Nice to be looking at a unique bot again, all these clones are getting to me. The Dolphin Saturn is a light weight, light featured, introductory model from Maytronics. Now when I say light featured, I mean that what we have here is the essential Dolphin feature set and little else. But, unlike the vast majority of manufacturers, Maytronics’ Dolphin series of robotic pool cleaners are packed full of must have features as standard, making this inexpensive option much more attractive than a similarly priced model from another firm.
I say it isn’t a clone, and it really doesn’t appear to be, but at a glance it bears a resemblance to the Atlantis and Endeavor bots. It has the same low center of gravity, the same dual handles and the same overall pleasing look. I have been doing a lot of in depth research, looking at as many manuals as I can get my hands on, and have found quite a few clones in the Maytronics stable, but I have yet to get my hands on the full documentation for the Saturn, when I do I’ll update this article, but for now we have to treat it as a standalone.
So let’s dive right in, see if this is the right robotic pool cleaner for you.
Maytronics Dolphin Saturn Design and Build Quality
Maytronics pride themselves on the quality of their products, and it shows. Just one bad build can hurt a companies reputation, especially in a niche area like robotic pool cleaners. You will notice when you get your Saturn that you can’t play Panzer Dragon on it, but that’s because it isn’t a games console, no. The fit of the parts is a big tell regarding the quality of the product you buy. The Saturn’s components fit flush, so if you shake it a little there should be no noise. Rattle is a sign of a fault, and should be investigated thoroughly. I intend to right a piece on non established firm’s low quality robotic pool cleaners in the near future, all will invariably have rattle.
As to the look of the bot, there is a lot to like here. Personally it is right up my alley, a petite bot, symmetrical with dual handles. The grey color scheme may be a little boring, but it serves to highlight the logo. The handles may look good, but they are also a little short. The build is very light weight, but you still have to heave it out of the pool, and a longer handle is far more useful than the stubby arms on this thing. Another area that I want to draw attention is the filter wings on the sides, really adds to the overall look of the thing, even if they serve no practical purpose.
Overall the look of the bot is not that important, it is about what it can do. But it can be a tie breaker feature, seen as how many of these bots can do the same thing. Be sure to keep it in mind, and go with your own sensibilities.
Maytronics Dolphin Saturn Features and Specs
Few bells and whistles with this build, luckily it’s a Dolphin so there is still plenty to write about. This is an in ground pool cleaner with a 60′ cable. The cable is tangle resistant, using patented swivel tech. Tangling is the number one reason for cycle stoppages, so seeing that feature here is wonderful.The bottom loading filter bag is a bit of an issue for me, having to flip the machine to clean is not my idea of fun, but it is a minor caveat.
The built in pump is robust, able to filter 4,322 gallons of water per hour, and with a three hour cycle it should leave your pool looking pristine. The bottom mounted scrubbing brushes are not the most powerful on the market, so if you have algae problems it might take more than a single cycle to clean to your satisfaction, but that is only in the most extreme cases. I have yet to see if fail to clean a pool.
In addition to the pool floor, this little bot can make that 90 degree transition to the pool wall, climbing right the way to the top, cleaning all the way. I feel this feature is a must have, what is the point in buying a pool cleaner if you still have to clean the walls yourself?
As you can see this is a bare bones build, but these bones are big and strong. There are few features beyond what is presented here that are required, but if you want a little extra be sure to check out my other reviews on the more expensive options from Maytronics’ Dolphin.
Maytronics Dolphin Saturn Ease of Use
There are two kinds of robotic pool cleaner on the market. the easy to use, and the not so easy to use. Th not so easy to use are the kinds that require extensive set up. External pumps and sometimes even external filters. I do not see the point in them, they have some advantages over the all in one units, but none so great as to make me recommend them over a self contained robotic pool cleaner. The Saturn is so easy to use. You plug it in, set the cycle and drop it in the water. It could not be simpler. The on board pump is powerful enough to clean the pool thoroughly, so there is really no need to look at the external options.
On to the actual annoyances of owning a Saturn. That bottom loaded filter bag is a mess. I really dislike them, others may find them no trouble, but having to flip the bot over to remove the filter bag, which is pretty easy by the way, is a hassle one should not have to contend with. It is a minor issue, I realize, but there are so few issues in terms of ease of use with these machines that we have to get down to the nitty gritty to find fault.
Again, another easy to use bot, plug and play devices are always fantastic, if you find the bottom loading bag to be too big of an issue, there are plenty of top loading options available, be sure to check my other articles on the topic.
Maytronics Dolphin Saturn Pricing, Value, & Discounts
Here is were the decision is made. The price is the most important factor for many of use, so I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised to find that this machine cost between $500 and $700. I was floored by that price, I really did expect it to be up a hundred or two. Be sure to shop around, as I try to look not only online but also in the brick and mortar stores for price comparison. I always make the argument that a robotic pool cleaner is a time saving device. Buying one literally gives you free time, which is technically priceless, but let’s assume the national minimum wage for a second and say that it will have paid you back in free time within a year.
The other major cost to consider when buying a robotic pool cleaner is the cost to run the device. Now, with the Aquabot pool cleaners I was able to provide a slightly more accurate estimate, as they released the power consumption information for all of their bots. Maytronics have not done so for the Dolphin line, and I am forced to make a slightly less accurate estimate. It really does depend on the price per kilowatt hour in your area, as that does vary, but on average I would not expect it to cost much more than 10c per cycle. Not a large sum, to be sure, but something that must be considered in the long term.
Now on to the warranty. I had a great time breaking down the Aquabot limit warranty, judging fairly harshly, and I was looking forward to juxtaposing it with the seemingly amazing bumper to bumper warranty offered by Maytronics on the Dolphin range. But I cannot. they have yet to send me the full warranty information, hopefully they will get back to me before this article starts trending, but who knows. The 24 month bumper to bumper that comes with the Saturn certainly seems impressive, as bumper to bumper usually means full coverage, parts included.
Maytronics Dolphin Saturn Conclusion
This is my kind of machine. It is light weight, fully featured and inexpensive. there is little else I would want from a robotic pool cleaner. Granted the bottom loading filter bag is a little outdated, and it would be nice to see a full bag indicator, but for under $500 I can’t complain too much. A great buy overall.
- Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
- Cleans walls and the tile line
- Excellent price
- Does everything you need it to do
- Warranty info is light on the ground.
- Bottom loading filter