Here we are at the end of my journey through the entire range of these products developed by Maytronics. Their Dolphin line has impressed me greatly, and it is easy to see why. The core feature set of all Dolphin builds can put some of their competition to shame. The act of re branding an older bot for a different market. I mean that literally, market, as in different shop. You see, Maytronics have exclusivity contracts with many companies, and rather than designing all new bots each time, they simply add a bonus feature, change the chassis color and give it a new name. So basically, you can find the same bot under a different name for price comparison. Makes it very easy to find a bargain, and the feature set, you want.
The DX3S is a funny machine. The DX series is slightly older, and has a few legacy design issues that i am not a fan of, but the core design is sound. The major change to this machine, and it is a change I am very intrigued by, is in its brain. It has a new one. So while the features of this bot are the same as the DX3 and the Neptune, the way it cleans is totally different.
Maytronics Dolphin DX3S Design and Build Quality
You came here for help. And I am just the guy provide it. I am submersing myself in all things robotic pool cleaner, and you will be surprised to discover there is really only two things to look out for when buying a new bot. The first is the name of the manufacturer. You want a company with a reputation. A firm with a wide range of bots to choose from, and a damn fine warranty to boot. There are a fair few firms out there who will try to fleece you, so bets to stick to the ones I have vetted. The other thing is the fit of the build. Now, you won’t know about that until it arrives, but when you get a new bot, there should be little to no rattle. Rattle is a sign of an internal, factory error and will be covered by your warranty. the DX3S is a good build, with parts that fit flush, but always be sure to check it thoroughly before you use it for the first time.
The good news when it comes to the build is that they have replaced that dull grey finish. The bad news is they replaced it with dull cobalt. Now, seen as the core design here is the same as the DX3, I have to say i am a fan. it is compact, and light weight, and just o the right side of stylish. I just do not understand how they keep choosing these odd colors. Better to stick with blacks and blues, but no.
I find that when shopping around for the cheapest in house clone of the bot you want, the color of the machine becomes a little more important. Best then to find both the cheapest option, and the one you like the look of most.
Maytronics Dolphin DX3S Features and Specs
This is an entry level machine with a mighty brain. This is a pool cleaner that is in ground and it comes with a long 60′ cable. The cable that comes with the DX3S uses patented swivel cable technology. They resist tangles, and if you previously owned one, you will know how prone they can be to tangles, and as a result cycle stoppages. The last thing you want is to have to tow the line fiddle with a cable to get the robot back to cleaning.
The Dolphin Maytronics high power pump is what it used as the internal pump. The average time is 3 hours, though the first two or three cycles will be a little longer, as the bot gets used to the new space. The DX3S uses filter cartridges, a step up from the vanilla DX series use of filter bags, but unfortunately the filter is still bottom loaded. Not much we can do there, and it is at least functional.
The bottom mounted scrubbing brushes are strong, but not the strongest that Dolphin make, so if you have a tile bottomed pool you may do better looking elsewhere, look for a bot that can scrub the tile line and you’ll do fine. Not only does the DX3S clean the pool floor, but it can climb the wall too. Rounding off the more mundane features is the weekly timer, but again, without the full filter indicator the utility of the timer is limited.
Finally we come to the brain. Using intelliscan technology the DX3S purports to find the most efficient way to not only clean, but also filter your pool. Difficult to test this over the short term, but I did notice that the bot can find its way around a new pool quite quickly. How the intelliscan manifests is difficult to say, and without weeks of testing I do not think it is apparent. Not as impressive as I thought it would be.
Maytronics Dolphin DX3S Ease of Use
There are two different types of robotic pool cleaners on the market a the moment. The easy to use devices that I specialize in,and the more complicated builds that require connection to external pump systems. The power behind the internal pumps is more that sufficient to clean a pool well these days. So I feel it is best to ignore the older kinds, you don’t need the hassle. The DX3S is an all in one device, just plug it, get to the cycle you want, and then place it into the water. Literally could not be easier to use.
Now, there are a few issues with the build that must be addressed. While the brain may be brand spanking new, the design is far from. It still has that trifecta of issues that plagues a few other older models fro Maytronics. The weight issues, 18.75 pounds, is exacerbated by the short handle and lack of a caddy. Getting it around is fairly easy, but you may find yourself annoyed in the long term.
The other two issues are related. The filter bag and the bottom loading chamber. First the chamber, as it is one the bottom of the machine you will have to turn the entire product over. Doing so is a simple matter of flipping a pair of clasps though. The use of a filter bag over a cartridges is not necessarily worse, but there is more room for human error, with an improperly folded bag can lead to a less than efficient robot.
Overall some minor issues, and issues that are present in around half of Dolphins builds. If they are deal breakers for you there are other options, look for the “Plus” brand from Dolphin.
Maytronics Dolphin DX3S Pricing, Value, & Discounts
The price seems to be the biggest factor for let’s be honest, the vast majority of us. Well, in spite of a feature I can’t see the value in, this is still an amazingly price robotic pool cleaner, with a prices ranging from $600 – $800. Granted, this is pretty standard in the DX3 size category, but is still something of a bargain. I always take a moment here to talk about the relative value of time, and the fact that any robotic pool cleaner you buy will not only be cleaning your pool, but also giving you back your time.
The energy cost for these machines is something else you need to think about. Now, with the Aquabot line I have been able to come up with a good estimate since they put out the exact energy consumption on all of the robotic pool cleaners in their stable. This is unfortunately not the case with the Dolphin line from Maytronics. I basically calculate a power consumption of 180W, and extrapolate from there. This estimate does depend on the cost per kilowatt hour, it does vary, and the lowest price I can figure is 10c per cycle. It may cost as much as 17c per cycle in some areas. Not a huge number, but one that will add up. I think it is always best to know the financial impact any product will have on your household.
You tend to get the best warranties from established firms, or bespoke workshops. With the Dolphin line, for the most part, Maytronics have provided a warranty with their bots. Granted, they have never provided me the full warranty information, despite repeated emails asking for it, but at the very least a warranty tends to cover everything quite comprehensively. The DXS series of bots comes with a worrisome limited warranty, 1 year with the DX3S. I have asked Maytronics for the full limited warranty details, but am not holding breath. Going by what Aquabot’s limited warranty covers, this is not a good thing. Until I receive more information I cannot make a true value judgement, but I would err on the side of unimpressed with this one.
Maytronics Dolphin DX3S Conclusion
Well all good things must come to an end, and while the DX3S is an impressive bot, with only a few minor issues, it has what is quite possible the worst warranty of any robotic pool cleaner from Maytronics. I would love to be wrong, and to find that the limited warranty is far more robust than the name suggests, but I am not hopeful. To look at the bot and the price alone is sure to impress, but I think it is important to have a good warranty, and that, more so than a bottom loading filter chamber, is a deal breaker for me.
- Works as soon as you open the contents of the package.
- Cleans walls, bottom to top with ease.
- All the core features of a robotic pool cleaner
- Uses a filter cartridge
- Good price
- Limited warranty, without more detail I cannot judge as much as I would like, but is has me worried.
- The filter is at the bottom.
- The new brain is difficult to judge without long term observation.