Saturday, September 24, 2022

Maytronic Dolphin DX4 – Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Weeks of research has led to a full series on the Aquabot robotic pool cleaner line, with my new found knowledge of robotic pool cleaners I thought it was high time I turned my attention to the Maytronic line, sort the wheat from the chaff and find out what their product range is like. I have identified a few key features that are a must have for the discerning consumer, wall cleaning, algae brush and a damn good warranty. I can say with some authority that the DX4 has at least tow of those things. This upgrade over the Maytronic DX3 actually offers value for money, as the added features are well worth the extra you will be paying.

So let’s dive right in see if this is the right pool cleaner for you.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4 Design and Build Quality

I have already gone on record saying how impressed I am with the overall build quality of the Dolphin range, and the DX4 is no exception. The classic version went with a dull grey exterior, serviceable looking at the very least. The Cylinder based propulsion system is top notch, and in my mind the best kind of drive system for a robotic pool cleaner. Little else to say of the build, but of the design I could go on for hours. I was excited with I first saw the DX3, after looking at the lackluster aesthetics offered by Aquabot here was a pleasing looking bot. I thought it would hold true across the range, and sadly I was mistaken. The vanilla DX4 is at least symmetrical, that is the only real positive thing I can say about the design. The Neptune Plus variant at least spruces the whole thing up with a nice turquoise finish.

As is usually the case with Maytronics’ Dolphins this is an excellent build, but I would keep it in a dark cupboard when not in use.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4 Features and Specs

Dolphin DX4 Neptune Plus
The Neptune Plus Variant

First let’s talk about what this build shares with the DX3. They are both for in ground pool use only, should have mentioned that in the intro sorry if I wasted your time.  They both cleans floors and walls, have a 60′ cable that is tangle resistant and both use the tried and true filter bag system. All the basics at there, but the DX4 has a few choice features exclusive not only to this model, but to Maytronics as a whole. The on board AI is more efficient, scanning a pool and working out the optimum route quicker than the DX3, as a result the minimum turnaround time on a cycle is 2.5 hours, a full thirty minutes less than the DX3. There is an indicator light telling you when the bag is full, making the weekly timer function much more useful. My favorite of the new features is the remote that comes with it. Unlike some other companies who provide a remote that simply changes the cycle time, this one is full on remote control. Not as precise as the more expensive DX6, but there is enough control to allow you to guide the robotic pool cleaner to exactly where you need it.

All those extra features come at the cost to weight, this bot is a fairly hefty 22 pounds, 3.5 pounds heavier than the DX3. It might not sound like much but when you are trying to haul it out of the water it can become something of a chore. Our pump is the Dolphin standard 4,233 gallon per hour heavy duty pool pump, and it does a great job of filtering out debris that has yet to settle.

If it had only slightly improved upon all of the core features of the DX3 this would still be a great little machine. With all of these new features added on top this becomes a far more attractive build, I am always happy to see some manual control, and while you are not able to get full 1:1 control over the bot, it is still an extremely useful feature to have.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4 Ease of Use

There are robotic pool cleaners out there in the wild world that require extensive setup, you need to connect them to external pumps and even sometimes external filters. I do not bother with builds like that. This is supposed to be a product that will make your life easier, free up your time and allow you to enjoy your pool whenever the mood strikes you. I focus on plug and play models, and the DX4 is such a beast. Once you set the cycle all you have to do is drop it in the water and it will do the rest. You can even leave it in there on a weekly timer too, and the full filter notification is fantastic. Now getting it out of the water is a little more difficult than with the DX3, what with the additional weight and all, but Maytronics have lengthened the handle to compensate for that.

The weight issue is a small one, for me the bigger problem is the bottom loading filter bag. I have seen issues in the past with bottom loading filter bags overflowing back into the pool when pulling them out, granted the amount is small but still worrisome. Add in the fact that to replace the bag you have to flip the machine over and I am less enthused. replacing the bag is pretty simple though, and cleaning it is only a minor hassle.

I think replacement bags are a must for a start, but the core functions here are easy to get to so it is impossible to call this a tough machine to use.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4 Pricing, Value, & Discounts

Dolphin DX4 in waterMoving up in the world with this one, all those added features are not free. The DX4 runs between $600-$800, though these days it is more on the higher end of the scale. Not a terrible price, and we are still in the sub $1000 range. If this is what you are looking to spend the the DX4 is a contender, though I would recommend you check out my other reviews before making your final decision. The fundamental thing you have to keep in mind when buying a robotic pool cleaner is that it is an investment in saved time. The value in products like this lies in how much you value your free time. I think it is easy to argue that any robotic pool cleaner, big or small, will have paid you back in free time within a year. It sounds like rhetoric, but I assure you I am quite sincere.

Now the cost to run the thing, I cannot be as accurate as I was in the Aquabot reviews because Maytronic has not saw fit to release the power draw of their machines. They claim that is costs around 15c per cycle, but that seems to be an average, it really will depend on the price per kilowatt hour in your area. It will be cheap, but it will also add up so it is worth considering. Now we take a look at the warranty, and still at the time of writing Maytronics has not gotten back to me regarding this. The listed warranty is a bumper to bumper 2 year deal, but the details on that coverage is unknown to me. Rest assured I will be updating this article as soon as Maytronics responds to my inquiry.

I love a well priced robotic pool cleaner, and that is exactly what we have here. All these features in the sub $1000 range is almost unheard of, and I have been in contact with several long term users who report on its longevity. The only issue I have is that warranty, until I get the information i need I cannot in good conscious wholly recommend this pool cleaner.

Maytronics Dolphin DX4 Conclusion

Another home run from Maytronics. I have no idea how they cram all of these features into their builds, but it never ceases to amaze me. For a scant $200 extra you can get the coveted remote control option, cannot overstate the utility of that particular feature. Downsides here are the weight, the fact that it is for in ground pools only and the lack of warranty information, though I hope to remedy that last one quite soon.

Pros:

  • 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.
  • Remote control options
  • A few added benefits over the DX3

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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