The Dolphin 99996323 Nautilus robot pool cleaner is a popular choice among consumers. There are two distinct versions to choose from: the Nautilus and the Nautilus Plus. The price difference between the two is a little over $100. This review will focus on the Nautilus.
The base Nautilus cleans pool floors as well as coves and walls. It works best in in-ground residential pools up to 50 feet long. Aside from its lightweight construction, this pool cleaner stands out for its impressive performance and user-friendly design.
Overview of the Dolphin
Dolphin is a trusted name in the pool cleaner industry, with over 25 years of experience building quality products. This model doesn’t disappoint. Many consumers agree that while you’ll probably have to pay a bit extra for a Dolphin cleaner, the investment is often worth it.
While this Dolphin cleaner has plenty of features, it really stands out for its energy-efficient operation and an eco-friendly design. According to the company, it costs less than 15 cents to clean your pool with this Dolphin cleaner.
Key Features of the Dolphin
There’s no shortage of features on this Dolphin Nautilus cleaner. For starters, it’s created with a lightweight yet durable material that allows it to swiftly cover all areas of the pool while holding up well to routine use.
Depending on your pool and specific needs, you may find that one or more of these features can help seal the deal. The following features help to distance this Nautilus model from similarly-priced competitors.
- Versatility – The Dolphin 99996323 works surprisingly well on a wide range of pool types and surfaces. As long as you have an in-ground pool, this automatic cleaner effectively handles just about any type or shape of pool. Unlike some other pool cleaners in its price range, the Nautilus isn’t afraid to tackle stairs and inclines. It can even climb walls quite well in most pools.
- User-friendly design – If you’re searching for a low-maintenance pool cleaner, this one is a safe bet. One of its most commendable features is a unique plug-n-play system. This means you won’t have to worry about pre-installation fusses or figuring out connections to your pool system. Many users note that setup takes just a few minutes. A detailed manual, which comes included with the robot, helps guide you through the set-up process.
- Cleaning – Dolphin robot pool cleaners come equipped with their own pool water filtration system. This enables them to move around the pool as needed, removing various dust and debris particles of all sizes from the water. Along the way, the robot scrubs the pool floors and walls, and even cleans up the waterline, where grime and debris can collect. An advanced brushing system sweeps and cleans up even the toughest particles, such as bacteria and algae. The end result is sparkling clean water that greatly reduces the need for chemicals.
- Efficiency – As with most other Dolphin robot cleaners, this one is outfitted with an advanced waterwheel turbine that promotes plenty of suction power. The result is outstanding dirt and debris collection. The water flow won’t even be interrupted if the robot captures a bit of rough debris. As we’ve already learned, this Dolphin robot will cost you just 5 cents per every hour of operation, and no more than 15 cents to clean the entire pool. This can add up to tremendous energy savings throughout the year — without compromised performance.
Pros of the Dolphin Nautilus
This Dolphin cleaner has a generous selection of features. It’s not perfect, but several of its features help to set it apart from the competition. It’s exceptionally good at energy efficiency and outstanding performance. Here’s an overview of some of its pros:
- Self-cleaning – This robot cleaner features a self-programming option to ensure complete pool scanning and cleaning. An auto-shutoff system makes it easy to turn on the robot and go about your daily routine, as it will shut off by itself when it’s done cleaning. There is a cleaning cycle time of three hours, after which the robot will simply shut off.
- Filter access – Unlike many robot pool cleaners, this Dolphin model doesn’t have bags to collect everything it picks up. Instead, it has its own filter. One advantage is that you won’t have to deal with potential clogs and backwashing as the robot cleans. In addition, maintenance is quite easy, as the filter can be quickly and simply removed, cleaned, and replaced. While you will need to clean the filter occasionally, many owners note that it’s a very simple task.
