In this Dolphin Sigma Review, we take a close look at what makes this robotic pool cleaner so advanced. It’s categorized as a Maytronics Deluxe Class cleaner making it a step above the average pool robot. Designed for inground pools up to 50-feet. It has many excellent features, such as : CleverClean advanced navigation, Dynamic Dual-Drive motor for 360° maneuverability, Dual-Level Filtration, control the Sigma with your smartphone and much more. We get into all the details and help you determine if this is the right pool cleaner for you.
Intro | Dolphin Pool Cleaners
If you’re in the market for a new robotic in-ground pool cleaner, you may want to check out the “Deluxe” class of pool robots from Maytronics. These highly advanced toys make pool cleaning quicker and easier than ever before. In fact, you might even enjoy the dreaded activity of cleaning your pool thanks to the super intuitive remote control feature which can be accessed via the Maytronics “MyDolphin” phone app.
All Deluxe class Dolphin robots from Maytronics come with specially designed power supply units. Unlike the power supply of an average robotic pool cleaner, these have Bluetooth transceivers installed within which allows you to manually control the movement of your Dolphin robot by using a virtual joystick (just like in a video game). And if you’re feeling a bit fancy, you can even use “Tilt Control” mode which uses the motion sensors within your phone to command the robot around as you wave the phone in your hand.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the Dolphin Sigma Pool Robot
All of this sounds really neat, but which Dolphin is right for you? After all, they have literally dozens of models listed for sale and each one has its own unique benefits and shortcomings. There is no perfect pool cleaning robot, even though Maytronics is known to create the most advanced ones (which is why the Dolphin is the highest selling pool robot). Let us start with the basics to give you a good understanding of what to expect from a Maytronics pool cleaning robot. They have divided their entire lineup into 6 different classes based on features and performance-
Premium Class: Represents the absolute best that Maytronics has to offer in automation technology. You get incredible cleaning performance, along with Bluetooth connectivity and the option to sync your Dolphin power supply with a home automation system. All Premium class models come with a caddy which makes transporting the robot and its power supply much easier. Another feature unique to the Premium class is “Multi-Layer Filtration”, which uses a basket style filter with both standard and ultra-fine filter cartridges attached. The standard filter or spring cleaning filter will catch large debris like leaves, while the ultra-fine filter will trap algae, dust, etc.
Overview of Maytronic Dolphin Premium Series Pool Robots
Deluxe Class: One step below the Premium models in terms of connectivity and automation, but still packed to the brim with features you won’t find on most robotic pool cleaners from other manufacturers. Deluxe models have Bluetooth connectivity, MyDolphin app support (limited to navigation only), active scrubbing brushes, and full pool cleaning (floor, wall, and waterline). Some of them have automation mode (Proteus DX5i, Mercury, Triton PS Plus), and the only Deluxe class model to come with a caddy is the Dolphin Premium. With the exception of the Dolphin DX4, none of the Deluxe class robots are equipped with an Enhanced cleaning mode (they support a maximum of two cleaning modes – standard and quick clean).
Deluxe Class of Pool Cleaners | Dolphin Triton Plus
Advanced Class: With the advanced class, you get robots which can clean pools up to 50 feet in length (rectangular, oval, or freeform). These Dolphins are loaded with powerful motors and possess amazing wall climbing abilities, they will clean everything from the floor to the waterline (except the Dolphin M200, that robot only cleans the floor and wall). All Dolphins in this class lack Bluetooth connectivity, hence you cannot control their movement with your phone. Weekly timers can still be set through the power supply, and a couple of models even support automation mode.
An Advanced Dolphin Pool Robot | Premier
Performance Class Inground: Focused on delivering core Dolphin features at a reasonable price, this class of Dolphin robots is designed to clean moderately sized in-ground pools (up to 33 feet long). Don’t expect to find luxury features such as weekly timers or delay setters. Performance class Dolphins lack remote control or Bluetooth connectivity, and support only one cleaning cycle (no quick clean or enhanced clean mode). The only Performance class Dolphin capable of cleaning larger pools is the base Nautilus model (not the new Nautilus CC, which has superior automation but is equipped with a shorter power cable and 2hr cleaning cycle for small to medium-sized pools).
