polaris review pool robot

Robotic Pool Cleaner Review: Polaris 9550 Sport

The Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner Is Not As Good As It Looks

The Polaris 9550 Sport is decent little robotic pool cleaner.  But because it’s so expensive and has snazzy good looks, I expected muscular performance.  But the Polaris 9550 is not the Arnold Schwarzenegger of robotic pool cleaners.  It’s just average.

polaris-sport-robot-review

The Polaris 9550 Sport’s main attraction is its somewhat gimmicky remote control.  The remote has an internal gyroscope that measures how you hold it.  You can control the 9550 Sport as if you’re wizard waving a wand.  Tilt it left, and the robot moves left.  Tilt it right, and it moves right.  Wooooo…. amazing.

That one wacky aunt of yours that enjoys filling up Facebook with inspirational quotes will probably think that the Polaris 9550 controller is pure magic.  But the actual truth is that anyone can make a remote like that.  Accelerometers modules cost about $20 and they’re super easy to program.

To be fair, the Polaris 9550 is not horrible.  It does an adequate job of sucking up dirt and leaves.  But the main reason why I wouldn’t buy this one that it lacks buoys.  Robotic pool cleaners with buoys are more stable and can clean every part of a pool wall.  Robotic pool cleaners that don’t have buoys don’t go up as far.

 

How energy efficient is the Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner?

polaris pool robot specificationsPretty much all robotic pool cleaners are super energy efficient.  The Polaris 9550 is no exception.

One of the best reasons to buy a robotic pool cleaner is the fact that they use up much less energy than a standard pool cleaning system.

Here’s the thing about AC motors: they use up a whole lot of power.

According to the specifications listed on the right, the Polaris 9550 Sport only needs 150 watts of electricity to run.  In other words, you only need one and a half light bulbs worth of power to run this little guy.  Older pool cleaning systems use up to 2000 watts of energy.

So if you run your old pool cleaning system for one hour, you would use up enough electricity to run this robot for about 10 hours.

Energy Usage Comparison

  • A light bulb – 100 watts
  • Standard pool cleaner – 2,000 watts
  • Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner – 150 watts

Most robotic pool cleaners use around 100 to 200 watts.  So the Polaris 9550 is right in the middle of the pack in terms of of energy usage.

Verdict:Polaris 9550 Sport is super energy efficient.

An In-depth Look at the Polaris 9550 Sport Pool Robot’s Cleaning Abilities

A test recorded and uploaded by a YouTube user revealed that the Polaris 9550 is a pretty decent cleaner.  The Polaris 9550 does an okay job of handling debris.  Here it is sucking up some leaves.It seems to be eating most of them.  But the performance you see here isn’t exactly mind-blowing, is it?

leaf-test-pool-robot

The Polaris Sport 9550 cleans the walls, too.  Too bad it doesn’t go all the way up to the top of the walls like pool bots equipped with air valves can, though.

The Polaris 9550’s Cleaning Features:review-of-robotic-pool-robot

  1. A robotic microcontroller “brain” that tracks where it’s been and where it’s going. 
  2. A rotating brush that loosens up fungus and sweeps up debris

Like most robot pool cleaners, the Polaris 9550 has a microcontroller brain.   It knows where it’s going and where it has been, so it doesn’t waste time cleaning the same spot over and over again.

But sometimes the Polaris 9250 gets tripped up by its long, clumsy power cord.  The addition of 360 degree swiveling cord would be a good upgrade for the next version.

Verdict: the Polaris 9550 cleans well when it’s not tangled up.

Is the Polaris 9550 Robotic Pool Cleaner Difficult to Use?

No, but the gimmicky control system looks a little awkward to me.  Check out the video below to see it live.  The robot is very responsive to the controller’s commands.  It’s fine.  But personally, I’d rather just use a simple joystick to control the thing.  Why make something more complicated than it needs to be?

As with all robotic pool bots, the Polaris 9550 can think for itself.   No programming is necessary– and you don’t have to use the goofy controller at all if you don’t want to.

how-to-use-polaris-pool-robot

The Polaris 9550’s control panel allows you to do some useful scheduling stuff.  You can also fine tune the order through which the Polaris 9550 carries out its cleaning tasks if you want.  I’m not sure why you would want to tell the 9550 to only clean the bottom and not the sides of the pool.  But, it’s an option.

Verdict: the Dolphin Premier is easy to use.

How Long Does It Take for the Polaris 9550 Robot to Clean a Pool?

The 9550’s full name is Polaris 9550 Sport.  Because it has the word “sport” in its name, you’d expect it to be a quick cleaner.  But the 9550 scoots along at just about the same speed as most other robotic pool cleaners.

If all goes well, the 9550 can scrub down an average sized pool in about 2 to 3 hours.  That’s about the same as most other robotic pool cleaners.

Verdict: the Polaris 9550 is not slow.

Is the Polaris 9550 Pool Robot Difficult to Maintain?

Yes and no.  On the plus side, 9550 is pretty easy to clean.  And, he does have a convenient feature called lift.  If you hit the lift button, Polaris moves towards you and crawls up the wall.  That does save a little bit of time.

retrieve-polaris-review-pool
Hey, Beavis. Check it out. This robot’s about to score.

But on the other hand, I have to consider that pesky cord again.  It doesn’t have a swivel, so the robot often gets tangled up in it.  And every time Polaris gets stuck, you have to help him break loose.  What a pain.

I’m not sure why Polaris didn’t put a swivel on the 9550’s cord.  Surely swivels aren’t that expensive to make.

Verdict: the Polaris 9550 is easy to use, but tangles are a problem.

What If I Buy the Polaris 9550 Robot and It Breaks?

If the Polaris 9550 breaks, you can take advantage of its 2 year warranty.  From the looks of the reviews, the people who needed to trade their Polaris in seem to have had success.

A few people who bought the Polaris 9550 complained that the company sent them what seemed to be a refurbished machine.  Judging from the tone of the company’s responses to the typical gripes that people tend to always make on Amazon, customer support seems pretty good.

Verdict: the Polaris 9550 has a 2 year warranty and decent support.

Polaris 9550, 9450 and 9350: What’s the Difference?

All three pool robots have the lift feature.  But only 9550 has the fancy motion sensing remote control and a better brush.  Other than that, the differences are pretty minor.

polaris comparison

Final Verdict: Meh

The Polaris 9550 Sport costs just as much as an elite robotic pool cleaner.  But does it really belong in the high end pool robot bracket– or is it just an average robot dressed up in gimmicky features that only seem expensive?  I guess I’ll let you decide the answer to that question.

My 2 favorite pool robots so far both have buoys that lift them up to the very top of the waterline when they climb up pool walls.  But the Polaris 9550 Sport can’t reach quite as high because it doesn’t have a good floatation system.

The Polaris 9550’s remote is fancy, but not very practical.  Most of the time, you won’t be moving the 9550 around manually anyway.  The “push to retrieve” button is slightly more useful, but is it worth the extra cost?

I personally wouldn’t want to pay a premium price for a robot pool cleaner unless it is obviously the best choice.  The Polaris 9550 is quite good, but the razzle dazzle gimmicks annoyed me.  Also, I think this product is overpriced.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Polaris 9550, click here to read about the Polaris 9550 on Amazon. Or you can follow this link to learn about the best pool robot I’ve seen so far, the Dolphin Premier.

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
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About Alex Munkachy

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