Dolphin Premier Review – Pros, Cons & Verdict

Dolphin Premier robotic

Editor Rating: 4.8/5

Build Quality

Review Summary

In terms of raw cleaning potential, there are few pool cleaners — even robotic pool cleaners — that can match the performance of the Dolphin Premier. Its four-media cleaning options make this perfect for sweeping up the grit of a summer windstorm and autumn’s falling leaves with a quick swap-out of a filter. It also comes with advanced controls that allow it to chart its own cleaning course to work quickly and efficiently. There are good reasons why the Premier is considered Dolphin’s top-shelf pool cleaner.

It’s only predictable, then, that it will cost you a pretty penny. This one is expensive, even allowing for the fact that inground pools are generally top-dollar investments. Its manual operation mode is also less than desirable. Dolphin sank its best efforts into making this a high-end robotic pool cleaner to the detriment of its manual mode. Then again, you’re not shelling out this kind of money for a pool cleaner that requires that you do a whole lot of work.

Dolphin Premier – A Quick Look

  • Efficient
  • Superior cleaning
  • Cleans up everything, from leaves to dust and algae
  • Pricey
  • Manual mode is hot garbage


Brand name: Dolphin

Model: Premier

Type: Robotic

Pool type: Inground

Dimensions: 23.5 x 20 x 14 inches

Weight: 36.2 lbs.

Poolvac in action

SmartNav scanning

With SmartNav scanning, the Dolphin Premier can map out the optimal cleaning course of all the surfaces it has to clean, making sure that there aren’t any wasted passes and getting the job done in as timely and as efficiently as it can. This is a significant improvement over pool cleaners that wander the pool’s floor aimlessly, hoping to get the job done by making as many passes as possible.

Multimedia NOW

Take the guesswork out of what you’ll need to clean from your pool next week or in six weeks with the Premier’s Multimedia NOW feature. No matter what’s in your pool, there’s an option to clean it up with the need to buy a different cleaner or additional filters. They’re all included.

Anti-tangle swivel

One drawback to any pool cleaner is the hoses and cords connected to it. These can get clogged, but even worse there’s the chance that the cleaner itself will get snarled in them. Robotic pool cleaners have no extra hoses connected to the pool’s filtration system, eliminating worries about the hoses. With the Premier’s anti-tangle swivel, it also eliminates worries that it will get tangled in its power cord. That means if you’re preparing for company, no more worrying that running a pre-visit cleaning will result in a pool cleaner hopelessly snarled and incapable of doing the job.

Energy efficient

The motors on the Dolphin Premier operate on 180-watt motors operate at an average per-hour cost of five cents. That’s much more efficient than pool cleaners with traditional AC booster pumps. A more efficient operation is combined with the already efficient operation of the SmartNav pool surface scanning. More efficient internal operations combined with more efficient cleaning means maximized the dollars you spend keeping your pool clean.

wall scrubbing


How does this do cleaning steps?

The wheels need to be submerged to act as a ballast. Once out of water, the water drains from the wheels and the machine sinks back in. It does a poor job cleaning anything with more than 24 inches of clearance.

What kind of warranty comes with the Dolphin Premier?

A three-year no-nonsense rapid repair warranty.

How does this do on algae?

It’s powerful scrubbing brushes do a good job of removing algae from walls. You will still need to use chlorine to kill it, however.

What the Users Say

Reviews of the Dolphin Premier were generally positive. People who bought it especially liked its ability to clean a pool thoroughly and pretty quickly. The price is high, but this was generally found justifiable by the amount of time it saves pool owners that they might otherwise have to spend doing their own cleaning and maintenance.

Pool owners nervous about investing a lot of money in a cleaner that doesn’t live up to expectations might take some heart in knowing that it has a reputation for thoroughness and doggedness. Once it gets going, most people found that it just doesn’t quit until the job is done.

Other users were not so pleased with its performance. This is a pretty common experience with pool cleaners in general, where the tendency is to overpromise and underdeliver in terms of results, but this one costs enough that users might have good reason to expect something different.

One area of particular concern was customer service. Lots of users reported trying to get satisfaction for poor performance only to find Dolphin’s customer service a frustrating experience.

Still, the overall experience of most users was a very satisfactory one. It costs a lot of money, but for most people delivered a lot. Considering what kind of investment a pool is for most homeowners, that’s probably good news.


Dolphin’s Premier is one of the best, most efficient robotic pool cleaners on the market. It combines powerful brushing action with the option of a wide range of media to remove any size debris from your pool with a simple swap out of filters. It has features to maximize the efficiency of its operation, reducing its operational costs, too.

It does cost a lot of money, even for a robotic pool cleaner. It is also not recommended that you try to spend much time operating it by a remote, because it is not terribly responsive to that. Once you start getting around those drawbacks, however, it does a lot to answer longstanding issues familiar to anyone who’s dealt with the many hassles of using a pool cleaner to keep your investment free of grit and debris.