Have you ever found that it’s late and you need to get something from the car, but as soon as you pull the keys out of your pocket, they slip out of your hand and through a sewer grate into the abyss?
A flashlight might be useful, but chances are they’ve fallen deep down, and your only chance would be an endoscope.
No, I’m talking about surgery equipment here – and please don’t use any of these products for home surgery!!! I’m talking about endoscopes or borescopes for home and work use. These are long, durable cables with cameras on the ends that can be sent through pipes, engines, and any other hard-to-reach places you can think of. Their other ends feed what they see to your iPhone or another device.
If this handy tool sounds great to you, let’s take a look at the best endoscopes for iPhone.
Top 5 Best Endoscopes for iPhone in 2023 Reviews
1 Nidage Wireless Endoscope Camera – Best Budget Endoscope for iPhone
Length: 33 feet (10m)
Our first product is the 33-foot Wireless Endoscope Camera from Nidage. At around $40, this is the cheapest borescope we’re going to look at, but it’s still one of the longer ones. The 33 foot length of semi-rigid cable is enough for some of the deepest and darkest places you’d dare to go.
It is, however, the smallest in diameter.
With its protective tip on, the diameter is 0.244 inches (6.2mm) which is already really small. But if you really need to get into the tightest spaces, you can unscrew this tip and get down to a diameter of just 0.216 inches (5.5mm). This makes it one of the thinnest endoscopes for iPhone currently on the market.
Now that’s tiny…
This scope has an IP rating of IP67, which means it’s quite robust against dust and won’t falter in water. It can be pushed through standing water like blocked out flooded pipes with no worry of leaking.
The camera here is a full HD 1080P resolution 2-megapixel camera. It can provide you with both stills and video at 30 frames per second. Its focus range is 1.18 – 8 inches. You just need to load the Nidage app to your iPhone and then connect to the endoscope via wifi. You get about a 30 foot (9 m) range on the wifi.
Plenty of accessories, but they are not the best…
The endoscope comes with three extra attachments to help you when you’re in a tight spot. Pun intended. You get a magnet, a small hook, and a 45 degree mirror so you can see 90 degrees from the front of the scope. While these are all great to have, the 45 degree side mirror gives you a very small field of view, and with the magnet on, you can hardly see anything at all.
Finally, the onboard battery charges in 30 minutes but holds just one hour of power, so that’s a pretty slow charge. It has a lot of work to do, though, powering the wifi, camera, and LED lights on the front.
- Long and very thin.
- Good resolution.
- IP67 rating.
- Only two light intensity settings.
- Slow battery charging.
- Attachments have limited usefulness.
2 Depstech Wireless Endoscope 5.0 MP – Best Value for Money Endoscope for iPhone
Length: 16.5 feet (5m)
Next up in my review of the Best Endoscopes for iPhone, I’ll take a look at a product from Depstech, a company that makes a wide range of endoscopes. In this case, we’re looking at the $42, 16.5 foot Wireless Endoscope 5.0 MP. This model has a superior 5.0-megapixel camera on board which distinguishes it from other Depstech models.
The camera is an improvement from the 1080P Nidage camera we just saw. This one gives you 2592 x 1944 resolution (1944P), which is far sharper, and that makes things a lot easier to see and identify with this best resolution endoscope for iPhone.
Brighten up your day…
Like the Nidage, it relies on an LED array to light the examination area. In this case, though, you have four different illumination levels in case you need to really spot something or have a look without causing too much glare. The camera has Bluart 2.0 sensor technology on board to help eliminate shadows and enhance your image so you can see much more clearly.
Like the Nidage, this borescope can link up to your iPhone or Android device via wifi with about a 30-foot range. You can load the Depstech app and use that to get instant streaming to your phone, where you can take still images or record video at 30 frames per second. However, the app can be buggy and inconvenient to make connections with.
Also, like the Nidage, you get an ingress protection rating of IP67, which means you can run this endoscope through standing water. This scope is a fair bit bigger at 0.335 inches (8.5mm) and only half the length, but it does seem to be a little more durable. And it has a much better camera, with an expanded focal range of 2.5-15.7 inches. It only comes with one accessory, a useful hook, though.
