Maytronics Dolphin Apollo Plus – Robotic Pool Cleaning Review

After a week dedicated to the stand alone pool cleaners from Maytronics it is nice to be back in familiar territory. The Apollo Plus is the high end Greek bot, preceded by the Atlantis and the Apollo regular. It follows the Dolphin tried and true three tiers of bot for each kind of consumer. This is essentially the Apollo with a more impressive brain, and some top notch internal electronics. I love seeing more personal control, even if that comes at the expense of ease of use.

At base, Dolphins range of robotic pool cleaners come with some impressive features as standard that you will only find in the more expensive robotic pool cleaners from other firms. The Apollo Plus is an impressive build, no arguments here, but is it the right pool cleaner for you? Let’s find out.

Maytronics Dolphin Apollo Plus Design and Build Quality

Dolphin Apollo Plus in waterOh my me, the big boy of the Greek family. The Apollo Plus is a monster design. it looks like it could deep clean a concrete spill. Overall build quality is impressive here. the parts fit flush and there is no rattle. You tend to find in cheaper alternatives that the parts do not fit as well as they should. This leads to breakdowns over time, lowering the overall lifespan of your robotic pool cleaner. Dolphin pride themselves on the quality of their products, so if you notice any rattle then be sure to contact them.

Design wise this has good points and bad points. On the one hand I love the look of this one, the symmetry is lovely and the handle is large and easy to access. on the other hand that color is ludicrous. Vibrant yellow has never been cool. Not a major issue, but in a tie breaker situation how you feel about the look of one device over the other can be the deciding factor, so best to bear it in the back of your mind just in case.

I love this build. It is large and sturdy, exactly what you want for a long term purchase. History has told me one ting about the Greek series though. They are expensive, so expect my opinion to be a little more critical when we get to the pricing section.

Maytronics Dolphin Apollo Plus Features and Specs

Take the Atlantis, the Apollo and add in a few more features besides and you have the Apollo Plus. This in ground pool cleaner comes with a 60′ swivel cable, as is standard across the Dolphin range. This patented cable is tangle resistant, and long time readers know that cord tangles are responsible for the vast majority of cycle stoppages. In addition to the swivel cable the on board computer comes with some advanced obstacle avoidance algorithms, meaning it is unlikely to get stuck at any point in a cycle. The ability to climb and clean a pool wall is a must for any robotic pool cleaner, though I have seen it absent in some models. The Apollo Plus can get all the way to the top with ease, making the 90 degree transition from pool floor to pool wall quickly and with minimal fuss.

The full bag indicator is great, and increases the utility in the weekly timer function. With dual drive motors you are given unprecedented control over the device, using the remote control you can tell it where to go, focus on areas that you are unhappy with. It does make it slightly more difficult to sue on a day to day basis, but the added functionality is worth it in my opinion.

The cycle time is around an hour, much faster than the other Greek bots, and one of the fastest cycle times on the market as a whole. It is a heavy bot, weighing in at 22 pounds, but the long sturdy handle makes it easy to get it out of the pool. Our pump is the standard 4,233 gallon per hour high powered pump present in all Maytronic devices.

Overall there is a lot to like here, but as has been the case with the entire Greek line of robotic pool cleaners, the feature set has been great, the build quality has been great, but the price has been not so great. Read on to see if this bot bucks the trend and becomes a must have item.

Maytronics Dolphin Apollo Plus Ease of Use

There are two kinds of robotic pool cleaner on the market today. All in one units, and the other kind.the other kind requires extensive setup, external filters and various other maintenance practices that you just don’t need to do with self contained units. It’s why I focus exclusively on the easy to use. It makes this section more about the nitty gritty of day to day robotic pool cleaner use, and that’s the way I like it. The Apollo plus is easy to use, simply plug it in, drop it in the water and hit the button on the remote. I will argue that simply having as many options as it does makes it harder to use than, say, the Atlantis, but not by much.

The Handle at the top is a god send, as this build is not light, and the caddy that comes with it makes transport a doddle. The bad points are the bottom loading filter bag, having to flip the machine over to replace the bag is archaic, and the fact that it uses a bag at all. There is a nice conversion kit available for the Greek series of Dolphin robotic pool cleaners, but fitting it is somewhat difficult, as I have recently learned.

Overall this is a bit of a mixed bag. Using the core features is simple, but a few bad design choices have left a sour taste in my mouth. I’d call it above average overall.

Maytronics Dolphin Apollo Plus Pricing, Value, & Discounts

Dolphin Apollo PlusHere is where the bad news is. All of the features of this bot are great. but they are features I have seen elsewhere, even from Maytronics, at vastly lower prices. The range on this bot is between $1300 and $1600. Far too much for what you get. You may be able to find it cheaper, either in store or second hand, but I can’t imagine by much. While it is true that all robotic pool cleaners save you time, and as a result will have paid you back in kind over time, the up front cost here does not compensate you quickly enough.

The other major cost to owning a robotic pool cleaner is the price per cycle. with the Aquabot line I was able to provide some detailed information, as they released the power consumption information for every robotic pool cleaner. Not so with Maytronics. I would use 200w as the base line here, and factor that into your local price per kilowatt hour. You should find it costs 10c per cycle, give or take 5c. Not a huge cost, I realize, but one that will add up, so best to consider it early.

The warranty is important. I spend a fair amount of time reading through various warranties, trying to see where the company is trying to save costs. And while I feel I was meticulous with my critique of the Aquabot limited warranty, I am unable to provide to you the same level of service here. Maytronics have yet to release to me the full details of their warranty, and until they do I cannot judge the value of their 36 month bumper to bumper warranty that comes with the Apollo Plus. I have contacted them regarding this, and am currently waiting on more information. Expect an update on that soon.

Maytronics Dolphin Apollo Plus Conclusion

Well here we are again, at the end of a Greek bot robotic pool cleaner review and again I cannot recommend it. I love the feature set, the build quality and the am even warming to the color of the thing, but that price to far too high. I know that Maytronics have cheaper, fully featured bots in their Dolphin range. If you can find this at a severe mark down, then by all means go for it, if not then go for a DX6 or a M500 Supreme, better value overall.

Pros:

  • Automatic, requires no supervision.
  • Anti tangle cable
  • Cleans walls
  • Weekly timer function
  • Excellent remote options
  • Filter bag to mesh conversion
  • Very short cycle time

Cons:

  • Bottom loading filter
  • Warranty info is light on the ground.
  • Far too expensive for what you get.