Dolphin S200 vs M400

mayberry32

Silver Supporter
Jun 24, 2019
87
Watkinsville, GA
Building a new pool and trying to pick the best robot cleaner for my usage. Pool is 20x40, rectangle shaped. Vinyl Lined inground with an 8' deep end. I've looked at the S200 and it gets great reviews, both here and elsewhere. Is it a good fit for a pool as large as mine, or should I go with the M400? Which will do the best job, and which has the best filter system, as far as cleanability and ease of cleaning the filter out?
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
5,240
Central MD
My Active 20/S200 cleans our 18 x 38 pool fine. I do occasionally need to run it twice as the longest setting is 2 hours. And there is no floor only setting so that time is used a bit on walls/tile. M400 will never get stuck on a main drain. An S200 could get stuck, get slowed down or be fine, impossible to say. Unless you have the flat linear main drain or no main drain. I really like the filtration of the S series with the big basket and dual filtration. You need to ask Marina for the no-charge filter swap to get the mesh liner and cartridge filters instead of two types of snap in cartridges.

I don’t have insight into the M400 style basket.
 

mayberry32

Silver Supporter
Jun 24, 2019
87
Watkinsville, GA
After a few more days of looking at specs and reading threads here, I'm still stuck. I don't need the caddy, as my pool is going in 60 ft behind my house and I don't want to roll it into my basement every day. So, It'll be stored in a deck box beside the pool. How often do those who have the option use the smartphone controls to go over certain parts of the pool? That seems to be the only real benefit of the more expensive units (s300, s300i, m400), from what I can tell. Otherwise, they all seem to clean the same. Should I spring for the remote controls, or should I just get a pole vacuum to plug into the skimmer to go over small areas for fast cleanup, if I have people coming over to get in the pool?
 

BSmitty

Active member
May 4, 2014
33
Antioch, Ca
Regarding the M400, I owned the Oasis z5 for 5 years, which is essentially the same unit as the M400. I really couldn't fault the Oasis is any way regarding its operation in the pool. I do think the thicker cable and swivel design of my old machine was less susceptible to twisting than my new machine. However, I find my new Active 20/s200 to be FAR easier to deal with regarding cleaning the filters. The new basket design is a home run as far as I'm concerned. I can't swear to you that it cleans the pool every bit as well as my old machine did, but for almost half the price, with a much easier filter design....it's a winner in my book. My pool, like yours, is a fair distance from the house, so the supplied caddy from my Oasis z5 purchase ended up being mostly useless to me. If you don't need the caddy, I'd definitely recommend the s200 to you. The only other one I'd look at, if price is no big deal, is the new M600. It sports the new basket filter design, and appears to have all the advantages of the upper end machines of the past, (M400/M500..etc..etc). In fact, I would say that if you're thinking seriously about the M400, go ahead and spend the little bit extra cash and get the M600. Regarding the bluetooth features, my personal opinion is that I wouldn't pay extra for them. My $.02
 

mayberry32

Silver Supporter
Jun 24, 2019
87
Watkinsville, GA
That helps. Thanks. It’s just hard going into this blindly, never having had my own pool before. I don’t know what areas are a waste of money and which are worth spending the money on. I just know it’s a lot easier and cheaper to do it now than trying to correct my mistakes later, so this website has been a godsend. Thanks for your input.
 

BSmitty

Active member
May 4, 2014
33
Antioch, Ca
Having gone through the gamut of pool cleaners....suction side, pressure side, and now finally robotic, I far prefer my current choice. Having to run the pump every time I wanted to vacuum the pool was no fun for me at California electricity costs. While the robots hit you in the wallet initially, they are far cheaper to operate once you have them. Plus they simply do a much more finite job of cleaning your pool without you having to physically vacuum the pool.

Pretty much any Dolphin from their somewhat exhaustive catalog of machines, is going to do a great job for you. Moving up the line for the most part gain you bells and whistles types of improvements. Short cycles, longer cycles, quick spot cleaning via remote control, bluetooth, WiFi...on and on. Your pool will still look great no matter which monetary road you go down.