Finally, the 2200 mAh battery gets you nearly two hours from a full charge, another point for Depstech. Considering the very affordable price, this adds up to be one of the best value endoscopes for iPhone that you can buy.
- IP67 rating.
- Nearly two hours battery life.
- Sharp, high-resolution camera.
- App can be buggy and make connections difficult.
- Shorter wire than other models.
- Limited accessories.
3 Amiter Wireless Endoscope for iPhone & Android – Best Endoscope with Second Side Camera for iPhone
Length: 16.5 feet (5m)
For $10 more, you can pick up the Wireless Endoscope for iPhone & Android by Amiter. This endoscope is also 16.5 feet long, so it’s the same length as the Depstech and only half the length of the Nidage models we’ve seen. Like both, it has an IP67 rating.
So what else does it have to offer?
The 16.5 foot wire has a cap diameter of 0.315 inches (8.0mm), which makes it slightly smaller than the Depstech and still a fair bit bigger than the Nidage model. But it has something that neither of these endoscopes has – a second side camera.
Both the front camera and side camera are 2-megapixel cameras that provide you with 1080P resolution. They’re both lit by LED arrays with adjustable light levels. This allows you to see nearly 180 degrees in front of you and about the same at 90 degrees.
The focal length of these two cameras isn’t the same, however, and that makes sense. The front camera can focus between 0.78 and almost 4 inches (2-10cm), while the side camera has a tighter 0.78-2.3 inch (2-6cm) range. In general, you need to see ahead of you while you’re snaking, and in confined spaces, you won’t be able to see far to the side at all.
Mount your iPhone…
This time, we’re looking at a 2600 mAh battery, and that’s bigger than both previous borescopes we’ve seen. This one claims enough charge to give you four to five working hours, though in my experience, this is closer to three to four hours. Still an improvement, though!
What’s really different here is that Amiter has actually made a great design addition by attaching a phone mount to the controller. This allows you to view the screen and operate the endoscope 1-handed while feeding it with your other hand, which is obviously very convenient!
It also comes with both hook and magnet attachments, though neither is that high quality.
- Has a side camera.
- Comes with a phone mount on the controller.
- Shorter than other scopes at only 16.5 feet.
- Not the best resolution out there.
4 Limink Wireless Endoscope Camera – Best Digital Zoom Endoscope for iPhone
Length: 33 foot (10m)
With the Wireless Endoscope Camera from Limink, we’re back to the 33 foot length of the Nidage we first saw. This model is about $70, so let’s see what it can offer that the Nidage couldn’t.
The camera here is a 2-megapixel camera with 1944P resolution, so its resolution has the Nidage beat for sure and is comparable to the Depstech. But sorry, no side camera this time. It has a depth of focus from 2.36 to 11.8 inches (60-300mm) which is a much wider range though not as good for close-ups.
Here you’ve got an 8-LED array for illumination. But what’s new here is a digital zoom up to 6x. This is controlled by the hand-held control unit (no phone mount, though). You can also take stills from the controller, and of course, video through the app. Just connect to the unit’s wifi, and away you go.
Once again, this snake has a rating of IP67 for dust and water protection. With an 1800 mAh battery, you’d expect less power than other models. However, they claim four to five hours of use, and you really do get close to that.
Plenty of accessories…
Finally, the end is only 0.268 inches (6.8mm) in diameter, only slightly larger than the Nidage unit. You get the same accessories (magnet, hook, 45 degree mirror for side-looking) as the Nidage as well. So the big differences are better resolution, longer battery life, and wider focal range.
- High resolution.
- Small diameter and accessories included.
- IP67 rating.
- Good battery life.
- No side camera (but it comes with a mirror).
- Can’t focus very close up.