- Quiet operation – Some pool owners detest louder robot vacuum cleaners. Fortunately, this one is very quiet. In fact, unless you see it moving, you may not even be able to tell when it’s on. For those who enjoy a swim without the loud hum that some robot cleaners produce, the peace and quiet of this Dolphin model makes it an exceptional choice.
Cons to Consider
As with other robot pool cleaners on the market, this one isn’t without a few setbacks. While it’s generally regarded as a well-rounded vacuum, there are a few negative factors to consider before deciding whether to go ahead with the purchase.
- Lacks a handle – Unless you enjoy pulling heavy equipment out of the water, a lack of a handle can be a serious problem for some consumers. This robot cleaner weighs in at just over 18 pounds when dry, and on land. However, it can soon become much heavier, especially when it’s filled with water. Some owners complain that they have to strain and wrestle with the cleaner just to get it out of the water. If you already have health issues that make it difficult to lift heavy objects, you may find that this Dolphin model isn’t the best choice.
- Struggles with larger debris – This cleaner does a great job filtering out smaller particles. It also handles slightly larger bits of debris without much trouble. However, it seems to get clogged when it encounters larger pieces of debris, such as oak tree leaves. When this occurs, the leaves can get stuck on the bottom part of the unit, clogging the filter and making it difficult for the vacuum to pick up any additional bits of debris as it cleans. It may be necessary to remove the vacuum from the water to remove the debris. Some users report that bits of debris may fall out of the bottom anyways, making it necessary to awkwardly flip the unit when you’re taking it out of the water to avoid this scenario.
- Difficulty cleaning edges and steps – As with most pool robot vacuum cleaners on the market, this one seems to struggle a bit with edges and steps. Some owners note that the vacuum can get caught up on the steps, especially ones that are curved. Other owners remark that it seems to miss edges sometimes, even if it passes through the same area more than once.
Comparison Table – At a Glance
This Dolphin pool cleaner has a price tag of $629 (see here for latest). Some consumers feel that its performance and reliability justifies this price tag, while others think that the cost is too high.
It’s true that similarly-priced competitors may offer more features. However, this pool cleaner really stands out for its remarkable pool-cleaning capabilities. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most notable features.
|Self-programmed for ideal pool cleaning||Energy-efficient operation||Works best in in-ground pools up to 50 feet||Fully cleans in 3 hours|
|Very energy-efficient||Lightweight construction||Has easy-to-clean filters instead of bags||60-foot swiveling cable easily reaches tougher spots|
|Fine pore filter keeps out smallest pieces of debris||Exceptional water-cycling action||Cleans pool floors, coves, and walls||Easy to set up and use right out of package|
Should I Buy It Now or Wait?
Dolphin has an outstanding reputation for building high-quality products. This Dolphin pool cleaning robot is no exception.
If you’re looking for a pool robot that does more than just sweep away debris from the pool’s surface, this one is worth a close look. Many consumers appreciate how thoroughly and efficiently it scrubs, vacuums, and filters pool surfaces in just 3 hours. It’s also an appealing choice for its user-friendly design, as it doesn’t require any previous installation or connections to a pool system. Another highlight is energy efficiency.
According to Dolphin, this robot cleaner costs under 15 cents to clean the entire pool each time. This might be a bit of marketing hyperbole, but the point is valid.
Alternatives to Consider
If the price is the sticking point, I’ve also reviewed the Aquabot Breeze XLS right here. It is less “automated” but also about half the price. You can also check out my guide to the top robot pool cleaners.
The price tag is a bit polarizing. Some consumers agree that it’s well worth the expense, while others say that it should be more affordable. It’s hard to find much fault at all with this unit. The biggest complaint among consumers is that it lacks a handle.
While this can make it inconvenient to pick up and empty, many owners gladly overlook this shortcoming and instead choose to focus on its outstanding performance and exceptional cleaning. I bought my Dolphin Nautilus here for 20% off which helped with the initial sticker shock.
Further read, iRobot Mirra 530 Review