Sunday, September 25, 2022

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Pro RC – Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Another day, another robotic pool cleaner for me to review. I’ve spoken in the past about Maytronics penchant for re branding their products. Taking a previously released build, changing the name, maybe adding a minor feature and mixing up the aesthetics, and the Advantage Plus Pro RC falls into that category. I know why they do it, it’s how they get around their exclusivity deals with various online and offline retailers. This may look sketchy, but for you as a consumer it is great. It means that once you pick a bot you can shop around for a few different models, making sure to get the cheapest one.

The Advantage Plus Pro RC is a riff on the DX5 Plus. I loved the DX5 Plus, and the Pro RC has only a few changes to the core design, a few more features but functionally the same bot. These real RC bots are always fun to tool around with, as the addition of a dual drive motor make them more like RC toys than robotic pool cleaners. Don’t let my childishness turn you away though, these are fully featured Dolphin robotic pool cleaners, and that always means quality.

So Let’s break this bot down, build it back up and see if it is worth your money.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Pro RC Design and Build Quality

You needn’t worry about the quality of the build with a Dolphin. They are a huge company, if they release a bad product the world would know. The Advantage Plus Pro RC is the same as the DX5 Plus, and I can tell you that the fit of the parts here is great. Remember to check your bot thoroughly when you get it out of the box. Give it a slight shake and make sure there is no rattle. A lot of poor quality builds are not fitted well, and thus will rattle If a Dolphin is rattling then it is indicative of a hardware fault.

As to the look of the build, well, it’s certainly nicer than the DX5 plus, but then that isn’t too hard. The Advantage Plus Pro RC is a stocky machine, looks like it will roll over anything, and there is an appeal to that look, just not for me. I do love the color scheme, that Triton like blue and black looks great, and is much better than the all grey finish used on the DX5 Plus.

Overall there isn’t much to say. Dolphin products are all high quality, and the fit of the DX5 Plus was fantastic, so the same applies here. I do prefer the look of this build, and seen as we are talking build clones, the aesthetics of the bot does come into play. If you find these two to be the same price go for the Advantage Plus Pro RC

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Pro RC Features and Specs

There are a number of features that are present in pretty much all Dolphin builds. And the core Dolphin feature set is more robust than most robotic pool cleaner manufacturer’s too. Let’s get the basics out of the way first. This is an in ground robotic pool cleaner with a 60′ cable. The cable is tangle resistant, using patented swivel cable tech. I’m sure you know by now that a tangled cable is one of the most common reasons for a cycle stop, that and acorns. Seeing it here as a standard feature of the line is great.

The scrubbing brushes mounted to the bottom are the finer kind, so not only do they clean the pool floor well, they are also capable of removing the grout fro between tiles, a must have feature for those with a tile bottomed pool. It can also climb walls with the best of them, making its way up from top to bottom in short order. The standard cycle time is 3 hours, with options for 2 hours and 4 hours. The internal pump is powerful, able to filter 4,322 gallons per hour.

On to the bonus features, and we have a caddy for easy transport, a delayed start feature, it allows the sediment to settle after you drop it in the pool for a more thorough clean. The combo features of a full bag indicator and the weekly timer function is great, they work well with one another for obvious reasons. The most impressive feature of this bot is the RC function. The Dual drive motor allows more precise control, so it can go exactly where you tell it to. I love seeing it in bots, I’m all for more control.

This is a fully featured bot, I am sure you will agree. The core feature set will clean the pool well, while all the added features simple make the experience more user friendly, and give you a little more direct control of your new robotic pool cleaner.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Pro RC Ease of Use

There are two kinds of robotic pool cleaners. The all in one units and the kinds that require set up with an external pump system. The external set up kind are not bad, per se, but they are more difficult to use, and that added difficulty is exactly why I discount them. The Advantage Plus Pro RC is a self contained cleaning unit. It has everything it need under the hood, from filter to pump, and as a result it is simple to use at its most basic level. The added advanced remote control options do make it somewhat more difficult to learn than the Advantage Plus, but I love the 1:1 movement so I judge it a necessary evil.

The real issues that plague the day to day use of this bot are the weight of the build, the bottom loading filter chamber and the use of a filter bag system. The Advantage plus Pro RC does come with a caddy and a handle, so moving it around is made easier, but pulling it out of the pool is always going to be difficult, regardless of how good a handle it has. The bottom loading filter chamber is troublesome, having to flip the bot over to replace the filter bag is always a chore, even if replacing the bag is fairly straight forward. Finally, filter bags are harder to use than cartridges, no two ways about it. Be sure to be careful when fitting your bag, as a fold in the wrong place can prevent the bot from picking up larger debris, an issue that just doesn’t exist with the filter cartridge options.

Minor issues those, more nit picky day to day annoyance than any true deal breaking error in design really. Overall this is still a remarkably easy to use bot.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Pro RC Pricing, Value, & Discounts

Ah, the price. It is the make or break section in my opinion. I cannot count the number of times I found a product I wanted only to be too put off by the price of the build. Well I am happy to report that the Advantage Plus Pro RC is in the $800 to $1000 price range. For the features you are getting that is something of a bargain. A sub 1k bot with a dual drive motor is hard to find, but be sure to shop around, and remember that the DX5 Plus is the same bot. I like to point out that a robotic pool cleaner saves you hours each week, and thus how you value an hour matters. At the very least at minimum wage it will have paid you back in free labor within a year.

There is another price to consider, the running costs. With the Aquabot line I was able to provide a more detailed estimate, as they released the power consumption information on their robotic pool cleaners. Granted, the price per kilowatt hour does vary depending on where you are, but I was at least close. Maytronics have not released the power consumption info, so I am forced to make a less accurate estimate. Expect the per cycle costs to be around 10c, and no more than 15c. Not a huge sum, but it does add up, so please keep it in mind.

Now to the warranty. I review a lot of products, and have gotten pretty good at breaking down warranties. The Aquabot full coverage warranty was great, but I made it clear that their Limited warranty was almost worthless. The 24 month bumper to bumper warranty offered by Maytronics on this Dolphin pool cleaner looks great, and bumper to bumper usually means parts and labor. but Maytronics have still not responded to my request for the warranty info. Thus I cannot make an actual value judgement. I will of course update this review when they get back to me, but at this rate It may have to be a bottom of the page disclaimer.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Pro RC Conclusion

Well here we are at the end. A minor surprise here, not only is the feature list a long one, the price is great too. If you are looking for a DX5 plus or an Advantage Plus Pro RC then you are in luck and likely to find a bargain to boot.

Pros:

  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
  • Cleans walls and the tile line
  • Caddy
  • Advanced 1:1 remote control options
  • Extremely low price for what you get
  • A whole host of features usually seen in more expensive builds.

Cons:

  • Warranty info is light on the ground.
  • Bottom loading filter
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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