After looking at pretty much every Dolphin pool cleaner on the market I started to notice patterns. Repeated feature sets, the same visual designs with a new coat of plastic. At first I thought Maytronics were just saving a little money reusing parts, but after acquiring all of the documentation on the majority of robotic pool cleaners from the company I have discovered something interesting. They release the same model under different names for different retailers. Now at first glance this may sound shady, but believe me, this is a good thing. It means that once you decide on a build that is right for you, you will have several options, allowing you to shop around for the best deal.
The Dolphin DX5 is the same cleaner as the Dolphin Advantage. You will have an easier time of finding the DX5 though, as the Advantage has been largely supplanted by the Advantage Plus and RC variants. It is an interesting build. All the core Dolphin features are here, as well as a few choice bonuses, but an old school design lets the side down a little. I have seen newer base builds from Dolphin correct the mistakes of the older builds, so seeing something like a bottom loading filter bag is a bit of a black mark from me.
So let’s break this one down, see if it is the right product for you.
Maytronics Dolphin DX5 Design and Build Quality
The Dolphin DX5 is the same machine as the Dolphin Advantage, they share a feature set and the core build. Which is great as the quality on offer here is up to Dolphins usual standards. The reason for the re branding is due to exclusivity deals with brick and mortar stores and online retailers, so as I have previously mentioned, with a Dolphin pool cleaner it really does do to shop around. The thing to keep in mind regardless of what product you go for is the fit of the parts. A Dolphin pool cleaner’s parts should fit flush, no loose pieces, and no rattle. If you hear some rattle then get on the horn to customer support and don’t take no for an answer.
As for the aesthetics, the DX5 is not quite as nice looking as the DX6. And I didn’t like how the DX6 looked. This at least looks rough and ready, a real tank of a machine, which can be appealing to some. Personally I prefer a sleeker design, like the DX3 or the Atlantis. The all grey paneling does this build no favors either. The Advantage at least uses the black and blue color scheme seen on the Triton and Nautilus bots. The handle is well placed and a good length, which is always nice to see, and it folds down for added hydrodynamic movement.
Overall this is a great build, it is strong and seemingly able to withstand the elements. The look of the bot is not that important, but when you are weighing a few similar builds against each other then it becomes slightly more so.
Maytronics Dolphin DX5 Features and Specs
Oh my me, always good to see a fully featured machine. the DX5 is up there with the best of them in terms of feature set. Let’s get the usuals out of the way first. This is an in ground robotic pool cleaner with a 60′ swivel cable. Swivel cables are a propitiatory tech, designed to be tangle resistant. It works well, better than the pool noodle solution I suggest for non-swivel cable robotic pool cleaners. A tangled cable is one of the primary reasons for a cycle stoppage, so it is good to see it here.
The internal pump is the Dolphin high powered pump, able to filter 4,322 gallons of water an hour. with an average cycle time of three hours, this is not one of the fastest options available, but it is still a respectable time. A nice addition to the core features set is the caddy that comes with the DX5. This bot is not light weight, in excess of 22 pounds, so moving it without a caddy is a chore. Filter access is at the bottom of the bot, not something I like to see, and it still uses a bag system, without the options to convert it to a cartridge. Not major issues those, but still worth considering.
The bottom mounted scrubbing brushes are some of Dolphins finest, and have no trouble picking up algae from the pool floor. In addition to cleaning the floor, this bot can make that wonderful 90 degree transition to the pool wall, climbing from bottom to top, cleaning as its goes.
Overall this is a good build, the Dolphin core features are all present and accounted for, and the added caddy is icing on the cake for this option.
Maytronics Dolphin DX5 Ease of Use
There are two kinds of robotic pool cleaner. The all in one units and the kind that require extensive set up. They lack internal pumps, and require set up with your pools external pump system to function. I think in this day and age there is no need for them. The internal pump that is sued in most robotic pool cleaners is more than powerful enough to sift through your pool, so why waste your time and money setting up a time saving device?
The DX5 is a plug and play build, simply plug it in, set the cycle and drop it in the water. There is no remote control, so once its in the water it will do its thing until you pick it up again. The only downsides to the build are the size and weight and the bottom loading filter bag. This is by no means a alight weight option, but the long handle more than makes up for the difficulty in getting it out of the water, and the caddy does the rest.
That bottom loading filter bag is a bigger issue for me. You have to flip the whole machine over to replace the filter bag, replacing the filter is pretty easy though. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like if the company has designs that are top loading, which Maytronics do have, then they should be at the forefront.
No major issues with this build, the bottom loading bag and the weight may be deal breakers to me, but not everyone shares my opinion on this.
Maytronics Dolphin DX5 Pricing, Value, & Discounts
Now the price of the robotic pool cleaner should be the most important factor to you. It is to me, which is why I was sad to see this build in the $900 to $1200 range. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great bot, but I feel like it should be one or two hundred bucks cheaper. There is no full bag indicator, nor even a basic remote and I have seen those features in bots in this price rhttps://gazettereview.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=43823&action=editange. Now, the usual argument still applies here. Buying any robotic pool cleaner will save you time, and free tie is priceless. But let’s put a price on it, say the national minimum wage, and you’ll agree that all but the most expensive robotic pool cleaner will have paid you back within a year, and the more expensive options will have done so in two.
The other major cost to consider is when buying a bot is the cost to run the machine. Now, with Aquabot I was able to provide more accurate estimates, they released the power consumption information for every on of their bots, but Maytronics have not done the same for their Dolphin bots. So I am forced to make an even less accurate estimate. Now, this will vary depending on the price per kilowatt hour in your area, but on average it should not cost much more than 10c to run this bot on a cycle. Not a ridiculous price, but one that must be considered over the long term, so please bear it in mind.
Now the warranty. Seen as my job is to review products, I spend a lot of time reading product warranties. i have gotten pretty good and sorting the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad, and with Aquabot I was able to prove that while their full coverage warranty is fantastic, their limited warranty was worthless. I would love to do the same to the bumper to bumper warranty offered by Maytronics on the Dolphin line, but seen as they have yet to release the warranty to me, I cannot. I am still waiting on word back and will update soon. As it stands I cannot pass judgement on the value of the 24 month bumper to bumper warranty offered on the DX5, though bumper to bumper usually means it covers parts and labor, so it is likely to be a good one.
Maytronics Dolphin DX5 Conclusion
Bit of a mixed bag. there is no doubt that this is a good bot, but I feel like it lacks a few key features that would have made it worth the relatively high price point. To be honest I cannot recommend this one over even the Atlantis or the Saturn, they have the same feature set at half the price.
- Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
- Cleans walls and the tile line
- Too Expensive
- Light on features
- Warranty info is light on the ground.
- Bottom loading filter