Dolphin Premier Review (2017 Update) – Comparisons & Pros and Cons

Dolphin Premier Review: Pros and Cons

Maytronics– the maker of the Dolphin Premier– is basically the Michael Jordan of robotic pool cleaners.  The company has been making robotic pool bots since 1982.  All that hard work paid off, now that the technology for truly smart pool robots has finally arrived.  The experience Maytronics brings to robot building business allows them to dominate their watery niche.

Dolphin Premier

The Dolphin Premier is more rugged than most other robot pool cleaners out there.  The latest version features upgraded tire treads and reinforced motor belts.  That’s probably why Maytronics felt okay with giving it a 3 year warranty.

But, quality doesn’t come cheap.  The Premier is pricey.  So here’s the question you need to ask– is the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner really the best robotic pool cleaner out there today?  Or are there cheaper pool robots out there that do an equally good job?  This unbiased Dolphin Premier review will help you find the answers you’re looking for.

Click here to check the price of the Dolphin Premier on Amazon.

FYI The robot pool cleaner reviews on this site represent my honest thoughts about the best (and worst) robot pool cleaners on Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate, but I don’t have any special relationship with any of the robot pool cleaner brands I review.

Dolphin Premier Review: Energy efficiency

Screenshot 2016-08-02 01.34.01
Dolphin Premier, the Swimming Pool Cleaner Robot

Before we look at how well this robot cleans, let’s first take a moment to appreciate how incredibly power efficient it is.

The old school pool cleaners that were popular back in the 80s and 90s ran on A/C motors.  A/C motors are strong, but they use up tons of power.

A glance at the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner’s spec sheet reveals that it’s equipped with very efficient DC motors.

Most people assume robotic pool cleaners eat up lots of electricity because they are big and bulky.  But actually the opposite is true.  None of the robotic pool cleaners use much electricity at all.

If you’re still using one of those clunky old school pool cleaners from back in the day, the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner will save you a ton of money on utilities.

Energy Usage Breakdown

  • A standard light bulb – 100 watts
  • A traditional pool cleaner – 2,000 watts
  • Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner – 180 watts

This little swimming pool cleaner robot only needs 180 watts of power to operate.  To put that number in perspective a standard light bulb uses 100 watts– and a typical “90s style” pool cleaner uses 2,000 watts.

Verdict: the Dolphin Premier is super energy efficient.

Dolphin Premier Review: Cleaning abilities

When Maytronics built the very first robot pool cleaner the year before Super Mario Bros. came out.  Since 1982, they’ve come quite a long way.

pool-robot-review-dolphin
Premier the Swimming Pool Cleaner’s Microfilter in Action

The 2016 version of the Dolphin Premier pool cleaner comes with two different kind of filters.  To scoop out big stuff like leaves, you pop in a bag filter.  When it’s time to suck up small stuff, you pop in the microfilter.

crypto pool health and safety

The microfilter picks up the tiny stuff: dirt particles, algae and harmful microorganisms.

According to the Center for Disease Control, even a well-chlorinated pool doesn’t defend against the dangers of “Crypto” (aka Cryptosporidium)– a parasite found in pools that causes diarrhea.

If you want to keep your pool in solid condition, you’ve got to keep it scrubbed and filtered.  That’s where aquatic robots like Premier really come in handy.

The Dolphin Premier’s Cleaning Features:Screenshot 2016-08-02 01.05.46

  1. A SmartNav “brain” that allows Premier to cover every inch of your pool 
  2. Powerful brushes that dislodge dirt and grime
  3. Patented dual air valves that allow Premier to float all the way up to the edge of the water and clean places that other pool robots can’t reach

Like most pool robots, the Dolphin Premier by Maytronics is smart.  It uses its microcontroller brain and its advanced sensor modules to map out the surface of your pool before he gets to work.

Some “dumb” pool cleaning robots don’t have brains.  As a result, they clean the same spot over and over, or they don’t cover every single nook and cranny.

Screenshot 2016-08-02 01.41.06

Verdict: the Dolphin Premier is an awesome pool cleaner.

Dolphin Premier Review: Ease of use

Nope.  No programming is necessary.  This robot does one thing: clean pools.   And it does that job in a very meticulous, efficient way.