Performance Class Inground Pool | Nautilus CC (Review)
Performance Class Above-Ground: Reasonably priced, equipped with only the bare essentials for cleaning above ground pools up to 30 feet in length. These little Dolphins are much lighter than their Premium and Deluxe class brothers, which makes it easier to get them in and out of water if you own an above-ground pool without a deck. A distinguishing characteristic of above-ground performance class Dolphins is the fact that they only clean the pool floor and the cove. As soon as they detect a 90° incline, they will stop climbing and reverse back down. Makes sense, since there are no impellers on the top which helps the robot stick to the walls while in a fully vertical position. The Escape and E10 are two of the most popular above-ground pool cleaning robots today, and both are part of the Performance class.
Performance Class Above-Ground | Dolphin Escape (Review)
Commercial Class: If you want a robotic cleaner for big public pools that are up to 150 feet long, look no further. Maytronics has you covered with the best commercial pool cleaning robots in the whole industry. These behemoths can weigh upwards of 40 pounds (excluding the power supply) and feature anywhere between 3 to 8 cleaning cycles (ranging from just 1hr all the way up to 8 hours). Robots like the Dolphin Wave 300 and H120 can handle even Olympic sized swimming pools, and you don’t have to pay these machines a dime for working several hours each day and night.
Well, there is the electricity cost, but even that is extremely low compared to running a booster pump for something like a pressure side cleaner. Commercial class Dolphins have more impellers, more motors, and more active scrubbing brushes compared to residential pool robots. They also have giant power cords which can stretch up to 154 feet in length (longer than 3 Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs).
Commercial Class | Dolphin H50
Please Note: There are two Premium class Dolphin models which lack the upgraded Multi-Layer filtration system – the M500, and the DX6. The DX6 also lacks Bluetooth connectivity and automation mode. You can still set a weekly timer and delay on the DX6, but through the included remote control instead of an app on your phone.
Dolphin Sigma Review
Commercial-grade robotic pool cleaner for inground pools at an affordable price. Engineered with advanced electronics to efficiently navigate your pool with its three motors, while thoroughly cleaning every inch of your pool. Maytronics has created a pool robot will likely become a classic over time.
Ideal for: Pools of all shapes (rectangular, oval, kidney, or freeform) and sizes up to 50 feet in length. The Sigma has true 360° drive (zero turn radius), which means it excels at clearing obstacles like drain covers and can maneuver around in tight corners. Recommended for all surfaces including concrete, ceramic, tile, plaster, fiberglass and vinyl.
- Motor Type: Triple 24-volt 3,000 RPM Ultra energy-efficient DC motors
- Equipped with Gyroscope Mobility and Three commercial-grade Motors. Can provide up to five times its rated torque without stalling. Precisely controls and monitors every movement.
- Dynamic Dual-Drive motor for 360° maneuverability
- Drive Type : Direct drive means no belts to replace, ever
- PowerClean Dual Scrubbing Brushes attacks bacteria, algae and biofilm firmly attached to pool walls. HyperBrush spins two times the speed of ordinary brushes to dislodge the most difficult, stuck-to-the-wall contaminants.
- SmartNav 3.0 scrubs every square inch of any pool with remarkable efficiency.
- Bi-directional: Vacuums even when in reverse for superior efficiency
- Installation: Plug and play. Simply plug into a wall outlet and you’re done.
- Smart Timer: Integrated multi-function timer allows daily, 3x or 2x per week cycles
- LED Alerts: Lets you know know when the media should be emptied
- Plug & Play: No installation required. Simply plug in and turn on.
- Pool Size Up to 50 Ft
- Pool Shapes : Oval or Rectangle, Freeform
- Obstacles : Steps, Ladder, Drain Cover, Ledges, Pop-Ups
- Surface it Cleans : Concrete, Plaster, Gunite or Pebble, Tile, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass
✓ View the online MANUAL for the Dolphin Sigma.
Considered by many to be the next truly transformative step in robotic pool cleaning systems, the Maytronics Dolphin Sigma embodies many of the qualities you would expect from a high-end pool robot – performance, efficiency, ease of operation, and advanced navigation. But the Sigma is more than just the sum of its features, it’s an entirely new and unique experience. Performance-wise, it sits between the old Dolphin DX4 and the new Dolphin M400. While the DX4 uses bottom-loading filters and only gives you a single filtration medium (fine), the Sigma uses dual top-loading filter cartridges which are much easier to clean and service.
