As part of their advanced class of robotic pool cleaners, Dolphin touts the Quantum model as one of their lightest and most methodically designed bots ever. Dolphin is a frontrunner in the industry of robotic pool cleaning, and they’ve had quality products on the market for years. But as one of their most popular models, we wanted to see how the Quantum lived up to the hype of wall-climbing, fantastic filtration, energy efficiency, and more. Keep reading to see our honest review of the Quantum experience.
Small Package, Big Power
You won’t hear us suggest buyers spring to purchase a caddy - the Dolphin Quantum weighs only about 16 pounds. Sure, you could make a workout out of curling it repeatedly, but as far as robotic pool cleaners go, that’s light. It’s small, compact, and sleek, built with a minimalist design to decrease weight and increase functionality. Hearing those statistics before seeing it in person gave us pause to wonder how powerful and durable it could be against a 50-foot pool, but we weren’t disappointed. Its patented Exoskel may be minimalist, but it’s built like a tank – low to the ground and solid. And thanks to its lightness and sturdy built-in handle, it’s far easier to transport to and from the water than other robotic pool cleaners.
Getting Set Up
Like most Dolphin robotic pool cleaners, there wasn’t much assembly required at all. Taking the bot from box to poolside took about five minutes. Just remove the plastic covering from the brushes, plug the Quantum into the power supply, and select your cleaning job.
The power supply’s control interface is fairly easy to use. You can’t miss the giant power button, and it has a convenient built-in programmable weekly timer. This will come in handy during the summer months when you need to run the Quantum daily, or if you’re out of town for a few days.
However, the power supply has a Bluetooth and wireless phone icon. To our knowledge, the Quantum doesn’t come equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, so some users may find themselves trying to connect the bot to their phones to no available. This may be a bit confusing to buyers who haven’t read the fine print. This is because Maytronics uses a similar power supply on other models with Wi-Fi, such as the Dolphin Sigma.
Once the Quantum was set up and ready to go, we dropped it into the water and let it sink to the bottom, then pushed the start button.
In the Water
We tested the Dolphin Quantum robotic pool cleaner in a 20x40 gunite pool. The Quantum’s specs say it can clean up to a 50-foot pool in just two hours, so we knew ours wouldn’t make for an unfair testing environment. Like with all of our reviews, we let the pool accumulate debris for a few days without any cleaning in between. With large oak trees nearby, there were plenty of leaves, small twigs, and even pollen dispersed throughout the water. And there’s no telling what kind of dirt was floating around thanks to the windy weather and water-loving dog.
Once the Quantum had reached the bottom of our dirty test pool, we started its cleaning job. It spent the first bulk of the cycle focused on the bottom. The Quantum is equipped with Dolphin’s SmartNav 2.0, which is a software that scans the pool and calculates the optimal pattern for the fastest and most efficient cleaning. This prevents it from lingering in one area too long or missing other areas entirely. During the first cleaning, it seems like the Quantum was getting the lay of the new land, figuring out the best cleaning route for its new pool.
With each pass across the bottom, the Quantum picked up all of the bits of visible debris. But it’s when it started climbing and cleaning the walls that we became really impressed.
Quantum is equipped with something Dolphin engineers call PowerJet 3D Mobility. Most robotic pool cleaners can easily move forward and backward on a flat, horizontal surface. But there’s a lot more to a pool than just the floor. The Quantum has three vortex jets instead of the traditional one jet, letting it effortlessly adhere to vertical surfaces underwater. It can move laterally while vertical to reach hard-to-get spots, and the jets assist in defying gravity’s pull.
It climbed the walls with ease and quickly figured out where the water line was. Even when it peeked above water to clean the walls, it never lost grip or fell from its height. We think a lot of that has to do with the strong rubber grips on the Quantum’s track. They grip the pool surface tightly without being hindered by water weakening its efforts.
You can even see the strong bristles of the brush spin rapidly as it reaches the water line sludge, and it’s extremely satisfying to watch it obliterate the buildup of dirt and algae. Quantum’s dual HyperBrushes are located on the front and back of the bot, and they spin twice the speed of ordinary robotic pool cleaner brushes. This design actually lets the brushes attack bacteria, algae, and miscellaneous grime on the walls by aggressively scrubbing them. Most robotic pool cleaners glide over surfaces instead of dive into them. But the Quantum gets into the nitty gritty.