Screenshot 2016-08-02 01.39.18

The SmartNav brain is totally autonomous.  There’s no need to tell it what to do.  However, if you do feel like bossing it around a bit you can use the included remote to take control.

The Dolphin Premier has some good scheduling settings that allow you to tell it which days of the week you want it to clean.

Verdict: the Dolphin Premier is easy to use.

Dolphin Premier Review: Speed

Most traditional pool cleaners need at least 6 or so hours to get the job done.  But Premier gets the job done in 3 hours or less.

It’s totally safe to go out and grab a sandwich or a beer while Premier freshens up your pool.  There’s no need to worry about him getting stuck because he’s equipped with a special kind of cord.

Maytronics invented a 360 degree swivel system that prevents their robots from getting twisted up.

swivel-pool-robot-stuck

Verdict: the Dolphin Premier is agile and speedy.

Dolphin Premier Review: Dolphin m5 vs Dolphin Premier

liberty-difference-dolphin-supreme

The short version: the Dolphin m5 Liberty is interesting, but the Dolphin Premier is still the superior pool robot.

The main difference between the Dolphin m5 and the Dolphin Premier is that it’s powered by a rechargeable battery.  From an engineering perspective, this is a very interesting design… but honestly it’s not really all that practical.

rechargable-dolphin-liberty

After all, most pools are located next to a house aren’t they?  And most houses– or at least most of the ones that I’ve been to– are wired to an electrical grid.  So as long as you’ve been keeping up with the utility bills, plugging in your pool robot shouldn’t be that big of a problem.

The one good thing about having a wireless pool robot is that there is absolutely no chance that it’ll get tangled up in its cords.  But that never happens to the Dolphin Premier anyway.  The 360 swivel mechanism guarantees that– unless your pool happens to contain a giant pillar.

what's the difference between the liberty

If your pool has a pillar in it, you probably will need a robotic cleaner like the Dolphin Supreme Liberty.  But how many people who are not Donald Trump own a pool like the one in the image above?

I don’t think that the extra money you have to spend to get the Dolphin m5 Liberty is justified unless you have the specific type of pool that only the m5 Liberty can clean.  The Dolphin m5 costs around $2000— that’s nearly twice as much as the Dolphin Premier.  Don’t think that it’s better just because it’s more expensive and cordless.  If you want the best robotic pool cleaner money can buy, then what you want is the Dolphin Premier.

Several people who bought the Dolphin m5 wrote that they didn’t like having to charge it up all the time.  You never have to fool around with charging your robotic pool cleaner if you get one that hooks into an electrical outlet.

I checked out several distributor pages from around the web and many of them seem to be out of the Dolphin m5 Liberty.  My sneaking suspicion is that the m5 has either been discontinued, or it will be discontinued very soon.

Here is the Dolphin m5 vs Premier feature comparison table:

Dolphin Premier Dolphin M5 Liberty
Cost Check the price Check the price
Filter Type Cartridge, Bag Kit Available Cartridge
Scrubs Tile Line Yes Yes
Climbs Yes Yes
Remote Basic (opt.) Pro
Weekly Timer Yes No
Full Filter Indicator Yes Yes
Delayed Start No No
Caddy Yes Yes
Filter Access Bottom Top
Cable Length 60 ft 3 ft floating cable
Cycle Time 2.5 hours 1.5 hours
Warranty 36 Month Bumper-to-Bumper 36 Month Bumper-to-Bumper
Suction Rate 4,233 gal/hr 4,233 gal/hr
Verdict: the Dolphin m5 Liberty is an interesting experiment, but it’s way too expensive and impractical.

Dolphin Premier Review: Dolphin Triton vs Dolphin Premier

The Dolphin Triton and the Dolphin Premier are in fact a lot alike.  The only difference between the Triton and the Premier is the warranty and the scheduler program.  The Dolphin Triton comes with a 2 year warranty, but with the Dolphin Premier you get three full years of coverage.  You can schedule the Dolphin Premier to skip certain days of the week, but you can’t do that with the Triton.

Both pol robots have inflatable buoys that allow for precision wall climbing.  Also, both robotic pool cleaners cost roughly the same amount of money.  They’re both outstanding machines, but the Dolphin Premier is just a bit better.