Dual Level Filtration :
You get 2 sets of filters within the package (4 filters per set), along with two cartridge frames which hold the filters. The regular (Fine) filters look very much like insect screens, using the same meshed design with tiny holes that you can see through. These are used during spring and fall season, to catch large debris such as leaves and twigs.
The second set of filters is for use during all other times of the year and can filter down to 2 microns. This is the Ultra-Fine filter and uses a pleated paper type medium with holes too small for the naked eye to see. These Ultra-Fine filters will trap algae, pollen, dust, fungi, undissolved chunks of pool chemicals, etc.
You cannot used both types of filters at the same time, this Dolphin doesn’t have that ability. The Triton PS Plus and many of the Premium class Dolphin robots use basket-style filter frames with spring loaded handles on the top, these baskets let you install two different types of filtration media. The regular filter is located at the front, it will catch big debris from the water as it flows into the fine filters which then removes all the tiny things that your eye can’t see. The Sigma uses traditional filter cartridge frames, one on each side of the robot – front and back. When you want to change the level of filtration, you must remove the cartridges individually and replace the filter medium.
Zero Radius Turning:
We recently did an article on zero turn mowers which explains why they are so good at mowing on hills and inclines compared to regular riding lawn mowers. Well, you can think of the Sigma as a zero turn pool cleaning robot, because it can turn around a full 360° without moving an inch forward or backward. Just like a battle tank, the Sigma has zero turn radius and can instantly realign itself whenever an obstacle is encountered. Dain covers, ladders, steps, coves, and pebbles are not going to prevent your Dolphin Sigma from accessing every nook and cranny of the pool for a through clean.
The secret behind this amazing maneuverability lies within the triple motor drive system of the Sigma. That’s right, it has 3 separate 24V DC motors operating independently of each other to make this robot scale drain covers, walls, coves, etc. Two motors drive the tracks, which means one track can rotate in reverse while the other one is spinning forward. This allows the robot to spin around like a tank, and unlike conventional pool cleaning robots which do wheelies when trying to turn on sloped pool floors this one will stay 100 percent stable. It doesn’t kick up clouds of dirt while cleaning, instead the dual front scrubbing brushes gently dislodge particles stuck to your pool liner so the suction of the pump can pull them into the filters. This way, the Sigma can pick up both loose and sticky debris without any hassle.
Intelligent Navigation :
Like most other modern Dolphin robots, the Sigma is powered by CleverClean – a smart navigation program which scans your pool to determine the optimal cleaning pattern. HyperGrip soft rubber tracks with special tread patterns help it climb the pool walls at a 90° vertical angle without damaging delicate pool liner such as vinyl or fiberglass. And the Sigma does a great job of cleaning the waterline, its top mounted impeller generates sufficient thrust to keep the 24.6 pound robot stuck to the walls as it slides along the waterline scrubbing away all the algae and dirt.
Bluetooth connectivity and weekly timer :
The Sigma comes with a multi-function power supply which lets you set a weekly timer. There are 3 modes to choose from, indicated by three different flashing LEDs on the digital display of the power supply:
- Mode 1: The Sigma will do a full 2.5hr cleaning cycle every day of the week
- Mode 2: The Sigma will work every other day of the week, for a total of 4 days each week.
- Mode 3: The Sigma will work every third day of the week, for a total of 3 days per week.
You will have to manually activate the weekly scheduler every week, there is no option to remember the settings and repeat them. You don’t get a delay timer either, that feature is reserved for the more advanced models in the Premium class. You can install the MyDolphin app and have some fun with the virtual joystick which lets you control the robot manually using Bluetooth (30 foot range). This feature is extremely useful if you notice a spot the Sigma missed, or if you want to bring the robot closer to the steps so you can lift it out more easily. And it is a cool little gimmick to entertain the kids, they can have some fun while cleaning the pool at the same time.
