The Dolphin Hybrid RS2 is an odd cleaner. Made primarily for above ground pools, it lacks a few of the core dolphin features. Well, it lacks on big one, and for the life of me I cannot understand why. Why is it standard to remove wall climbing from above ground pool cleaning robots? Above ground pools have walls, and those walls need cleaning. Regardless, it makes recommending this bot a little more difficult. Dolphin have always been good at creating low cost bots that are feature packed. But this range, the above ground pool cleaning range, just seems a little less impressive, a little removed from the core Dolphin experience.
The Hybrid RS2 takes its cues from the Hybrid car craze. It’s unique selling point is its ability to generate its own power. An internal turbine eliminates the need to plug this machine into the mains power, making this the cheapest cleaner to run. It is an impressive piece of engineering, but is it enough to save the build?
Read on for the full breakdown, see if this bot is the right one for you.
Maytronics Dolphin Hybrid RS2 Design and Build Quality
Dolphin builds tend to be very hardy little bots. Not quite the drop it fro a tall building sturdiness of the Smartpool designs, but reaching that balance between longevity and aesthetics that no other firm can boast. The RS2 is no different. The use of wheels is the only real downside here, as they are not quite as good as the cylinder propulsion system seen in most other bots. There are really only two things that need to be taken into account in this section. The first is the warranty, make sure it is robust and lasts a while. The second is to give your bot a shake as soon as you take it out of the box. If you hear rattle then you have a factory fault, and will have to use that warranty. The RS2 is a flush fit, with no loose parts by default, so bear it all in mind.
It should come as no surprise that this Dolphin looks great. There is something about the above ground cleaners, maybe it’s the fewer features, but most of them look much nicer than their in ground counterparts. It’s compact, the mini tread wheels look cool and the color scheme is classic Dolphin blue and black.
Overall a robust enough build, with the caveat that the larger wheels may be prone to damage. The aesthetics are on point, not too much of a surprise from Maytronics. I realize that the look of the build is not that important, but I believe that when considering multiple bots with similar specs, the look may become a deciding factor.
Maytronics Dolphin Hybrid RS2 Features and Specs
I have been reviewing these products for a very long time. I have gotten to know the ins and outs of the companies, and I can spot long term issues with a bot near as soon as it hits the pool floor. But the most important things I have learned, with regards to reviewing the cleaners, is the feature set. I have three things on my checklist for the features and specs section. A cleaner must be able to clean a pool floor well, including breaking up large debris. It must be able to filter the pool water to a satisfactory degree on one cycle and it must be able to climb walls. The Hybrid RS2 falls at at least one of these hurdles, and arguable another as well.
This is a hybrid pool cleaner, able to work in above ground and in ground pools. You will not find a cable to pug in, but you do have to connect it to your external pool pump system, and that hose is 30 ft in length. Not much to get tangled on in any case. Removing the case of cycle stops is a smart move from Maytronics, even if you now have a new issue, which I will go into in the ease of use section.
The scrubbing brushes on the base of the bot are some of Dolphin’s finest, but the power behind them is a little lacking, all the electrical power is self generated after all, and as good as that is here, it will never be as powerful as a mains bot. Cycle time is infinite, so dropping it in the pool will eventually end with you having a clean pool, and you will have to remove it when you think it is done.
There really aren’t many features to talk about here. At least, not many classic features to talk about. There are not any remote options, no full filter indicator, it does not come with a caddy and it does not climb walls. The key features are all outside my experience. You do not need to plug this bot in. The average cost of a cycle is 10 c to 15 c, that adds up over time, and here is just doesn’t exist.
This is a weird build. It lacks a few of the features that i consider core, but it adds new one entirely outside of my experience, and they are not small either. The ability to clean a whole pool for essentially nothing, a bot that will just keep on cleaning so long as it is in the pool is astounding, and certainly something to consider, especially if long term costs factor heavily into your requirements.
Maytronics Dolphin Hybrid RS2 Ease of Use
There are two options available when it comes to cleaners. The all in one models and the other kind that I avoid. Well I have avoided them lone enough, and an external pump model has reared its shapely rear and landed on my to do list. That’s right, the Hybrid RS2 does not have an internal pump, and requires you to set it up with your pool pump. That puts it at a disadvantage when compared to literally every other bot I have reviewed.
