Best Robot Pool Cleaners in 2024

Dolphin sigma vs Premier Comparison | Pros & Cons

If a majority of your time is spent cleaning your pool instead of actually enjoying swimming, don’t you think it is time to move on from your old cleaning ways? Robotic pool cleaners are here to clean your pools for you and help you enjoy your time by swimming instead of cleaning your swimming pools. The choices for robotic pool cleaners however are limitless and choosing the right kind becomes a task in itself. Here we are going to compare the two Dolphin pool cleaners, Dolphin Sigma and Dolphin Premier both are towards the high-end price but absolutely justify their price with the features that they offer.  The Dolphin Sigma comes with an onboard gyroscope feature and Premier with its multi-media ultra-fine Cartridge. Both are quite similar in few features but also have minute decision changing points. Let us look at a detailed review of both. 

Technical Specifications

ParameterDolphin sigmaDolphin Premier
Dimensions23.23 x 19.76 x 13.46 inches23.7 x 19.57 x 13.82 inches
Weight35 pounds36.7 pounds
ColorWhite and blueBlue
Easy installationYesYes
Easy startYesYes
Number of motorsThreeTwo
Voltage24 volts24 volts
Suction Rating4500 GPH4500 GPH
Pool cleaner typeRoboticRobotic
Ideal for pool typeIn-GroundIn-Ground
Pool sizeUp to 50 FtUp to 50 Ft
Pool surfaceGunite/Plaster, Vinyl, FiberglassGunite/Plaster, Vinyl, Fiberglass
Cleaning coverageFloor, Walls, WaterlineFloor, Walls, Waterline
Cleaning modeStandardStandard
Cleaning cycles2.5 Hours3 hours
Mobile appMyDolphin PlusNil
Filter TypeFine, Ultra FineMulti-Media, Oversized Leaf Bag, Fine, Ultra-Fine Cartridge
Filter DescriptionCartridge, Top-loadBag/Cartridge, Bottom-load
Number of brushesTwoTwo
Active brushesZeroZero
NavigationSmart NavigationSmart Navigation
Cable length60 feet60 feet
Anti-tangle swivel cableYesYes
Smartphone capabilitiesYesNo
Remote controlYesNo
Weekly schedulingYesYes
Full bag indicatorNoYes
Delay modeNoNo
Cycle selectorNoNo
CaddyNot IncludedNot Included
PriceUnder $1500Under $1500
Warranty36 Months Limited36 Months Limited

Dolphin sigma vs Premier Comparison

Build Quality and Look

When looking at the build quality of both the pool cleaners, the dolphin Sigma comes with the dimensions of 23 x 19.5 x 13.5 inches and a weight of 35 pounds. Similarly, the Premier comes with a dimension of 23.5 x 19.5 x 14 inches and weighs 37.2 pounds. When looking at the weight of both the cleaners, neither of them are lightly built compared to other competing models. As the weight is on the heavier side it might be a bit difficult to take it out of the pool. Apart from the weight and dimensions the colour and look differs from each other. The Sigma comes in shining clear white with a bit of royal blue. The Premier however comes in a rather dull dark grey colour.

As far as the look is considered the Sigma has a much more refreshing look than the Premier. They both come with 60 feet long, 360-degree rotating Swivel cable. In place of wheels, both the cleaners use HyperGrip continuous rubber tracks. These tracks can counter the friction arising due to water and securely plant these robots on the floors and walls of pools. The tracks also allow the smooth movement of the cleaner while cleaning. So, the basic difference in both the cleaners on the basis of build quality and look is, the sigma has a more refreshing look and is slightly lighter than the Premier. The rest of the features are the same in both the cleaners.

Cleaning Technique

The cleaning process of both the cleaners is quite similar as well. The Premier and the Sigma work on a dual scrubbing brush system. There are two brushes at the front and two at the back to reach corners and angles. Both of them cover the pool surface of gunite/plaster, vinyl, and fiberglass. However, the difference lies in the additional brush that is included in the center of the Sigma, it ensures further cleaning.  The scrubbing brushes are able to loosen bio-film and algae from the surface of the pool before sucking the dirt into the filter. One should keep in mind that neither of the cleaner state removing algae. One wouldn’t be disappointed to choose either of the cleaners based on the cleaning technique. The Premier works brilliantly even without the additional brush provided in Sigma. 

Navigation System

The navigation system of both the pool cleaners is extraordinary, and one wouldn’t expect anything less from Dolphin pool cleaners. Both the cleaners use the same navigation system of SmartNav. The SmartNav system just requires a few seconds of immersion in the water to be able to scan the area and then plans the area that needs to be cleaned by avoiding obstacles in its way. This navigation system avoids the cleaner to go to the same place which has been already cleaned. Even though both the cleaners have the same navigation system the Sigma has an upgraded version of the SmartNav. In the upgraded version the cleaner can be operated via Bluetooth on your smartphone after installing the MyDoplphin application. In this scenario, your phone becomes the remote that can control the cleaner. However, this feature is not available in the Premier and it uses a remote control. The navigation system lets the robots identify the waterline so it can be cleaned as well. Not only just this but the SmartNav software allows a daily, twice, or thrice weekly cleaning schedule that can be programmed well in advance.


The major area of difference lies in the motors of both the cleaners. The Sigma has triple high RPM DC Motors whereas Dolphin Premier is powered by two 24V DC motors. The three onboard DC motors provide five times the torque to the dolphin Sigma. The innovative 24-volt DC motors spend 87% less energy than the AC motors which helps in saving on an average 5 cents an hour. So, in terms of power, the Sigma as it comes with 3 motors will be more effective and powerful than the Premier.


