After weeks slaving away over the Aquabot range of pool cleaners it is time I turned my attention to the Maytronic Dolphin range. Where the Aquabot lines were focused on performance and price more than anything else, the Dolphins seem to prioritize aesthetic and performance. You will be hard pressed to find a Dolphin for sub $500, but the quality on offer across their range of products is nothing short of astounding.
The M5 Liberty is an interesting robotic pool cleaner. I am a fan of simplicity and ease of use in my reviews, hence me shying away from external p-ump fitted robotic pool cleaners, and the Liberty takes ease of use seriously. It seems to be a modified Supreme M400, with a slightly longer handle and a few unique features that make it worthy of your attention, at the very least.
I am looking forward to breaking this one down, more so than any other Dolphin robotic pool cleaner does this build require serious consideration before taking the plunge and dropping the cash.
Maytronics Dolphin M5 Liberty Design and Build Quality
It is a little strange to me that the Supreme series and the Liberty series look so remarkably alike. the core feature set is the same, and the same dedication to build quality is present here, as it is for all bots in the Dolphin line, but not changing the overall build for this one is still something of a red flag. All other Dolphin series’ change the overall look after all. The handle has been shortened, bit of a mistake if you ask me, and at its core this is a modified M400. My opinion on the look is still the same. I like how it looks ready to handle any challenge a pool may present, but I am not a fan of the look as a whole. Minor issue overall that though.
I realize that we are not buying a robotic pool cleaner for the look of the thing, but a lot of the time there is little separating these machines. Minor niggles and preferences may end up playing a big role in what bot you choose. Doesn’t really apply here though, as the Liberty has so many strange and unique features that are not present elsewhere.
Maytronics Dolphin M5 Liberty Features and Specs
First let’s get the similarities to the M400 out of the way first. This is an in ground pool cleaning robot, for a full range of above ground pool robots be sure to check out my other reviews I am sure you will find something that will solve your problem. The core Dolphin features are here, full floor cleaning with multiple brushes mounted on the underside. This bot can make the 90 degree transition to the pool wall and climb it to the top, cleaning the entirety of the pool. The full filter indicator is a useful feature, which increases the utility of the weekly timer setting. the filter system is a mesh screen fitted at the top, a vast improvement over the older DX bottom loading filter bags.
Onto the differences,m and the key thing here is the cable. There isn’t one. this is the worlds first battery powered robotic pool cleaner, so this thing works on pretty much any pool size, though they still recommend it fro 50′ pool. The internal battery is rechargeable and lasts for around five cycles, so the weekly timer function is still useful to come extent, depending on how much use you get out of your pool. Cycle times are much shorter for the Liberty, and I cannot understand why. The shortest cycle time is listed at an hour, and it seems to do a good job even in that short time. Listed weight is 22 pounds, but I am convinced it is heavier than that, the battery takes up a fair amount of space and there is no change to the pump in this model, 4,233 gallons per hour. We lose the dual drive motor of the M500 too.
The lack of M500 features is a bit of a disappointment, making this sort of a half step forward. the lack of cable is amazing, as even the best swivel cable will tangle eventually. It means that every cycle will go off without a hitch. I cannot give you exact figures for the weight of the bot, but it is certainly heavier than 22 pounds.
Maytronics Dolphin M5 Liberty Ease of Use
There are really only two kinds of robotic pool cleaner. The easy to use, and the not so easy to use. The not so easy to use require a large amount of manual setup, and in some cases a professional to install. They need to be connected to external pumps and set up just right in order to work. Not the case with the bots I review, i focus on plug and play devices. It’s the new millennium, advances in pump and automation means that old style external pump systems are no longer needed. The M5 Liberty is an easy to use device simply… well I was going to say plug it in, but that doesn’t apply here now does it? Make sure it is charged and drop it in the water. The remote allows you to set the cycle time and that’s all she wrote.
This is probably the easiest to use robotic pool cleaner on the market, no fiddling with wires and settings, just let it go do its thing. The top loading filter mesh is fantastic, a hold over from the M400, and much easier to use than the old bottom loading filter bag system of the DX series. Only issue is is cleaning the machine out, and the weight of the build.
If this were a little lighter it would be the best on the market, as it stands it is simply very very good.
Maytronics Dolphin M5 Liberty Pricing, Value, & Discounts
Price is the deciding factor for me, and I am sad to say that all these features are not cheap. The price of freedom is high and you can expect to pay between $2000 and $2400. This is the most expensive product I have reviewed thus far, but then again it is also the only battery powered robotic pool cleaner I have reviewed too. I always make the point that buying a robotic pool cleaner is an investment in time. You will no longer have to clean you pool, allowing you to do what you want instead. With most robotic pool cleaners you will have made your money back in free time within a year, but the the Liberty it might take two. Freedom isn’t free after all.
The other cost that needs to be taken into account is the price per cycle. With the Aquabot range of robotic pool cleaners I was able to provide detailed information regarding this, as they released the power consumption information on all of the bots to me. Not the case here. Maytronics claim that it will only cost around 15c per cycle, but it is dependent on the price per kilowatt hour in your area. I can’t imagine it will cost much more than that, but it is per cycle, so it will add up.
Finally the warranty, and again I am left a little cold. Maytronics do not have detailed warranty information available, and so I cannot give a complete breakdown as I did with the Aquabot line. I have reached out to Maytronics requesting the full warranty and will update this article when they provide it. The Liberty comes with a 36 month bumper to bumper warranty, so i don’t imagine much is not covered.
Maytronics Dolphin M5 Liberty Conclusion
I love this machine. I love the forward thinking design and I love the features that comes with it. I do not love that price,m and for me it is a deal breaker. I am sure there are those out there for whom money is no object and I would not hesitate to recommend they get the Liberty. Cable tangling is a major issue with robotic pool cleaners, and removing that from the equation makes for a far more reliable product, add in the full M400 feature set and we have a winner.
- Automatic, requires no supervision.
- Battery powered, no cable tangle at all
- Cleans walls well
- Weekly timer frees up more of your time.
- Excellent price.
- Top loading mesh system
- You have to clean out the machine itself rather than just a filter bag.
- A lot more expensive than I would like.
- Warranty info is light on the ground.