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Thread: Blue Diamond vs Dolphin Dynamic. My review

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    Blue Diamond vs Dolphin Dynamic. My review

    Hi All,
    Trying to buy a robotic cleaner is a difficult task. Very little info and lots of cash involved make hitting "add to cart" a tough commitment.

    I had a Dolphin Diagnostic that was about 3 years old and I gave it to my Dad last year when I got my Dynamic from Costco. My Dad's ran about 10 feet before it quit this year. Not good. My Dynamic wouldn't climb the walls anymore and the suction seemed poor despite a clean filter. Luckily I bought it from Costco so it's going back. I was a huge Dolphin fan until I used the Blue Diamond. When working both do the job but an analogy would be comparing a K-car to a Lexus. YEah they both get you from point a to point b but which would you rather drive? Even that isn't accurate though. in order to be accurate the Lexus only cost 30% more than the K-car.

    Based on my previous service history (excellent) with Watertechcorp I decided to buy the Blue Diamond from pooldr.com. I think the website is difficult to navigate and a little cheesy but they delivered promptly so I can live with it. They have an OK return policy of 2 weeks and free shipping. Still, at $1300 it isn't cheap. The blue pearl is about $400 less with a cart. The difference being cleaning time of 3hrs vs. 1 hr and the warranty of the Pearl is 1 year as opposed to 4 years. Apparently the Blue Diamond also uses better internals.

    The Blue Diamond is a very similar concept to the Dolphin although it is much lighter and maybe a little wider. The cart rolls easier but I don't think it looks as good as the Dolphin cart. I also don't like the fact that the power supply is under the unit where water can drip on it but it is waterproof so I guess it doesn't matter. It aso has a clever handle that allows for easy untangling of the power cord. Quite handy.

    The unit started right up and the first thing I noticed is that it is much more powerful than the Dolphin. It created quite a wake on the top of the water surface. It also has a very random pattern. Where the Dolphin (when set to floor only) would stop and turn, the Blue Diamond turns while moving making arcs in the pool. This is a much better method and it was able to cover my entire pool without any problems. It also clombed the walls with ease but didn't spend much time at the water line while I watched it (only about 5 minutes). That's OK though, I clean my waterline manually anyway. It could have done the whole waterline though I just didn't see it. It must have a sensor in it that tells it when it begins to climb a wall because as it goes to vertical it reverses in the other direction.

    The filter bag is much less cumbersome and easier to clean than the Dolphin.

    I have only used it a few times but so far it's just a much better unit that functions far better. I can say it cleans better but wether or not it will last longer without any repair issues only time will tell. A 4 year warranty is really good though.

    Pro's
    Lighter
    Faster - 1hr vs 6-8 hrs
    random cleaning pattern
    more thorough cleaning
    more powerful
    better wall climbing
    easier to clean filter bag

    Cons
    Price
    Cart could be designed better but it is functional
    reliability unknown - although can't be worse than the Dolphins...

    I hope this helps someone else make their decision. Any questions feel free to ask.

    J.
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Arizona
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    924
    I'm so happy you posted this. It makes me feel better about my purchase of the BD. I will add on to your review, if you don't mind.

    I came so close to buying a Dolphin Dynamic a few weeks ago, until I read reviews at poolforum regarding how pesky they were. I then was trying to decide between the Aquabot Turbo T4 and the Blue Diamond RC. I really thought I had to have the remote. Both had plenty of good reviews. The reasons I went with the BD RC instead of the RC came down to price and warranty. I never could find an "authorized dealer" for the AT T4 as I did the BD RC who was giving a really great price. I bought my BDRC from poolsupplyworld.com for $1459 complete with the cart.

    I kept hoping that Costco would offer the BD and/or the Turbo T4 - I had my mind made up it had to be one of those 2 and buying from Costco, the warranty wouldn't have bothered me as much.

    Some additonal Pros I found were:

    No fiddling around with floats for the cord.
    It easily sailed right over my inground ports. (I had a Navigator that was more trouble than it was worth because of this)
    It is definately fast and very thorough.

    1 additonal Con:
    It seems to get wedged on one side of my wedding cake steps and the sidewall of my pool once in a while. I think I have a fix for it though, as it didn't wedge the last 2 times I used it.

    In hindsight, I didn't really need the RC, so could have gotten one even a little cheaper or may have been as happy with the Blue Pearl which several have raved about on this forum.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    NJ
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    I had a Dolphin that I too returned to Costco as it was a POS. I bought it thinking the remote would be an important feature, but learned quickly it was not. That is part of the reason I bought a Pearl not a Diamond. The other reason is I had no use for the cart. I keep mine in a little rubbermaid "shed". Not really a shed, its about 5 feet wide three feet tall and 30" deep. Anyhow, the carts don't really fit in it. Plus the Pearl is light enough there is no need for a cart. I just have it sit in the shed on a section of 4X4 so the rollers are off the ground. I love the unit and would highly recommend it.
    20x40 IG vinyl, heatpump and solar and 3 siberian huskies, 10kw PV solar electric system. Nikon Photographer D800e dSLR.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,887
    I have a Dolphin Dynamic and I am very happy with it. The remote allows me to do some spot clean up in just a couple of minutes and if I leave it alone it takes four to six hours and does a great job, climbs the walls, etc. I haven't used a Blue Diamond or Pearl, they might well be much better, but there isn't anything wrong with my Dolphin.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Plano, TX
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    does the blue diamond or blue pearl have a timer, or do you just have to take it in and out when you want to use it? I guess I could add an external timer at the outlet??
    Also, how much do the filter bags hold in comparison to, say, a skimmer basket?
    28K IG, stonescapes pebble, raised spa, hayward heater, Pentair Intelliflo, Pentair 60ft DE filter, built around 1980, remodeled 2007.

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    mbar's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Location
    Ashland PA
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    I have an aquabot Bravo, and I think it is the same as the diamond. I just love it - it also has a 4 year warranty, and it is a good thing, because I had to send it back this year and have a new motor put in I got it the end of 2005. It works great, but I am in PA so really only use it for about 3 1/2 months a year. It really does a fantastic job of cleaning, I never have to vacuum :-
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
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    Location
    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by laff66
    does the blue diamond or blue pearl have a timer, or do you just have to take it in and out when you want to use it? I guess I could add an external timer at the outlet??
    Also, how much do the filter bags hold in comparison to, say, a skimmer basket?
    Putting it on a timer wouldn't do you any good. You still have to turn it on at the power source.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Both the Diamond and the new model of the Pearl have automatic shut off's at 1hr and 3hr respectively
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

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