5 Oiiwak WiFi Endoscope – Best Long Endoscope for iPhone
Length: 50 feet (15m)
The last endoscope or borescope in my review is the 50 foot long WiFi Endoscope from Oiiwak. Priced at just under $100, it’s much longer than all the other scopes we’ve seen up to now.
But does it have anything else going for it?
The front-facing only camera is a 2-megapixel camera but only has 1080P resolution. While that’s good, it’s not winning the race here. You’ve got an adjustable 6 LED array for illumination, which is pretty standard.
Size-wise, the end cap is 0.335 inches (8.5mm) in diameter, making it one of the bigger endoscopes we’ve seen. It does come with the standard set of hook, magnet, and 45 degree mirror accessories which are easy to swap out.
But for this price, I wanted something more…
The camera itself gives you an unusually narrow 80 degree field of view, while others give close to a 180 degree spread. It also has a limited focal length of 1.18 – 3.15 inches (3-8cm), so while it’s great for close-up focus, it gives a blurry image from over a few inches away. You do, however, get a zoom that I would estimate gives you 4-5x and is controlled by buttons on the handheld controller.
The wifi here also leaves a lot to be desired. It’s easy enough to download the app to your iPhone or Android device. However, once you do, it’s not easy to keep a connection. The signal seems to be unusually weak, and when you lose the connection, your video fed is instantly gone and hard to get back.
Good battery life…
The onboard battery is 1800 mAh and does give you a few hours of use at around three to four hours. So at least that’s something to cheer about. But in general, aside from the length, you’re not really getting your money’s worth here.
- Very long and comes with standard accessories.
- Decent battery life.
- Great close-up focus.
- Wifi drops out frequently.
- No side camera (though a mirror is included).
- Not the best resolution and a limited field of view.
- Getting pricey.
How to Buy the Best Endoscopes for iPhone?
To make sure you get the best endoscope/borescope for your needs, there are a few factors to consider. Aside from price, you’ll want to think about things like size, accessories, focus and resolution, and battery power.
Size matters, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In the case of an endoscope, you have to think about both length and diameter. For plumbing and wall spelunking work, you’ll want a nice long snake cable. If you’re doing engine repair or other shorter work, extra length will just cost you more and get in the way.
A small diameter cable can get into smaller, tighter depths. Just remember that a thinner cable can be less durable.
A hook, a magnet, and a 45 degree mirror (for a 90 degree view) are standard accessories on most endoscopes. They’re small and inexpensive, but they sure can come in handy, especially for retrieving objects or looking at the side of pipes and other conduits. However, if you have a side camera onboard, you’ll find that even more useful.
Focus and Resolution
Resolution tells you the maximum number of pixels on the smaller side of a rectangular picture that the camera can produce. So 1080P is fewer pixels than 1944P and won’t give as crisp a picture.
Focus is the ability of the camera’s lens to capture a sharp, in-focus image in the first place. Focus length or depth of focus tells you the range of how near and how far the lens can focus. A range of say 1 inch to 10 inches would be incredible. A range of 3-6 inches would be much more limited. If you need to really get close and see things close-up, the close range of focus is going to be crucial.
Like all wifi and other digital devices, battery power is a huge factor. Hours of use are more relevant than battery size because some endoscopes will be more efficient than others. Look for a scope that gives you at least a couple of hours of use before having to be recharged; otherwise, you’ll be constantly inconvenienced by the battery dropping out.
Looking for More High-quality Optics?
So, Which of These Best Endoscopes for iPhone Should You Buy?
Endoscopes can help you get a peek into the tightest places, like clogged pipes, damaged engine parts, HVAC systems, wall interiors, and much more. But you need one that will give you a great picture to help you with diagnosis and problem-solving.
And in terms of the best of the best, I have to choose the…
It’s long (33 feet) and thin (0.268 inches) to help you get into every nook and cranny. It has the best resolution available (1944P), plus a 6x digital zoom. It has all the standard accessories you need to help you out, plus about four hours of battery power to keep you going when you need it.
For whatever work you need to do, a high-quality endoscope/borescope that can connect directly to your iPhone or Android device can be an absolute godsend.