The Dolphin Premier’s motor is slightly more powerful than the Triton’s, which is why only needs 2.5 hours to clean a pool instead of 3 hours.

The Key Differences Between Dolphin Triton and Dolphin Premier

  • The Dolphin Premier’s motor is a bit more powerful
  • You can tell the Dolphin Premier to skip cleaning on certain days of the week
  • You get a 3 year warranty with Premier and only 2 years with Triton

Maytronics likes to play around the price of their pool robots all the time.  It changes depending on what they have in stock, so be sure to follow the links below to see what the current price is if you’re interested in buying.

Dolphin Triton Dolphin Premier
Price Check the price Check the price
Filter Type Cartridge, Bag Kit Available Cartridge, Bag Kit Available
Scrubs Tile Line Yes Yes
Climbs Yes Yes
Remote Basic (opt.) Basic (opt.)
Weekly Timer No Yes
Full Filter Indicator No Yes
Delayed Start No No
Caddy Yes Yes
Filter Access Bottom Bottom
Cable Length 60 ft 60 ft
Cycle Time 3 hours 2.5 hours
Warranty 24 Month Spare Parts and Labor 36 Month Bumper-to-Bumper
Suction Rate 4,233 gal/hr 4,233 gal/hr

Dolphin Premier Review: Maintenance and upkeep

No.  The Dolphin Premier pool cleaner robot is a total professional.  You don’t have to help him out much at all.  He’s actually super independent.  The only thing you do have to do is dump the debris out of his filter when it gets full.

It’s easy to tell when Premier needs relief.   Just look at his LED light to see if it is flashing.

full-robot-cleaner-best

Verdict: the Dolphin Premier is low maintenance.

Dolphin Premier Review: Warranty

This bot is more rugged than most other pool bots out there.  But if this bot does break, you can activate the Maytronics 3 year warranty.  No other swimming pool robot has a warranty that lasts that long.

Judging by the reviews, the people who needed to contact Maytronics support seemed to have had good experiences.  Check the reviews out yourself here.

Another good thing about Premier is that he’s super easy to repair.  He’s completely modular.  Or– to use a less technical term– you can easily pop out and replace any of his parts.

Verdict: the Dolphin Premier seldom breaks and is easy to repair.

Where to Buy Dolphin Premier Pool Cleaner

You can qualify for free shipping if you buy Dolphin Premier via Amazon.  Check the price of the Dolphin Premier Pool Cleaner on Amazon.

Dolphin Premier Customer Reviews

Overall, the Dolphin Premier has excellent reviews online.  Last time I checked, 53 customers had written reviews and they were overwhelmingly positive. If you want to do some more research and check the reviews yourself, see what the verified reviewers are saying now.

What Other Kinds of Pool Cleaning Robots Are There?

There are a few other pool cleaning bots on the market, but in my opinion the Dolphin Premier is the best.

Solar Breeze NX

The Solar Breeze NX is kind of interesting.  It’s a solar powered pool cleaner that doesn’t require any electricity at all to run if the sun is shining.  However, I’m personally not a fan of the Solar Breeze NX because it only skims the surface of the water.  It’s a nice concept but it needs further development.  I wrote about the Solar Breeze NX here, so check the link if you’re interested in more details.

Pool Rover S2 40

Another automated pool cleaner is the Pool Rover S2 40 by Aquabot.  The S2 40 is okay, but it’s basically a cheap knock-off of the Dolphin Premier.  The S2 40 cleans the floor of a pool, but not the sides.  If you want to get rid of all the harmful bacteria and parasites in your pool, what’s the point of a robotic pool cleaner that only cleans the floor?  It seems like a waste of money to me.

The only downside of the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner is its rather steep price tag.  If you can’t afford the Dolphin Premier, you’re better off cleaning the pool yourself with a handheld pool cleaner.  The Water Tech Pool Blaster Catfish Swimming Pool and Spa Cleaner is a nice little pool cleaning to get if you’re trying to save money.

2017 Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
List Price: $1,197.00
Price: $1,097.00
You Save: $100.00
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About Alex Munkachy

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