As the dolphin brand has been known by its consumers for the ease of use of its products it has yet again proven its merit with the sigma and premier. Both the cleaners come with exceptionally great filters; the sigma consists of a top-loading cartridge ensuring a mess-free cleaning. One doesn’t need to figure out the location of the cleaning filters, all they require is just removing the filter from the top part of the cleaner. The removal of the filter is not the only easy part, the cleaning of the filter is also quite easy and less time-consuming. It just requires a rinse to remove all the collected particles from the filter. The premier on the other hand has multiple filter options the filters are a bottom-load fine cartridge filter, ultra-fine cartridge filter, and an oversized fine filter bag. Dolphin Sigma uses an additional feature of the Gyroscope mobility system that targets alignment as well as the slant.

Dolphin Sigma User Manual

Dolphin Premier User Manual

The gyroscope can monitor angular velocity around the 3-axis of rotation namely – roll, pitch, and yaw, by this means ensures better performance. You will find the feature of the smart control weekly timer in both the cleaners. The feature helps the user to set weekly schedules – daily, twice per week, or thrice per week, then one can just leave the work up to the pool cleaner. The Dolphin Sigma has an additional feature of connecting itself to your smartphone and can go ahead with operations like spot clean, know the status of the operation, etc. however, one will not find this feature in Dolphin Premier. Both, Dolphin Sigma and Dolphin Premier come with a 3-year warranty period. The ease of usage is similar for both the cleaners however, sigma has some added features which can make it easier to use for some customers. 

Dolphin Sigma Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

  • Comes with large top-loading cartridge filters
  • Includes 3 powerful motors
  • Anti-tangling swivel cable that talks about enhanced mobility
  • Scrubs with pinpoint precision
  • Uses Advanced navigation technology of SmartNav
  • Includes Bluetooth compatibility
  • Includes the feature of weekly scheduling
  • Sometimes, the machine is not able to pick up the dirt
  • Users face application issues
  • Does not include caddy

Dolphin Premier Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

  • Two large top-loading cartridge filters
  • Anti-tangling swivel cable that talks about enhanced mobility
  • The scrubbing brushes are of great quality
  • Uses Advanced navigation technology of SmartNav
  • Includes multiple filter options; the filters are a bottom-load fine cartridge filter, ultra-fine cartridge filter, and an oversized fine filter bag. 
  • Not compatible with Bluetooth / smartphone
  • Might stop working after a considerable usage


In all, both the pool cleaners come with almost similar features with a few varying points. It depends on the need of the user which cleaner is suitable for their pool. If you are looking for a lighter build and a sleek cleaner then you can go with the Sigma but if the build quality is not of that great importance and you are ready to compromise on some features then you can go with Premier as well. For some people, the cleaning speed is of greater importance which can be provided by Sigma however, there are more filters provided in premier.

The difference in the additional feature of the gyroscope can also be the deciding factor for some people. If you are looking for a pool cleaner to climb on walls and clean it as well then both would be suitable for your needs. The decision can be easily made if you know what you prioritize more when it comes to buying a pool cleaner. It can be the build quality, power, swivel cable, or navigation system.

FAQs (Must Read)

Dolphin Sigma

Q. Can this pool cleaner be used in a vinyl pool?
A. Yes, it can be used in Gunite/Plaster, Vinyl, and Fiberglass pool surfaces.

Q. Does it clean the curved edges from the pool bottom leading up the walls?
A. Yes, it has a front roller/scrubber which will help clean the curved edges and will also climb above the surface and scrub the sidewalls.

Q. How does Sigma perform on the steps?
A. The Overall performance of the Sigma is exceptional. Even on the protruding set of steps, the cleaner is able to dislodge itself in case it gets stuck and continues to clean. 

Q. Does the sigma map the pool?
A. Yes, it can map the pool by using the SmartNav system. The SmartNav system just requires a few seconds of immersion in the water to be able to scan the area and then plans the area that needs to be cleaned by avoiding obstacles in its way. This navigation system avoids the cleaner to go to the same place which has been already cleaned.

Q. Will this cleaner work in a pool full of leaves?
A. Yes, it can pick up leaves very well. If you have a whole bunch of leaves on the bottom (large piles) you should scoop them out first. Then let it settle a while and then run the Dolphin. It is a fantastic, efficient, time-saving device.

Dolphin Premier

Q. How often do you have to replace the filters?
A. The filters are re-usable and should last a couple of years. However, the filters require cleaning after every use before starting another cycle. The filter provided works great but must be washed out. 

Q. Does this clean the seating ledge and steps?
A. If you have a ledge and a seating area as shallow as 24 inches, then no, the machine will not clean those parts. As it works by submerging the wheels in the water to act as a ballast. Then the machine sinks back down when the water drains from the wheels. This is good so the machine doesn’t climb out of the pool. we use a pool brush to get the shallow bits before we activate the dolphin. we have pebble tech & the scrubbers do a fantastic job of cleaning.

Q. Why does the cartridge light in my unit indicate a full cartridge even when it is not full?
A. This has been a common issue. The warning light on the cartridge indicates the filter becoming full after almost every cleaning as it’s on a timer, to remind you to check it after certain hours of operation. There isn’t a sensor in the unit that can tell when it’s full. Just like the recommendation to change your furnace filter every month, even though there isn’t a sensor in a furnace to tell you when it needs it.

Q. Does this cleaner have a Bluetooth feature as a control feature?
A. No, it does not have Bluetooth. But, instead, it has a separate remote control that can control the cleaner. 

Q. Does this cleaner include a fine filter?
A. Yes, the Dolphin Premier comes with three filters, the filters are bottom-load fine cartridge filter, ultra-fine cartridge filter, and an oversized fine filter bag.

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