Maytronics Dolphin DX4S – Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

It has been a long road, but I’m still going to miss the Dolphin robotic pool cleaner reviews. The next firm I tackle is going to have to really impress me is all I’m saying. The core feature set of a Dolphin Robotic pool cleaner is more impressive than a lot of their competitors, who do produce top notch machines, but not perhaps so many of them. There is one caveat to the quantity though. Maytronics has a penchant for releasing the same bot under a different name, with maybe a minor feature added to it. Dolphin have exclusivity contract with a variety of online and offline retailers, so if you know which bots are clones you can find a great deal on the exact bot you want, even if it is a garish color.

The DX4S is a riff of the DX4, to some extent. Not in the same way that the Neptune Plus is a variant of it, as it has the same features, but a whole new brain. It is not always a good thing when an AI gets smarter, especially if you’re Sarah Conner, but in this case I think we’re safe. It means that I will have to pay attention to the new way it cleans, the new path finding algorithms, when running should make it not only better at understanding the dimensions of your pool, but also faster.

The DXS series is an exciting one, and I expect to see more of their older bots get the brain upgrade, but until the Nautilus Plus get this treatment, the DX4S may have to do. Let’s see if its right for you.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4S Design and Build Quality

dolphin-dx4s-bottomI have been steeped in robotic pool cleaner lore for months now. I can name a bot by its silhouette, well I can name at least one of the clones, and even tell you what features it comes with. There are really only a few things to take into consideration. The first is the label. I know, it sounds cliche by this point, but the brand name products really are the best. Look out for companies with few products, and lackluster warranty information. They will try to fleece you. If the firm has a wide range of bots, and an excellent warranty, then you are on to a winner. The other thing is more to figure out if you have a factory fault or not. Give your new bot a shake. A well built robotic pool cleaner will be fit flush, if you hear rattle then you should contact you supplier and see about using that top notch warranty.


On to the aesthetics, and again I am less than enthused by the DX4 design. The features are all there, but I am not a fan of robust tank like builds. At the very least it looks more than up to the task of cleaning a pool. The color scheme isn’t great either. Rather than the vanilla DX series trademark grey on grey, we have grey on grey blue. Both are not particularly exciting.

The look of the build is not that important, and it is even less so when it comes to The DX series of robotic pool cleaners. They are all great builds, and will serve you well, but don’t go into this thinking you’re getting the sleek modern looking Nautilus or Triton.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4S Features and Specs

While it might not be as fully featured as its older sibling, the DX5 +S, the DX4S is still an impressive piece of kit, with plenty of must have features, and even a few bonuses. The entire Dolphin line has a few features in common, I call them the core Dolphin feature set, so let’s get those out of the way first. The DX4S is an in ground pool cleaner with a 60′ swivel cable. Swivel tech is tangle resistant, and if you have owned a robotic pool cleaner in the past you will know annoying it can be to have a cycle stop due to a tangle cord. Big fan of this tech, and that it is present in every Dolphin bot is wonderful.

The bottom mounted scrubbing brushes on this bot clean pool floors well, and they are the slightly more robust variety that can clean the grout from the tile line too. I always mention to those with a tile bottomed pool that you will have to shell out a little more for your bot, as this feature is seldom present in cheaper models. Not only does it clean the pool floor and cove, but it can also climb walls. None of that smooth transitory surface neither, this can make the 90 degree transition with ease. Should be a feature of every robotic pool cleaner, what is the point in buying a bot that can’t clean the wall?

The internal pump is the usual Dolphin pump, both high powered and hard wearing, it can filter 4,322 gallons of water every hour. With a 2.5 hour average cycle time is does a fine job of keeping your pool water clear. The DX4S uses a filter cartridge, always good to see, much better than the old filter bag system, but it is bottom mounted, a legacy design issue that I am not a fan of. Not a deal breaker, but still something to think about.

Now to the bells and whistle features. The DX4S comes with that fine weekly timer, full filter indicator combo feature that I rather like. It means you can leave it in the pool as long as you want, only taking it out when the full indicator goes off. Saves you time and effort. The Basic remote that comes with the DX4S is pretty great to. You can set the timer, and even control the bot remotely. Not true 1:1 control though, as the DX4S lacks a dual drive motor. Instead you give it vague directions to head towards. Still useful, if slightly less so.

