Saturday, September 24, 2022

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus – Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Here we are again. The Advantage Plus, functionally the DX5. Now over the last few weeks I have noticed patterns with the Maytronic Dolphin line. They tend to release iterations of their machines. Not upgrades, just re skinned variants for different market places. I know why though, they have exclusivity deals with online and offline retailers. It can only be good news for consumers mind you, as once you know what bot you want you can look at the three or four versions of the machine, making sure you get the lowest price possible.

The Advantage Plus is an all in one robotic pool cleaner. During my review of the DX5 I talked briefly about the minor internal and cosmetic changes made in this model, but today I will be providing a full breakdown of the specs. It’s a Dolphin though, so you can expect both high performance and all the features you might want from a build.

So Let’s dive right in, see if this machine does everything you want it to do.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Design and Build Quality

The Advantage Plus is the same machine as the DX5, as a result you can be assured of the quality of the build. The parts are fit flush, and the plastic finish is near seamless. It’s a theme with these guys, wonderful quality builds, at affordable prices. The first thing you need to check is the fit of the parts, so take it out of the box and give the whole ting a slight shake, if there is a rattle then you are likely to have a manufacturer’s fault. I am still working on the low quality builds article, but they all have poor fitting parts.

As to the look of the build, I love it. The DX5 is like all the other DX’s, grey and boring looking. Granted, the core design isn’t that great, boxy and tank like, but it at least looks like it will do its job. The Nautilus esque color scheme here looks great, with blue and black complementing each other nicely. I know that the look of the bot is not of particular import, but when deciding between the DX5 or the Advantage Plus, it can be the deciding factor.

The usual Dolphin quality is on display here. Not a lot to dislike, unless you’re like me and are less than enthused by the core design. Beyond that this is a great looking build.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Features and Specs

Always good to see a fully featured build. The Advantage Plus comes with what I refer to as the core Dolphin feature set as standard, but it goes above and beyond too. Best to get the classics out of the way first I think, then we can discuss the added functionality to this build. This is an in ground robotic pool cleaner with a 60′ cable. The cable uses patented swivel cable tech to prevent tangling. I have seen it in action and it far surpasses my pool noodle solution for non-tangle resistant cables. Anyone who has owned a robotic pool cleaner in the past knows that a tangled cable is the number one reason for a cycle stoppage, followed closely by acorns.

The internal pump system is robust, able to filter 4,322 gallons of water per hour. Our cycle time with the Advantage Plus is an impressive 2.5 hours as standard, but there is an express 1 hour cycle for emergencies. The dual power scrubbing brushes here are the finer variety, meaning they also clean the grout between tiles, so great for those with a tile bottomed pool. Not only does this bot make short work of the pool floor, but it can also climb the pool walls, from bottom to top, cleaning like a champ all the way. I don’t know why this isn’t a core feature from other firms.

The bonus features here are wonderful, most exciting of which is the rudimentary remote control options. Without a dual drive motor we cannot have true 1:1 control, but we can still guide the bot to the areas we feel need the most attention. In addition there is a full bag indicator and a weekly timer. I have seen some build come with one or the other, and find that a little silly, what’s the point of a weekly timer if you have to take it out of the pool to check if it’s full?

In all a fully featured build, there are a few things I would have liked to see, like the dual drive motor, but that feature was saved for the Pro RC version.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Ease of Use

There are two kinds of robotic pool cleaner on the market at the moment. The all in one options and the kind that require some set up. Specifically they need to be attached to an external pump, usually your pools pump. I have found a few hybrid options, but they are not as good as either, so let’s ignore them for a while. The power behind an all in one solution these days is on par with a pool pump, so I think it is best to just get one of those. The Advantage Plus is an all in one solution, a plug and play device. Just plug it in, drop it in the water and hit the right button on the remote. https://gazettereview.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=43823&action=editNow, the fact that there is a remote at all makes the Advantage plus slightly more complicated than some of the cheaper, remote less options, but not overly so. And the benefits of the remote out weigh the slight learning curve.

The real issues with this build are the weight of the bot, the bottom loading nature of the filter bag and the fact that it uses a filter bag at all. Now, the handle and the caddy that comes with the bot make transport easier, but getting it out of a pool is still somewhat troublesome. The bottom loading bag is ridiculous though, having to flip the whole bot over to get the filter bag out is a little outdated thee days, but replacing the bag itself is very intuitive. While a filter bag system is not that much worse than a cartridge system, it does come with some dangers. An improperly fitted bag can fold over itself, making it so the bot won’t pick up the finer debris, so make sure you have fitted the thing carefully.

Overall there are no issues here that are deal breakers. Just a few minor inconveniences that may annoy over time. Personally I would look for a top loading filter cartridge system, but they tend to be a little more expensive for such a minor change.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Pricing, Value, & Discounts

Now to the part you have been waiting for. I find the price of the build to be the deciding point. Well I am happy to report that the price range for the Advantage Plus is in the $750 to $950 range. Seeing this feature set at the sub $1000 price mark is always nice, but be sure to shop around, and remember that the DX5 is the same machine. I always point out that any robotic pool cleaner is guaranteed to save you time. And depending on how you value your time it will have paid you back within a year. This is doubly true of well priced robotic pool cleaners like the Advantage Plus.

The other cost associated with any piece of hardware is the running costs. With the Aquabot line of robotic pool cleaners I was able to provide a fairly accurate estimate, as they released the power consumption information. Maytronics have not done so for the Dolphin line, and so I must make a slightly less accurate estimate. Remember to find out the price per kilowatt hour in your area, it does vary from place to place, but I think you will find that the Advantage Plus costs around 10c per cycle. Maybe closer 15c in some areas, but rarely more than that. Not a huge sum I’ll grant you, but one that will add up, so please bear it in mind for future cost analysis.

As for the warranty, I am still waiting on information from Dolphin regarding this. Aquabot provided their full coverage warranty and their limited warranty to me with little hassle, but Maytronics have been somewhat slower. Now, the advantage Plus comes with a 24 month bumper to bumper warranty, and traditionally a bumper to bumper warranty covers parts and labor, but this is not a car, so I cannot be sure. As soon as Maytronics get back to me I will be doing a thorough breakdown of their warranty, until then I can’t make a value judgement.

Maytronics Dolphin Advantage Plus Conclusion

Minor issues aside, bottom loading filter bag and weight, this is a great build. getting a bot with remote options, that climbs walls and comes with a swivel cable for under 1k is a bargain. But be sure to shop around for the best price.

Pros:

  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
  • Cleans walls and the tile line
  • Caddy
  • Very well priced
  • remote control options.

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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