Friday, October 7, 2022

Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus Review – Robotic Pool Cleaners

It has been a long time since my Nautilus review. I have learned a lot since then, so I felt it was time I took a look at the Nautilus Plus, the upgraded version. Unlike most Dolphin robotic pool cleaners at the moment the Nautilus Plus is a unique bot. Dolphin tend to release variants of the same bot to multiple retailers, making it much easier for the savvy consumer to find a bargain. It has also been a long time since I have reviewed a Maytronics Dolphin machine that didn’t have any variants, so let’s see if this build is worth the relative lack of choice.

All Dolphin robotic pool cleaners come with what I call the Dolphin core feature set. It sets them apart from the competition, and it means that even if I don’t recommend the build it can still be worth it if you find it for the right price. The Nautilus Plus has all of the core features I would expect to find in a Dolphin, and the design seems to be ultra modern, meaning it has gotten rid of those legacy design issues that plague a few other bots in their stable.

So let’s dive right in, see if this is the right bot for you.

Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus Design and Build Quality

Nautilus Plus FilterI have had my hands on a quite a few poor quality pool cleaners in the past. One of the things you will notice about them, should you be so unfortunate as to buy one, is the quality of the fit. The parts of a robotic pool cleaner should fit flush, no rattle. An audible rattle is indicative of a bad machine, ad thankfully the Nautilus Plus does not have one. Granted, you could get unlucky and find that it does make noise when you take it out of the box, but that is more likely a hardware fault, and you should contact Maytronics before using the bot.

Onto the look of the build, and it is designs like this that prove how skilled Maytronics can be when building a Dolphin. Gone is the dull grey of the DX series as is the day-glow pink of the Deluxe line, here we have cool black and serene blue. The body of the bot is compact, all flowing lines and curves, just a lovely looking build.

The usual here really, in terms of build quality. A company as large as Maytronics cannot afford to release a shoddy product, all there i to it. As for the look of the bot, not all that important. It can be useful when deciding between variants,  but seen as the Nautilus Plus is a unique build, for now, it becomes simple icing on the top.

Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus Features and Specs

I mentioned before that this build comes with a few design changes that I like, but I would not call those features, so I’ll not be going into them until I get to the ease of use section. Unfortunately, the Nautilus Plus is not really worth of the Plus moniker, as it does not do much outside the core dolphin feature set. Thankfully the core feature are all must haves, so let’s go through them.

This is an in ground pool cleaning robot, so if you have an above ground pool you will have to look elsewhere, be sure top check out my other reviews as there are a fair few above ground builds there. The 60′ cable uses swivel technology, a patented cable type that resists tangling. If you have owned a robotic pool cleaner in the pat you will know that a tangled cable is the number one cause of cycle stoppages, closely followed by acorns and the like. Always good to see a swivel cable, small upgrades like tat can really save you money in the long run.

The bottom mounted brushes on this build are not the finer kind, so if you have a tile bottomed floor you might be better served by a build that can clean the tile line. On any other material though this bot will cleaner deep and well. The internal pump is the standard Maytronics Dolphin high powered pump. It can filter 62 gallons of water every minute. Not only does it clean and filter the pool floor with ease, the Nautilus Plus can also climb walls. A good number of robotic pool cleaners require a sloped bottom to make the transition, but not the Dolphin line. They can make that transition even with a 90 degree incline.

Gone is the filter bag system, in its place is the cartridge mesh system. I prefer this, as it is impossible to fold a mesh filter over itself when you are fitting it. As for the cleaning cycle, you would be looking at a 2.5 hour cycle as standard. Not the slowest, but not the fastest.

As you can see there is a lot here to like, but it lacks the bells and whistles of other bots. No full filter indicator, no weekly timer, not necessary functions, sure, but they are nice to have. Overall I am impressed with what is offered here, only the price will determine whether it is worth it or not really.

Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus Ease of Use

These days you do not need a degree in engineering to put together a robotic pool cleaner. Not too long ago the only real options available were difficult to set up external pump system bots. I am not  fan. I prefer my electronics to be plug and play, easy to use for the most part. The Nautilus Plus is such a one. An all in one device, all you have to do is plug it in, set the cycle and drop it in the pool. There are no bells and whistles, which is a bad thing in the Features and Specs section, but a good thing in the ease of use section. You don’t have to spend time fiddling with remotes or advanced settings here.