The Unique feature of the DXS series is the new brain. The Intelliscan upgrade is an interesting thing to critique. While I can see it takes this bot less time to understand its surroundings, it is hard to observe it being more efficient at cleaning, not without a long term study and a control group at the very least. I guess you could argue that if it is more efficient it will save you money in the very long term, think price per cycle, but beyond that I cannot call this a must have.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4S Ease of Use

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the modern robotic pool cleaner. On the one hand is the simple to use bot, and on the other is the older pump less models. They are much more difficult to use, and require set up with an external pump system. I a not a fan, to say the least. Internal pump systems present in all in one options are more than powerful enough to clean a pool quickly and well. The DX4S is an all in one option, simply plug it in, drop it in the pool and select your options from the remote. Having a remote does add a layer of complexity to the process not seen in cheaper models, but I feel like the added features that come with a remote more than make up for the slightly steeper, though still slight, learning curve involved.

There are some issue with the legacy hardware used here. First though, let’s talk about the weight of the bot. A very hefty 22 pounds of machine on offer here, and without a caddy getting it around is a chore. Far from impossible, but I feel like if they are selling this bot at a premium price then a few more bells and whistles wouldn’t go amiss.

The design issue I take the most offense at is the bottom loading filter chamber. having to flip the bot over, and remember it is not a light machine, every time you want to change the cartridge is an unnecessary chore. I am glad they made the switch to cartridges, as they are slightly more efficient than filter bags, so that is one small joy.

There are no real major issues here. It might be a little heavy, and the filter cartridge is bottom loaded, but beyond that it is a simple to use bot.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4S Pricing, Value, & Discounts

dolphin-dx4s-power-supplyThe Price of the build is one of the most important factors. You may rad through this and find the feature set one point, the look of the bot is just right and it seems perfectly easy to put to work. But if the price is too steep you will look else where. Thankfully the DX4S falls into the $700 to $900 category. Always a pleasure to see a fully featured bot like this fall into the sub $1k range. I always take a moment here to talk about the relative value of free time. Buying a robotic pool cleaner is guaranteed ton give you hours of your life back, and depending on how you price those hours, any robotic pool cleaner will have paid you back in a year.

The other price to consider is the running costs. I am a strong proponent of more accurate information regarding the price of electricity. Today in order to know how much you are spending by simply turning on a computer requires some fairly impressive math knowledge, and the local price per kilowatt hour in your area. With the Aquabot line I was able to provide some accurate estimates regarding the price per cycle, as they released the full power consumption information on all of their bots. Maytronics has not done this for the Dolphin line so I am forced to assume around 180W and extrapolate from there. On average you will be paying a little over 10c per cycle, with prices running as high as 17c per cycle. Not a large amount of money I grant you, but still something that must be factored into any long term cost analysis.

Finally we comes to the warranty. I review products for a living, so I spend a lot of time reading warranties. I have become quite good at sorting the wheat from the chaff, and so I was quite looking forward to diving right into Dolphins Bumper to bumper and limited warranties. Alas I cannot do so, as Maytronics still has not sent them to me. I sent emails not too long ago, and another a while back, but as yet I have received no new informaiton. This is a bigger pity here with the DX4S, as rather than the classic bumper to bumper warranty offered on the old DX series, the DX4S has only a two year limited warranty. Aquabot’s limited warranty was less than amazing, and I worry that Maytronics has followed suit. If this becomes a trend in modern robotic pool cleaners then it is time for consumers to be dissatisfied. I am unable to judge this warranty to the degree that I would like, expect an update on this review, and my others, once Maytronics has sent the information to me.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4S Conclusion

The DXS series has been a bit of a mixed bag overall, but no where is that more fine than with the DX4S. The DX3S and the DX5 +S both have something major with which for me to latch on and say no about. Not true with the DX4S. The Price is in a reasonable range, the feature set is just on the right side of abundant, and the issues I have with the build are either legacy issues, like the bottom loading filter chamber, or new school issues that it shares with the rest of the line, like the lackluster new AI and the warranty being seemingly limited. I am going to go out on a limb for this one. I like the price and the feature set too much for the warranty to matter as much to me. If the limited warranty information from Maytronics arrives and it turns out to be amazing then the whole line becomes attractive, but the DX4S is still going to be the best of them. Good idea to keep an eye out for this robotic pool cleaner.

Pros:

  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to an external pool pump.
  • Cleans walls, cove and the tile line
  • All the features, and even a few new ones.
  • Filter cartridge used as standard, no filter bag to fold over here.
  • Fantastic price for this bot, all those features rally should be more expensive.
  • New AI on board purported to be more efficient

Cons:

  • Warranty info is light on the ground.
  • It still uses a bottom loading filter chamber, granted it is due to being a revamp of the older DX series, but it is still a shame to see this old tech here.
  • It comes with a limited warranty, I don’t have the specifics on it, but limited tends to mean terrible in my book.
  • It is hard to call the new AI unequivocally better. It is on paper, but the savings are very long term, and the improvements are almost invisible.


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