Set up takes as little or as much time. It depends on how much you know about the workings of your pool. If you don’t know where all the pump connectors are it will take maybe half an hour to set it up. All subsequent times will be a little less than ten minutes. Consider that the standard set up time for an all in one robotic pool cleaner is a minute and a half and a picture begins to form. This model has its own unique problems, and as a result it loses the issues seen in Legacy all in one builds, and even the few issues seen in Ultra Modern all in one builds. Beyond the set up difficulty there is nothing else to learn here.
The only issue that sort of holds true is the weight issues. It is lighter than most builds, not having a pump will do that, so the lack of a caddy is less of an issue, but the lack of a handle is a problem for me. Submerged in water, this is a hefty enough bot, and with no handle to gain leverage yanking it out of the water is a war of attrition.
Overall this is a weird one, feel like I’m saying that a lot in this review. Shying away from the external filter models has left me a little ill prepared to tackle one. The old issues with the new models are gone, replaced with new issues from old models. Making the whole thing worse is the brand new tech at play here, muddying up whether or not the Hybrid RS2 is a step forward in terms of robotic pool cleaner design. I’m going out on a limb and saying it is.
Maytronics Dolphin Hybrid RS2 Pricing, Value, & Discounts
I love the pricing section. It allows us to write off models, either as outside our range, or rarely too below what we were looking to spend. The Hybrid RS2 sounds like it should fall into the sub $1k range, and it does, by a far wider margin than I thought. I have seen this model go for as little as $400, and a high of around $600. This is an astounding price.
The price per kilowatt hour. Average cycle time, and cost per cycle. All those other phrases I use here when I talk about long term costs. They don’t apply to the Hybrid RS2 at all. It generates its own power, though the pool pump and a hydroelectric generator. It means we have a less powerful build, but one that can go on forever, cleaning away and costing you only what you would have paid to own the pool in the first place. Astounding.
Now to the warranty. I review products, all kinds of products, so I spend a reasonable time looking at warranties. I have gotten pretty good at spotting the good ones, and denouncing the bad ones. Maytronics’ is a little bit of a mixed bag, and I have no idea what is actually in this mixed bag. I first contacted them months back, requesting more detailed information on their bumper to bumper warranty, and their limited warranty. they didn’t reply, so I sent another, through my employer, and still the silence. It means I cannot break it down, like I did with the excellent Hayward limited warranty, or the less than amazing Aquabot limited warranty, and the perfectly fantastic unlimited Aquabot warranty. I can only say that the Hybrid RS2 comes with a 24 month bumper to bumper warranty. In cars a bumper to bumper warranty covers parts and labor and accidents, but whether or not that is true here is unknown.
Maytronics Dolphin Hybrid RS2 Conclusion
This is, as I have said twice now, a weird one. I think it is at least safe to say that I like the design. I love the look of the bot, and having little features is compensated for nicely by being free to run. I have my issues with the build, lack of wall climbing being foremost among them, and the handles absence is a little too conspicuous for my liking. But overall this is an amazing bot. I cannot believe I am saying this about a non climber, but there it is. Probably one of my favorite builds, if only for the novelty of the thing. Overall you might be better elsewhere, especially if money is not an issue, but for those of use for whom money is an issue, this is a damn fine option.
- It is free to run. There is no mains connection on this bot. You connect it to a pool pump and it creates its own electricity, then runs basically forever.
- For a weaker bot it can clean a pool very well. The infinite cycle time is a real boon to this one.
- Base price is very cheap, so low entry price and basically no price there after, unique in pool cleaners.
- Aesthetically this is a very pleasing robotic pool cleaner, more firms should look to Dolphin when designing new bots.
- In terms of ease of use it is a doddle
- Cannot climb pool walls, a bit of a must have for me, but a low price, and the low operating costs mitigate the lack.
- Warranty information is a little lacking at the moment, would love to say the review will be updated in the future to include that info, but losing hope a little here.
- Lacks a handle, getting it out of the pool is more difficult than it needs to be.