Tech Specs (Dolphin Sigma) :
- Navigation : Gyroscope enabled, microprocessor controlled SmartNav 3.0 learns your pool
- Logic : Calculates optimal pattern for faster cleaning & improved efficiency
- Propulsion : PowerJet 3D Mobility for superior wall climbing and cleaning
- Capabilities : Vacuums leaves, debris, pollen & green algae
- Energy Efficiency : Reduces energy costs up to 90% over AC powered cleaners
- Surfaces : Power scrubs and vacuums doors, steps, walls, and water line
- Micron Rating : Top load 2 micron NanoFilter that captures even the smallest particles like fine algae Filtration
- Rate : Micro filters 75 gallons per minute for remarkable water quality
Learn more by visiting the dedicated Maytronics Dolphin Sigma site.
Dolphin Oasis Z5i
- For In-Ground Pools — up to 50 Feet.
- Dual scrubbing brushes attack tough dirt and debris on the floor, walls and waterline.
- No Hoses Or Booster Pump Required : Anti-tangle patented swivel cable technology that provides uninterrupted hassle-free cleaning.
- MyDolphin App. Connects to your smartphone with Bluetooth technology, allowing you to remote control your robot for spot cleaning problem areas in your pool.
- Use the app to activate cleaning programs, activate the weekly timer…and more.
- Single Button Operation : Easy to use. Plug it in and place in your pool.
- Top access fine & ultra-fine cartridge filters. Cleans your pool water free of leaves, dirt and debris. Once finished, just rinse & reload.
- Dual-layer filtration system : Filters and separates rough, fine and ultra-fine dirt.
- Dynamic dual-drive motor with 360 degree pinpoint turning for optimal cleaning coverage.
Ideal for: Pools of any shape up to 50 feet in length, especially useful for freeform pools where traditional pool cleaning robots struggle to make a thorough sweep. It performs very well on loose and slippery terrain so if you have a pool floor that is muddy or covered in sand, this is the perfect robot for you.
Of all the Deluxe class pool robots from Dolphin, Oasis Z5i boasts the highest pool coverage – a gyroscope and zero radius turning helps it reach spots where ordinary pool robots cannot venture without getting stuck. Its feature set is very similar to that of the Sigma, but unlike the Sigma this model lacks a “Filter Full” LED indicator on its power supply. We don’t consider that to be a noticeable disadvantage, since the garbage collection bins have of the Oasis Z5i have more than enough space to accommodate all the leaves and dirt from even the nastiest of pools before the 2.5hr cleaning cycle runs out.
And like the Sigma, you get 2 sets of 4 filters each. One set contains spring/ fall cleaning filters with mesh construction for trapping larger debris like twigs, acorns, seeds, and leaves. The other set is for use during the majority of pool season when you’re more concerned with algae and sand rather than dead leaves and fallen twigs. It is worth noting that the Ultra-Fine filters do a decent job of catching larger debris too, they just get clogged up quicker when doing that, so you have to take them out and clean them more often. If you want, you can use the pleated paper style Ultra-Fine filter cartridges all year round, but you will be better off switching them out for the coarser spring cleaning filters when you notice a bunch of leaves in the pool.
Switching filters is a really easy task, since the Oasis Z5i uses the same top-loading filter cartridge access as the Sigma. When you need to clean the filters, just pop open the S-clips and take out the filter medium. Spray it down with a regular garden hose, clear leaves and twigs from the frame that holds the filters, then pop them back into the holder and snap the S-clips onto the tabs. That’s it, you have cleaned your Oasis Z5i filters. No need to mess around with filter bags or tip over your 25 pound robot to access the filter like you would do on older models such as the Dolphin DX4.
Dolphin Triton PS Plus
A popular pool cleaner that incorporates many of the practical features from the Deluxe line from Maytronics, such as the anti-tangling swivel cable and Bluetooth technology enabling you to control and program it from your smartphone.
- 50% lighter than original models.
- One hour QuickClean or 2 hour cycle time.
- Cleans Floor, Wall and Waterline.
- For pools up to 50 feet. Includes a 60 ft. cable.
- PowerStream Technology – enhanced pin-point turning and climbing abilities for a deeper clean.
- MyDolphin – Allows bluetooth remote control capabilities using your smartphone.
- Wall Climbing and Cleaning Scrubs floor and walls, removes algae and bacteria.
- Weekly Timer with Industry-leading energy efficiency.
