dolphin robot review m4

Robotic Pool Cleaner Review: Dolphin M4 Pool Cleaner (With Video)

Maytronics Dolphin M4 Review


In the previous installment of this series on robotic pool cleaners, we compared the best Dolphin series pool cleaner the Dolphin Premier to his cheaper, more popular little brother: the Dolphin Nautilus.

The Nautilus turned out to be a solid pool cleaner, even though it lacked some of the features found on the Dolphin Premier.  Today we’re going to take an in-depth look at another Maytronics pool robot: the Dolphin M4.

The Dolphin M4 is categorized as a “classic” pool robot.  Dolphin robots in Classic category are well-built and are reasonably powerful.  But, they don’t come with the extra features you get with a “top-of-the-line” category Dolphin robot.


Why Buy a Robotic Pool Cleaner?

Robot pool cleaners have been around since the 80s.  But they didn’t get much press.   The robot pool cleaners of old were clunky and not very bright.  The latest generation of robotic pool cleaners, however, are extremely smart and capable.  That’s why pool owners around the world are snatching them up.

People everywhere are firing their pool boys because pool robots are way better at cleaning.  They don’t collect an hourly wage and they never get tired– and best of all, they don’t flirt with your wife.

Smart pool robots have microcontroller brains and advanced sensors.  They scan the surface of your pool and plan out the most logical cleaning sequence.  Then, they scrub every inch of your pool until it’s free of algae and leaves.

What’s the Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Brand?

Currently, Maytronics is dominating the pool robot industry.  Maytronics has been building pool robots since the early 80s.  The Dolphin line is most popular line of pool robots in the world.  Today, 40% of all residential pool robots were built by Maytronics.

The only problem with Dolphin pool robots is that there are literally hundreds of different models to choose from.  Information about the individual models is hard to come by on the Internet.

Dolphin M4 Videos on YouTube

A good place to start for information when researching pool robots is YouTube.  I’ve collected a few of the best Dolphin M4 YouTube videos here, so that you can see how the robot works in real life.

Dolphin M4 Video #1

The video below is pretty decent because it’s short and to the point.  The Dolphin M4 owner in the video plops the M4 in the water and turns it on.  Then, it starts sucking up leaves.  Then, he retrieves the pool robot and shows you how to clean out the filter.

Dolphin M4 video #2

This somewhat cheesy promotional video outlines the Dolphin M4’s major features and benefits.  The animated video will give you a basic idea about how the M4 works.

Compare Dolphin M4 and M5 Liberty

Now that you’ve watched the videos and know the basics, let’s compare the M4 to a high-end Dolphin robot: the Dolphin M5 Liberty.

In a nutshell, with the M5 Liberty you get:

  • Wireless operation (the M5 Liberty runs on rechargeable batteries)
  • A remote control

The main difference between the Dolphin M4 and the M5 Liberty boils down to how the robots handle electricity.  The Dolphin M5– aka the Dolphin M5 Liberty– runs off of a rechargeable battery.  The Dolphin M4 hooks into a normal power outlet.

I personally think that the M5 Liberty’s rechargeable battery is an interesting robot engineering concept, but ultimately the extra features of the M5 Liberty are useless unless you own a pool that has a column located in the center of it.

The chart below compares the M4 and the M5 Liberty’s feature list:

Dolphin M4 Supreme Dolphin M5 Liberty
Cost Check the price Check the price
Fast cleaning Yes No
Enhanced brushes for intense cleaning Yes No
360 degree swivel cable Yes Yes
Intelligent cleaning Yes Yes
Dual filtration Yes Yes
Adjustable floats for better stability and reach Yes Yes
Low voltage operation Yes Yes
Automatic motor protection Yes Yes
Cordless operation No Yes
Modular, easy-to-replace components Yes Yes
Warranty 36 month 36 month
Pro tip! Maytronics also makes a wired version of the M5 Liberty called the M5 Supreme.  The M5 Supreme is almost exactly like the M4, except that with the M5 Supreme you get several kinds of brushes, a bit more power and a remote control.

The Dolphin Supreme M4 Remote Control

All bazillion pool robots in the Dolphin catalog can be organized into into 3 main groups: basic, classic and top-of-the-line.

The M4 falls into the “classic” group.  So unfortunately, you don’t get a remote control with the M4.  You have to level up to a “top-of-the-line” bot to get one.

The M4’s lack of a remote is not a big problem because the M4 is smart enough to plan out his cleaning mission without human help.  But if you want to do some spot cleaning, a remote might come in handy.

In a nutshell:

  • You don’t get a remote with the M4
  • You have to upgrade to a top-of-the-line category Dolphin to get one
  • There are two types of remote controls that you can get if you get a top-of-the-line Dolphin

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all Dolphin remote controls are the same.  This handy YouTube video from Dolphin shows you the difference between an advanced remote and a normal remote:

Thinking about getting an advanced pool robot?  Check out my detailed review of the Dolphin Premier or read reviews of the Dolphin Premier on Amazon.

How Much Is a Dolphin Supreme M4?

In the US, the only way to get a price quote for the Dolphin Supreme M4 is to contact your local Dolphin dealer.  I called up Dolphin USA and they refused to give me pricing information because they allow the dealers to set their own prices.  So, I gave my local Dolphin dealer a call.  They didn’t have any Dolphin Supreme M4s in stock so they couldn’t help me out.

In a nutshell:

You have to go to a swimming pool store to get the Dolphin M4 in the US

The Dolphin Premier and the Dolphin Nautilus are available via Amazon

can i order dolphin onlinePersonally, I wouldn’t want to buy a Dolphin from a dealer.  With a dealer, you can get a service plan– but in my opinion it’s unnecessary.

Dolphin pool robots are rugged and easy to maintain and repair.  They have modular parts, so if something goes wrong all you have to do is tell Dolphin to send you a new component.  When it arrives, all you have to do is swap out whatever broke.

And of course, if you buy online you get a much better price.

Where to Buy Dolphin Supreme M4

In the US, you have to go to a retail store to buy the Dolphin Supreme M4.  Once you walk in and start talking to a salesman, you’re going to wind up paying more than you should.  Don’t do it!

Here’s my advice: forget the Dolphin M4.  If you want a top of-the-line Dolphin pool robot,order the Dolphin Premier from Amazon.

If you don’t care about all the extra features and you just want a basic smart robot for your pool, go with the Dolphin Nautilus instead.

For more info about the Dolphin Premier, check out this detailed review.  For an in-depth look at the Nautilus, follow this link.

About Alex Munkachy

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