The Quantum took its time navigating the underwater steps, but its weight distribution lends itself to navigating those nooks and crannies. It eventually scrubbed the underwater steps and tanning ledge before wrapping up its cleaning job, and it had no problems gliding over the pool drains.
The first cleaning job took 2.5 hours, which is normal according to the Quantum’s specifications. Considering the state the pool was in when we dropped the Quantum into the water, we were impressed to see it gathered all of the visible debris. The cord got a little tangled in on itself from the first cleaning, but it unraveled easily.
The real proof of any robotic pool cleaner’s worth is in the filter – and the Quantum did not disappoint.
It’s fitted with an impressive, customizable filtration system. It comes standard with a large filter cartridge that has 400 square inches of space. That’s a huge capacity compared to the tight and finnicky filter cartridges of older robotic pool cleaners. When we pulled the cartridge out, it was impressively full of even more debris than we realized was floating in the pool. There was an abundance of sticks, leaves, acorns, and even some dog hair that it had managed to capture. Best of all, cleaning the cartridge is a breeze. Just dump the larger junk and hose it down until clean. It’s that simple.
The Quantum comes with quick-change filters so you can easily change the media dependent on what your cleaning job needs. Since we used the oversized filter cartridge first, we decided to test the Quantum again with the NanoFilter, which is designed to handle small debris like fine algae down to two microns. We set the Quantum to run another standard cleaning job with the micro-filter and were surprised at just how much fine debris and algae it picked up after its 2-ish hour run. The filter was remarkably dark with particles unseen to the naked eye while in the pool. While most robotic pool cleaners come standard with the capability to grab larger debris, not every bot can filter through for such a thorough deep cleaning. The Dolphin Quantum is in a class of its own there.
Cleaning the NanoFilter was just as simple as the larger cartridge. All it requires is a good hosing down until the water runs clear, then it’s ready to be placed back inside the Quantum.
What Impresses Us About the Quantum
The weight of a robotic pool cleaner isn’t something you really dwell on until you’ve owned a few. Like we mentioned before, the Quantum’s 16 pounds isn’t much compared to rival pool cleaners, but it packs a mighty punch. We found no lacking performance due to its lightness – the power of the DC motors and 3D-mobility jets gives it all the oomph it needs. Best of all, there’s no risk of throwing out your back trying to lug it from the pool to the shed all summer long.
Power and Energy Efficiency
The Quantum uses dual 24-volt, 3000 RPM DC motors. To put that into perspective, traditional robotic pool cleaners use energy-sucking AC motors that can expend 1800 watts of power. But the Quantum only requires 180 watts. All in all, that means you’re spending a mere five cents an hour to run the Quantum robotic pool cleaner. And you’re not sacrificing in performance, either.
Ease of Maintenance
Gone are the days of shimmying filters out of tight nooks and dousing flimsy debris bags in water in a futile effort to clean them. The Quantum makes maintenance an absolute breeze. With the push of a button the filtration system opens, and you can remove the cartridge with one pull. Cleaning it out entails dumping the debris and hosing the cartridge and filter down until they are clean again. It takes a few minutes and is impossibly simple.
We’re suckers for a good warranty. Dolphin products come with varying warranties, but the Quantum is insured with an impressive two-year warranty. While it’s not a three-year value like some of their other top of the line models, we feel peace of mind knowing the Quantum is backed for 24 months. And it comes standard with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The only feature we raised our eyebrows at was the Bluetooth symbol on the power supply interface. The interface is easy enough to use to start a cleaning or set a weekly timer, but the Quantum doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities. We’re not sure if it was simply an oversight to include it here, or if Dolphin engineers are trying to use the same power supply across different models. Regardless, it’s a non-existent feature that shouldn’t be there.
The Final Verdict
The Dolphin Quantum robotic pool cleaner is a workhorse for your pool. It’s not a small investment, but we do think it is a worthwhile one, especially compared to the features and upgrades given to the Quantum over lower end models. Its ability to defy gravity and consistently scrub the walls of a pool is remarkable, and its power isn’t hindered by its sleek, compact design. The Quantum isn’t bogged down with frivolous bells and whistles – instead it’s a solid, well-designed, dynamic machine. If you’re looking for an everyday robotic pool cleaner that can take on your pool’s season-changing cleaning needs, we think the Quantum fits the bill.