- Easy to clean Extra-Large filter basket with 4 Fine and 4 Ultra Fine Filters for debris removal and excellent filtration.
- Software controlled anti-tangling algorithms to prevent the cable from tangling over the course of the cycle.
- Active Brushing – Large Active Scrubbing Brush Spins at 2X the speed of the robot to power through debris.
- Filtration – Extra-Large easy clan net basket + choice of ultra-fine (Top access).
- 24 month warranty bumper-to-bumper.
- Swivel cable prevents tangling.
- 2 year warranty.
Ideal for: Large fiberglass and vinyl in-ground pools with algae infestation. Its large garbage capacity and shorter cleaning cycles make it great for weekend pool cleaning sessions, and the light weight combined with a Quick Water Release function makes it super easy to use for smaller people (or senior citizens).
This is the most value for money you’re going to get on any Deluxe class pool robot from Maytronics. While it may cost less than the Sigma or Oasis Z5i, the Triton PS Plus is loaded with advanced technology and is the best wall climbing pool robot on the market right now. Why is it so good at climbing walls? Because unlike the Sigma and Oasis Z5i, this little guy uses more than just rubber tracks to climb vertical inclines. Have you noticed the lack of floating handles on the Triton PS Plus? The Oasis Z5i, Sigma, DX series of Dolphins, and pretty much 90 percent of in-ground pool cleaning robots from various manufacturers have been using the same technique to slide along the waterline of a pool.
The floating handle on traditional pool cleaning robots is filled with a lightweight foam like material which causes the handle to swing around in various positions when the robot is underwater. Based on the position of the handle, the robot knows if it’s traversing a flat surface (floor) or climbing an incline (wall). And when it reaches the waterline of a pool, the floating handle is designed to tilt in a particular direction (left or right) so the weight imbalance will cause the robot to slide around the edge of the pool from one side to another while the impeller on the top is generating a water jet to keep the robot planted on the vertical surface.
Essentially, there are two forces acting on the robot – a vertical force that drives it into the wall and keeps it from sliding down, and a lateral force (from the handlebars) which tilts it sideways and causes it to slide along the edge of the pool cleaning the entire waterline. Well, all of this change with the Triton PS Plus which is the updated version of an already excellent pool robot – the Dolphin Triton PS.
VIDEO | Take A Closer Look
PowerStream technology is a patent pending mobility system for pool cleaning robots that uses jets of water to propel the robot in various directions. Unlike the old floating handle design, this is much more robust and reliable on vertical surfaces which makes the Triton an excellent choice for pools which have tall walls and lots of steps. It is especially good if your pool has a slippery liner such as vinyl or fiberglass, or if there is algae growth on the walls. Even the best of rubber tracks isn’t enough to climb a 90° wall with algae on it, the surface is too slippery. But the Triton doesn’t rely on traction from its tracks to climb stuff, it shoots water at high velocity from the back and sides through 3 different jet “exhausts” to create a propulsion effect (similar to the jets on a space shuttle).
This increased mobility allows the Triton PS Plus to use cleaning patterns which would otherwise take way longer with traditional pool robots using floating handles. It moves around the walls of a pool in ways that are impossible with something like the Oasis or Sigma Z5i. And that’s not all – the Triton PS Plus has a couple more tricks up its sleeve. For instance, this is one of the few Deluxe class Dolphins to have automation mode so you can link it up with your home automation system. It also has an active scrubbing brush which spins at twice the speed of the tracks to dislodge small debris that is stuck to the walls and floors of your pool.
The Oasis and Z5i have scrubbing brushes too, but those are not independent of the drive system and spin at the same speed as the tracks. The Triton PS Plus sacrifices zero radius turning for an active scrubbing brush, since it more than makes up for the loss in maneuverability thanks to its PowerStream system. The Dolphin also has a special Quick Clean mode which only takes 1 hour, but you will be surprised to know that even the standard full cleaning mode takes just 2 hours.
In comparison, the Oasis Z5i and Sigma have single 2.5hr cleaning cycles. The Dolphin also has a much larger waste storage capacity because it uses a basket style filter system with 4 filtration panels attached around the 4 sides of the basket. When you open the top, a spring loaded handle automatically pops up so you can easily lift out the basket and hose it down. Despite its larger waste storage capacity, the Triton PS Plus only weighs 16.5 pounds (44 percent lighter than the Sigma or Oasis Z5i).
