek design, a 4K camera for quality video and stills, and this power drone becomes a water beast.

YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K

Pros:

  • Zoom camera option
  • Stylish design with useful handles

Cons:

  • No left/right vertical thrusters

Specs:

  • Max Depth: 100m
  • Control: Wired remote to a wireless surface unit
  • Camera: 4K
  • Battery: 5 hours
  • Speed: 3 Knots
  • Size: 380 x 348 x 168mm
  • Weight: 3.9Kg

Features

Active tracking and automatic brightness adjustment
One of the signatory features of this drone is active tracking which can lock and track a subject if you wish to follow a fish to keep it in the frame. The 6x zoom allows for substantial frame enlargement and detail capture. The lighting of this underwater drone is also super capable: the two 1380 lumens LED lights automatically measure the light in the depths and adjust the brightness. The image stabilization also works impeccably, ensuring clear and sharp images and cutting down on wobbling in the footage caused by drone movement.

One of the fastest underwater drones
The YouCan Robot is also one of the fastest drones both on our list and on the market, able to reach the impressive 1.5m a second. You can control it remotely from your phone or with the included controller. The multi-person sharing mode is also included, so you can switch between driver and observer roles to share the control.

Verdict

The Youcan Robot BW Space Pro 4K is a reliable drone, capable of delivering high-class images and reaching substantial speeds. It will bring a professional touch to your footage, and it’s perfectly suitable for both amateurs and professionals. The strong lights will ensure exquisite framing, while the 4K camera with a 30-degree angle lens produces superb picture quality.

How we picked the best

Long battery life

Long battery life is crucial on an underwater drone, especially if you’re going on long drives. Because underwater drones are waterproof, you won’t be able to change the battery, so choose the drone with a long operating time.

Good camera

A quality camera is another key aspect, especially if you’re a videographer or photographer. You can’t count only on the water clarity, so pay attention to the camera resolution. Many drones can shoot 4K, which is the best you can get with underwater drones.

Potent light

The deeper you go, the darker it will get, so for exploring in deep waters you will need a potent light to see a wider area and light everything properly on your footage.

How much does an underwater drone cost?

Underwater drones usually cost between $1000 and $4000, depending on the feature set, the brand, and the level of use.

Which is the best underwater drone?

PowerVision PowerRay, Chasing Innovation Gladius Mini, Chasing Innovation Dory, PowerVision PowerDolphin, YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K

What is the deepest an underwater drone can go?

150 meters is the deepest an underwater drone can go.