Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Maytronic Dolphin DX3 – Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

After weeks researching and cross examining everything Aquabot I am finally on to a different brand of robotic pool cleaner. I have touched on a few in the Maytronic series in my early reviews, but I know better now. I know what a robotic pool cleaner needs to be capable of, I know for whom each model type is marketed, and I can get right down to brass tacks and tell you if this is the right product for you. The next few weeks will be filled with all things Maytronic, and I have been very impressed with the breadth of features that comes as standard with even their most basic bots.

The DX series of robotic pool cleaners are designed for in ground pools only, so bear that in mind when making your purchase.

Maytronics Dolphin DX3 Design and Build Quality

Dolphin DX3 bottom Where the Aquabot series has little rattle to the build, Dolphin’s are sturdier still. If you do notice rattle then it is likely a fault, so be sure to check your pool cleaner thoroughly. I have had the pleasure of researching the entire range of residential robotic pool cleaners from Maytronic, and even a few of their commercial models, and can confirm that the same design philosophy holds true across their product range. They are a little pricier, but I’ll go into that in more detail later in the review. Here’s the least important section of the review, but one I feel tells us a lot about the company making the product. The Aesthetics. And after slogging through the entire Aquabot range finding nary a looker in the bunch, the Maytronic machines have been a sight for sore eyes. The DX3 is no exception, it is a lovely looking machine. Love the use of silver, the sleek body and a solid set of propulsion cylinders, by far the best drive method in the industry.

Overall I am very encouraged by this, the lower end DX3 is an achievement, and the fact that it looks fantastic is icing on the cake.

Maytronics Dolphin DX3 Features and Specs

As I previously mentioned this is an in ground pool machine, but that seems to be the only real limiting factor. At base a robotic pool cleaner cleans the floor of your pool, but there is so much more that we want from them. Wall cleaning is a personal must, as what is the point in buying a pool cleaner to save you time if you still have to clean the pool by hand every so often. There isn’t one. The DX3 is guaranteed to climb your pool wall, but it will not hit the lip of the pool, so a minor scrub there will go a long way. The cable length here is 60′, and Maytronic recommend you limit it to 50′ pools,. but I have seen it clean a 60′ so your mileage may vary. More advanced Maytronic pool cleaners use an ingenious filter mesh system, and I am a big fan, but the DX3 uses a filter bag, works fine but cleaning it takes a little longer, and we are here to save time. By no means a deal breaker though, and if you don’t want to bother cleaning it you can buy replacement bags instead.

At 18.75 pounds this is far from the heaviest machine I have hoisted, but it can still be a chore hauling it out of the pool. The back mounted handle goes a long way to alleviating any issues you might have in that regard though. Cycle time is 3 hours, so a little slower than the fastest Aquabot’, but still a highly respectable time. One feature here I quite like is the weekly timer. The concept of just leaving it in the pool never occurred to me before, but it seems like a no brainer. Our internal pump is strong, processing 4,233 gallons of water an hour, so on par with the lowest from Aquabot. Add in a good scrubbing brush on the base and we have a well rounded build on our hands.

Nice to see a full feature list, cleans floors, walls and even makes short work of the toughest algae. I would like to see a faster time from Maytronic, as three hours seems to be their standard. In spite of that minor caveat this is a great build.

Maytronics Dolphin DX3 Ease of Use

All the robotic pool cleaners I review are easy to use as a point of principal. We are here to save time, and by extension money, not spend hours hooking up an external pump. As a result there are only really nit pick areas where we can differentiate the relative ease of use of the products. The DX3 is a plug and play device, simply plug in the power supply and drop it in the water, it’ll do the rest. While it is in there it will not get tangled, due to the patented Maytronic swivel cable. Getting it out of the water again is simple, due both to the weight and the handy handle.

The only real downside here is the bottom mounted filter bag. I am not a huge fan of having to flip the whole machine over to change a filter bag, getting it out and replacing it is easy enough, but that extra hardship seems unnecessary to me. There are plenty of top mounted designs out there to emulate.

So issues aside, fundamentally easy to use, a few minor niggles that may or may not turn you off the idea of investing in a DX3.

Maytronics Dolphin DX3 Pricing, Value, & Discounts

Dolphin DX3 in waterHere’s the part we have all been waiting for. how much will the low in DX set you back? Less than you might think. Prices vary a lot these days, but I have seen figures running between $500-$700. A robotic pool cleaner of this caliber in the sub $1000 range is impressive, and you would be hard pressed to find a better option in this price range, though I would be remiss if I didn’t point you towards my other reviews if you want more choice. The core thing I always bring up here is the fact that a robotic pool cleaner is an investment in time. You pay this price now and save yourself hours each week, it is easy to argue that any robotic pool cleaner will have paid you back in free time within a year, depending on how you value your time. A bit of a cliche at this point, but it is no less true for it.

Onto the other costs, and the first one is a long term one. The price to run a full cycle varies ending on the price per kilowatt hour in your area, and Maytronic has not seen fit to release the actual power draw of each of their machines so I can really only go by what they say. 15c or so for a full cycle, a small figure but that will add up so it always bears remembering. Warranty information is light, a supposed 18 month bumper to bumper warranty is offered with this product, but as of yet I have not ascertained what exactly that means and what the terms and conditions are. I have sent Maytronic messages asking them and will update the review with their answer. As it stands a little over a year is okay, but more is always better.

Price wise there is a lot to like here. When you combine it with the features it is a very attractive product, but the comparative lack of warranty information is a bit of a red light. Once I get that cleared up I will be much more confident recommending this one.

Maytronics Dolphin DX3 Conclusion

From the core features down to the price this is one of the better ones. If you are looking for a bot that can clean the entire pool, leaving you with more time to relax, and this is within your price range I would advise you to seriously consider it. It is not without its flaws though, in ground pools only, bottom loading filter bag and some build transparency issues come to mind.

Pros:

  • Automatic, requires no supervision.
  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
  • Cleans walls well
  • Weekly timer frees up more of your time.
  • Excellent price.

Cons:

  • Bottom loading filter bag
  • In ground pools only
  • Warranty info is light on the ground.
Barry W Stanton
Irish born writer who drinks too much caffeine and reads too much Terry Pratchett. I enjoy long walks on the server and Korean cuisine.
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