I’m an easy-going guy. I really am.
BUT when I’ve shelled out perfectly good money and got the kids all hyped up for a new submarine or underwater drone only to have our hopes crushed when it doesn’t perform as promised, well, that really ticks me off.
I’ve gone through quite a few underwater toys in my time and now know what to avoid and which ones are awesome.
Don’t waste your time and money on junk like I did.
Check out what I’ve found to be the best in value and quality, pick one (or two), and get started with the fun!
- Best RC Submarines
- Underwater Drones
- Related Questions:
- To Wrap It Up:
Best RC Submarines
We’ll dive into a more thorough look at each of my top picks, but if you’re in a hurry, let me quickly point you in the right direction.
For cool capabilities, video recording, and amazing performance, go with the Submariner Camera.
Bright lights for nighttime navigation, takes pictures, shoots video… really everything you’re looking for in an RC sub.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive option to get started with, the Tipmant Nuclear Sub is the way to go.
Good quality, excellent price, tons of fun, and easy to operate.
The Gladius Mini Underwater Drone is hard to beat if you want excellent footage, precision controls, and the ability to go deep (330 feet!!).
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Best With Camera: Submariner Camera by Sea Peep
The best RC submarine is the Submariner Camera made by Sea Peep.
This RC submarine has a decent camera, is easy to control while exploring underwater, and can quickly sink and rise, move right and left, forward and back, and still stays horizontal.
It comes equipped with two LED lights that are powerful enough to see in the dark. The camera can shoot both photos and video with clear footage.
It’s perfect for exploring any underwater world and the habitat within it, and fish enthusiasts have been known to use them in their fish tanks, with no ill effect on their underwater friends.
- Good-quality camera and video.
- Easy to control.
- ROV cannot transmit video back.
- Heavier batteries may cause the submarine to sink.
- Users have had trouble with the trim feature.
Budget Option: Tipmant Mini RC Nuclear Submarine
For a lower price point, this RC submarine is a great choice.
It doesn’t have a camera, but it can glide on the water’s surface or take a dive below; the controller has the power.
The Tipmant Mini RC submarine is perfect for kids to play within any shallow water area as they learn to navigate it from side to side and up and down.
When the submarine hits the water, it becomes activated automatically, and the lights will turn on and be ready to go.
When you take it out of the water, the lights shut off to conserve energy. It can be charged by battery or USB.
- Built-in rechargeable battery.
- Can drive on the water surface or dive beneath.
- Headlights turn on automatically when in the water and off when out.
- Easy to maneuver.
- Some report that the signal weakens after a couple of feet.
Best Mini Submarine: Tipmant Mini RC Submarine
If you’re looking for a fantastic mini RC Submarine at an affordable price, the Tipman mini-sub is perfect for the bathtub, a large water container, pool, aquarium, etc.
This toy is an excellent gift for kids, with easy charging with a battery or USB.
This pint-size submarine can do it all; dive down, float up, and move from side to side.
- Easy to use.
- Sturdy construction.
- USB charger saves money and time.
- Remote may rust if dropped in water.
- It goes to either the top or bottom of the water, no midway selection.
- Moves at a slow pace.
When drones first hit the market, they seemed too technologically advanced to be true and were way too expensive for just anyone to own.
Now, more drones are user-friendly and provide stunning footage of landscapes, weddings, and views of unseen terrain.
Take all that excitement and add it to the water with drones that are built for underwater exploration, gathering spectacular images that until now were nearly impossible.
The Gladius mini underwater drone has 4K underwater photography that can capture high-definition 4K footage in real time and high-resolution photos.
With an F3.0 lens and high-power LED lights, it will capture underwater activity in real time as you maneuver it up and down, and you can even adjust the speed.
Whether you’re capturing the fish below, puttering around in a lake, or exploring beneath the ocean waves, this is the perfect underwater drone for you.
- Remote is very responsive.
- Moves through the water with great precision.
- Produces quality video.
- Made with quality and durable materials.
- Moves quickly through the water, which makes it tricky to control.
- No ability to charge on land.
The V6 underwater ROV by QYSEA is the 1st compact OMNI-directional ROV, and it comes equipped with a 4K camera.
This underwater drone comes with a Smart Thruster Array (company patented) that allows you to go to depths that other drones can’t.
It has a 4K camera that allows the user to take professional quality photos for remarkable underwater photography and video.
If you are committed to making stunning videos and taking captivating photos of your underwater adventures, this drone is worth the money.
- 4K camera provides excellent quality photos.
- Underwater robot and remote charger.
- Allows instant sharing to online platforms.
- It has a durable teether to locate and retrieve with ease.
- It comes with an all-in-one travel case.
- The line gets tangled easily.
This phenomenal underwater drone captures photography with a 1080p camera at a depth of nearly 50 feet.
The camera allows for amazing photos with the two 250-lumen lights that allow you to explore beneath the waves in true-to-life color.
As the world’s smartest and smallest underwater drone, it can fit in your hand and is easy to fit into a backpack.
The best part is that it’s affordable and easy to use.
The CHASING Dory app allows you to control the drone right from your phone, allowing you to control its movements up, down, and lock it at a depth that you want to explore.
This RC can even enter a dual play mode using Dory with a family member or a friend, then share the video and photos via your favorite social media platform.
- Easy to carry; fits in your hand.
- Has the ability to dive up to 49 feet.
- You can control the submarine with the CHASING DORY app, right from your phone.
- 250-lumen headlights that provide ample light to see underwater.
- Great video quality.
- Upload 720p video to online platforms to share with friends and family.
- 50 foot WiFi range is limiting; can easily drift out of range.
How Do RC Submarines Work?
RC submarines work the same way any radio-controlled toy would – by having a transmitter, receiver, circuit board, and motor that initiates movement.
The transmitter is the ‘controller’ that you hold in your hand to send radio waves to the receiver or antenna.
The circuit board in the toy, which receives those signals, will then tell the motor to start moving.
How Deep Can an RC Submarine Go?
There is no one clear answer to how deep an RC submarine can go as it depends entirely on the radio transmitter and the receiver.
When the submarine is too deep for the transmitter to receive transmissions, that’s where the connection is lost, and the receiver is no longer able to respond.
Currently, the typical RC submarine toy can only go about 3-4 feet without losing the controller’s connection.
How Deep Can Underwater Drones Go?
There are varying depths that an underwater drone can dive, depending on the model and how much you are willing to spend, but most can go hundreds of feet under the water, while a more advanced model can go to a depth of thousands of feet.
If you’re into diving, snorkeling, exploring, etc., you should look for a model that can go at least 330 feet.
Understandably, those will cost you more.
However, if you are looking for something to have fun with your kids, a recreational drone will do the trick; there are a few top choices that go up to 50 feet for a reasonable price.
What Are Underwater Drones Called?
An underwater drone is called Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle, or underwater ROV for short.
To Wrap It Up:
As far as performance and bang for your buck is concerned, the choice is easy: get Sea Peep’s Submariner.
If you need a lower priced sub but don’t want to compromise on quality and maneuverability, go with the Tipmant Nuclear Sub.
For kids, the Tipmant Mini will provide hours of entertainment and is a great value.
When you’re ready to step things up a notch, the mid-priced Gladius Mini won’t fail to deliver.
With superb photo and video capabilities, great lighting, fast speed, and precision controls, you won’t be disappointed.