Here is where I talk about the downsides, but for a change there kinda aren’t any. This build does not use a filter bag as standard, so I guess you could argue that having to clean out the bot, rather than the bag, after every use is a bag thing. But the main problem that I contend with here is missing. This is a top loading robotic pool cleaner. That’s right folks, no more flipping the build on its belly to get at the filter, it’s right there on top. Seems so small a thing, but it is indicative of a modern design, and should be a standard across all the bots.

The weight of this build is a mere 18.75 pounds. So I guess its kinda okay that it does not come with a caddy. The handle concerns me a little, it feels good, but no great. I wish it was a fixed position handle, as you are going to be picking it out of the water by it for a long time to come. I want as sturdy a grip as possible.

Overall there is a lot to like here too. I love an easy to use build, so a lack of features is fine with me, so long as it cleans the pool floor and climbs the walls, which the Nautilus Plus does.

Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pricing

Dolphin Nautilus Plus in WaterI think the price of the build is the main deciding factor, but then I am not a rich person, so I might be a little biased. Regardless of where you stand I am sure you will agree that the price range is a bargain for this bot. You can usually find it for somewhere around $800, anything under that is a great deal. That said Amazon.com tends to have deals on the Nautilus Plus & you can click here to see all the available discounts at Amazon.com.

I always make the argument that any robotic pool cleaner is a time saving device. Consider how many hours you spend cleaning your pool, getting that time back is technically priceless, but let’s assume minimum wage for a second. Any bot will have paid you back in free time in a year or so.

There aren’t many costs associated with owning a robotic pool cleaner after the initial investment, but one that you will want to pay attention to is the running costs. With the Aquabot line of robotic pool cleaners I was able to provide a more detailed cost analysis, as they released the full power consumption details on each and every one of their bots. This is not the case with the Maytronics Dolphin line. I have been forced to make a slightly less accurate estimate as a result.

Be aware that the price per kilowatt hour varies from place to place, and you should go out of your way to find out exactly what you are paying for in terms of power. With a robotic pool cleaner from Dolphin you can expect to pay around 10c per cycle, that might creep up all the way to 17c in some areas, according to may math based on 180W as standard. This might not sound like much, but I feel like it is important to know, how much we spend on electricity tends ton be something people don’t realize they can work out.

Now to the warranty. I spend a lot of my time reading warranties, not everyone’s idea of fun I know, but I think it is important to know what is and what isn’t covered when you buy anything. I had a great time looking at Aquabot’s full coverage warranty, which is great, and a better time looking at their limited warranty, which is not so great, word of advice, if you like in an area prone to natural disasters it might be better to look elsewhere.

I would love to be able to provide that same level of service to the Maytronics warranty, but they have still not sent it to me. I contacted them a few weeks back asking for the details on their bumper to bumper warranty and am still sitting here waiting on it. I have contacted them again regarding this, and will update this review when I have more information. As for what I can say. The Dolphin Plus comes with a 24 month bumper to bumper warranty. Traditionally bumper to bumper covers parts and labor, but that’s with cars, don’t know who it makes the transition to robotic pool cleaners, but it is a safe enough bet to say it is full coverage. Until I get the warranty in my hands I cannot make a value judgement.

Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus Conclusion

Until I reached the price section I was willing to disregard this build. I have seen older bots that do more. While I love the top loading filter cartridge, I know it is not a deal breaker to have a bottom loading machine. But when I saw the price pop up under $800 at times, my opinion changed dramatically. This bot can do everything you need it to do, in terms of raw cleaning. Sure, it lacks the bells and whistles or other, more expensive, bots, but this robotic pool cleaners proves them to be exactly what I called them. Superfluous features. Add in the fact that the build looks pretty stylish and I think I have found my new favorite robotic pool cleaner.

Pros:

  • Automatic, requires no supervision.
  • Works out of the box, no need to connect it to a pool pump.
  • Excellent price
  • Ultra quiet.
  • Cleans walls as well as floors.
  • top loading filter cartridge
  • does not use filter bags

Cons:

  • Warranty information is a little sparse
  • Lacks some features seen in other builds

To check out the current price on Amazon.com for the Dolphin Nautilus Plus you can click here! 

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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