No-one wants a dirty pool and the Dolphin range of robotic pool cleaners offers an effective, if not cheap, solution to debris, leaves, dirt, algae and bio-film which are making your pool oftentimes un-swimmable.
With the Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner costing approximately 25% more than the Premier, it is worth reading what the differences are and what you need your pool cleaner to do.
Size and Capacity
At 36 lbs, the Dolphin Premier is over 10 lbs heavier than the Sigma which makes it a more difficult device to take from the pool, although they are similar in size.
Both robotic pool cleaners can easily manage a 50-foot pool in a 2.5-hour cleaning cycle.
Both the Premier as the Sigma work on a dual scrubbing brush system, with 2 brushes at the front and 2 at the back to reach corners and angles. They can clean all types of pool surfaces. The Sigma has an additional central scrubbing brush for extra cleaning.
The scrubbing brushes can loosen bio-film and algae from all surfaces before the dirt is being sucked into the filters. It should be noted that the machines do not claim to remove all algae, and chlorine will still be needed to prevent an algae infestation.
The Premier has four types of cleaning filters; micro to cover tiny particles of dust and algae, standard to cover the larger particles. Then there is an oversized debris bag which collects leaves and twigs and, finally, disposable debris bags if you don’t like cleaning out the bags. These filters are easy to change so you can start with the large debris and work your way down.
The premier also comes with a LED alert light so you know when the debris bag is full.
The Sigma operates on a simpler 2 types of filter operation; the micro for smaller debris and two “Over-Sized Top-Load Cartridges” collecting all the larger particles.
The advantage of this is that you don’t need to be emptying, cleaning or replacing debris bags that often.
Both models have a SmartNav system which, once immersed, takes a few seconds to scan the area and then plans how it will clean to ensure maximum efficiency. This prevents the random wandering around a pool, which many robotic pool cleaners do.
The Sigma has an upgraded version of the SmartNav software which allows it to be operated via Bluetooth on your smartphone once you have downloaded the MyDolphin app. Your phone then acts as a remote control whereas the Premier uses a physical remote control.
The software allows the robots to recognize the waterline so this can be cleaned especially well.
The SmartNav software allows a daily, twice or thrice weekly cleaning schedule to be programmed in advance.
The 60-foot anti-tangle swivel cord on these machines helps to prevent your robot cleaner from being tied up in knots at the bottom of the pool. The swivel turns in a 360º circle whilst operating.
Instead of wheels, the Dolphin Sigma and Premier both have rubber tracks which help ensure they can climb walls and steps. The rubber tracks on the Sigma also move independently of each other making the unit move more efficient over steps and awkward shapes.
The main difference between the two machines is that the Sigma has a gyroscope which can position the machine exactly where it is needed. Thereby ensuring better cleaning of angles and corners.
The Sigma also has three motors which increases both suction and gripping power giving a better and quicker overall clean as compared to the Premier.
Even with its extra motors, the Sigma runs at the same 180 wattage as the Premier which makes it extremely efficient to operate. Dolphin claims that it runs at an average of 5 cents per hour.
Dolphin offers a 3-year comprehensive warranty without any usage restrictions which is significant as some of its competitors apply the warranty to hours of use rather than time.
The Dolphin Sigma is an improved version of the Dolphin Premier with the gyroscope and 3 motors offering improved suction and grip, as well as being able to clean stairs, corners and angles. Its software enhancement also means there is no further need for the somewhat clunky operation of the remote control. Although significantly more expensive, it will prevent the need for you to get in the pool with your scrubbing brush and do the work manually.