Why Purchase a Robotic Pool Cleaner?
It is a hot Sunday afternoon in July, and you’re getting ready to enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool. Beating the heat doesn’t get any easier than that, except there is one major problem – your pool is filled with dust and leaves, and the water surface has signs of algae growth. Haven’t cleaned your pool in a while? No problem, all you have to do is walk into the garage and bring out the pool cleaning equipment. A nice telescoping pole, pool rake, and pool vacuum – once you’ve fitted the hose for the vacuum to the skimmer and filled it with water, you shall spend the next 1 or 2 hours trying to get every last bit of dirt out of the pool.
But wait a minute… this isn’t the 1970s anymore, and nowadays people rarely clean their own pools by hand. Nobody has the time or mental fortitude to manually sweep clean the floor of a 20’ x 40’ pool, while also brushing the walls and skimming the surface. These days we use automated cleaners – suction side, pressure side, and robotic. In case you don’t own an automated pool cleaner, you probably hire a professional pool cleaning service who will come to your home and do the job for you. That takes quiet a bit of money, and costs can add up over multiple pool seasons. But the future is robotic, and there is no denying it. Robots are simply more efficient and do a better job of cleaning every corner of the pool. They don’t get tired or hungry, and a robot will never ask you for money to clean the pool.
But what really discourages people from purchasing a robotic pool cleaner is the initial cost – decent robotic pool cleaners can cost anywhere from 500 to 1000 dollars. That is a hefty sum of money for something that looks a toy version of the Mars rover. But robotic pool cleaners aren’t toys, and they certainly cost you less over the long course because unlike pressure side and suction side pool cleaners, these machines run on electricity and have their own filtration + propulsion. They do not rely on the pool pump and filter to move around and catch dirt, nor do they fill up the pump strainer basket with leaves. You have to backwash the pool less frequently, and if you use a Diatomaceous Earth pool filter it means you spend less money refilling it with D.E. (Diatomaceous Earth) powder.
The best thing about pool cleaning robots is the fact that they are like tiny little pool filters which crawl around inside your pool, processing the water at a rate of several thousand gallons per hour. Most of them are equipped with powerful pumps which can suck in anywhere between 50 to 70 gallons of water per minute, passing this water through the filter cartridge or bag within the robot. The water coming out of the robot is clean, and many of the new robots are equipped with ultra-fine pleated paper cartridge filters which can capture particles as small as 2 microns.
To give you an idea of just how much water these robotic pool cleaners suck in and filter, we can do some simple calculation. Let’s say you have a 15’ x 25’ rectangular in-ground pool, with an average depth of 5 feet. The volume of water in this pool is 15 x 25 x 6 = 1875 cubic feet. We know that one cubic foot of water is 7.48 gallons, so converting to gallons we get:
1875 x 7.48 = 14025 gallons of water
Now let’s take the Dolphin Quantum robotic pool cleaner from Maytronics, which has a micro filtration rate of 75 gallons per minute. The Quantum features a 2.5 hour operating cycle, which translates to 11250 gallons of water filtered per cycle (2.5 x 60 x 75). Which means, it can process up to 80 percent of the water in an average sized in-ground pool within just 2.5 hours! And the best part is this robot comes with a Multi-Layer filtration basket which uses a combination of spring filters and ultra fine filters to trap debris as small as 2 microns (algae, dust, etc.), all the way up to bigger stuff like leaves and twigs.
And it does all this, while costing just 5 cents per hour on average to operate (5 x 2.5= 12.5 cents per cleaning cycle). Way more cost-efficient than using a pressure side cleaner and booster pump, right? And your robot will also mix up the pool chemicals for you, evenly spreading them across the entire volume of the water. So, you spend less time cleaning your pool, consume less pool chemicals, and don’t have to move a finger while the robot is in there doing all the hard work for you. Not bad for 12.5 cents per day (electricity costs will vary based on where you live). In our opinion, robotic cleaners are well worth the initial cost to maintain your pool and keep it sparkling clean across the entire season. Maytronics pool cleaning robots last anywhere from 5 to 7 years, and they release better models every year while constantly updating the older ones.