Here’s something unique. A Robotic pool cleaner that is capable of cleaning not only above ground pools, but in ground pools as well. It does beg the question of why, but I feel like we should look into the benefits of this particular model before I tear it a new one. What we have here is a bot that will clean a pool floor in around 3 hours, one not limited by the material used on the floor, like some more expensive models, and is ludicrously inexpensive. Whether that is enough to sway you remains to be seen, let’s take a closer look at the Pool Rover Hybrid.
Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Design and Build Quality
Aquabot have a reputation for high quality builds, and even here in their budget options you can feel the difference. A lower cost robotic pool cleaner tends to have a looser fit, and the flush fitting plastic here shows that Aquabot care about product longevity. In terms of look though I feel that the entire Rover series leaves a lot to be desired. They are simple, sure, but they really could have improved the design with a more hydrodynamic body, something more in line with the rapid or breeze series. Still, you get what you pay for and what you’re paying here is not a lot.
Overall the build is fine, while the aesthetic suffers. Not a huge issue that, as all we need to care about is how well it cleans a pool, but in the nitty gritty looking nice may be enough to sway you.
Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Features and Specs
Seen as this cleaner can do in ground and above ground pools, of around 40″, then the market for it is significantly larger than most pool cleaners. It provides a deep clean in 2-3 hours, with timers for both, but includes no fancy gear, like active brushes, to further increase the utility. It can clean a wall in addition to the floor, but there needs to be a smooth transition to the wall for it to get on, though it will reach the water line in curve bottom pools. Considering the low price, it seems to me that anyone with a curved bottom pool would be hard pressed to find a better budget option. The internal pump system is powerful, able to process 70 gallons per minute, so it clear you are not sacrificing too much power ion this price bracket.
At 21″ x 19″ x 18″ and a little over 10pounds, this is a very light weight machine, making the lack of handle somewhat moot. The cable is not tangle resistant, and extends for 41′, something to bear in mind when purchasing. Also keep in mind that a few pool noddles can help mitigate tangle issues. The on board computer takes a few cycles to work out the optimized path through your pool, but once it has the simple 2 hour cleaning cycle should be more than sufficient for most folk.
Overall there is not a lot to say about the features. It cleans a pool floor, some pool walls and has a short 2-3 hour cycle time. There are more complicated builds out there, but if you’re after simplicity this is it.
Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Ease of Use
All the robotic pool cleaners I review are easy to use. There are some options on the market that require complicated set ups, connecting to external filters and pumps, but I steer clear of those. If we can find a high quality pool cleaner that is plug and play then that is the best option. The Pool Rover Hybrid is such a machine, and with even fewer features it is even easier to use. I am not a fan of the bottom loading filter bag, especially as if it becomes overloaded the excess debris tends to fall back into the pool when you lift it out. Add in the lack of handle and removing it from the pool becomes more difficult than it has to be.
Overall it is still an extremely easy to use product, and over time you will become used to how much debris it can handle.
Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Pricing
In this section the Hybrid is king. Few other bots can offer this level of cleaning performance at this price point. The core Aquabot tech is impressive, and over the years they have managed to get the price down to around $300-$400. There are many sites that offer discount on their pool cleaner, so be sure to shop around. One thing that must be taken into account when buying a robotic pool cleaner is the time it saves. The value of the product is directly correlated to how much you value your own time. I would argue that any robotic pool cleaner will have paid for itself within a year, and this model in particular will have done so in six months.
The other pricing factor to take into account is the cost to run the robotic pool cleaner. The Hybrid has a very low power draw, 180W, and when you factor in the cost per kilowatt hour in your area you will find that the cost is a few cents per hour. Not a huge expense, but on to consider over the long term. On to the warranty, and here I am less enthused. Most Aquabot products have a nice limited warranty to cover the year after your full coverage. while I have in the past been critical about the terms of this warranty, I now miss it when it isn’t here. The Hybrid has a mere 1 year of full coverage. The full coverage warranty is great though, and I highly recommend you read it for yourself, and go ahead and read the limited warranty if you have some free time and want a laugh.
Overall an amazing price for this one. The warranty is okay, and I am really feeling the sting of the lack of continued limited warranty, but it is still worth a lot.
Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Conclusion
This is another extreme niche from Aquabot. The Hybrid tries to be all things to all men and instead becomes most things to some men. I love that it can work in above ground and in ground pools, but I dislike the limited wall cleaning abilities. If you want a cleaner that is very low cost, and you have a curved bottom pool, then I would not hesitate to recommend the Pool Rover Hybrid. For everyone else there are better options.
- Automatic, requires no supervision.
- Excellent Price point, few can match it.
- Short 2-3 hour cycle
- Works in above ground and in ground pools.
- Very light, makes removing it from a pool easier.
- Works on tile bottomed pools
- Dos not include a handle
- No active brush or power washing feature. Core Aquabot tech is good, but advanced Aquabot tech is better.
- Does not clean walls, if you have a smooth transition to the wall it can clean the whole wall, but is still of limited utility.