Dolphin Proteus DX3 vs. Nautilus CC: Perfect Beginner Pool Cleaner

DOLPHIN Proteus DX3This Dolphin Proteus DX3 vs. Nautilus CC comparison is for anyone looking for an easy and relatively inexpensive way to clean small above-ground pools.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The main differences between Dolphin Proteus DX3 vs. Nautilus CC
  • What factors to consider when buying a robot pool cleaner
If you barely have the time to deal with pool maintenance, you will find a robotic pool cleaner a godsend!

Dolphin Proteus DX3

The Dolphin Proteus DX3 is a rather old model but it remains one of the most popular units. Consumers like this robot because it is relatively affordable and it delivers a solid job of cleaning pool floors.

You may, however, need another cycle to get desired results. A single session may not be enough and the lack of wall/waterline cleaning leaves for more manual labor. If you are willing to put up with that, then this model is for you!

If you carefully consider its price and capabilities compared to the newer models, it lacks a ton of features you will want.

Pros
  • the price makes it a unit to consider for first-time buyers
  • has a weekly scheduler
Cons
  • no wall climbing and waterline cleaning
  • uses a single media filter

Dolphin Nautilus CC

The Dolphin Nautilus CC does not deviate much from the Proteus DX3.

This model boasts of Clever Clean Technology and a few other upgrades, but it is still having a hard time with walls.

The robot struggles to rise on steep, extended vertical surfaces.

Regardless, you can still expect this amazing robot to take much of the hassle out of keeping your pool water crystal clear.

Pros
  • has a weekly scheduler
  • has better grip against surfaces
  • may sometimes tackle dirt along the waterline of short pools
Cons
  • uses a single media filter
  • you still have to go outside to start a cycle

Comparison Table

DOLPHIN Proteus DX3 Automatic...
DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Automatic...
Pool Size
33 feet
33 feet
Cable Length
50 feet
50 feet
Anti-Tangle Cable
Suction Rate
4000 GPH
4000 GPH
Scrubbing Brushes
1 Hyperbrush
1 Hyperbrush
Filter Type
Single-click Basket
Single-click Basket
Waterline Cleaning
Coverage
Floor
Floor, the lower portion of walls
Cleaning Time
2 hours
2 hours
Cleaning Frequency
Weekly Scheduler
Weekly Scheduler
Product Dimensions
22 x 22 x 18
16 x 17 x 9 inches
Robot Weight
14 pounds
14 pounds
DOLPHIN Proteus DX3 Automatic...
Pool Size
33 feet
Cable Length
50 feet
Anti-Tangle Cable
Suction Rate
4000 GPH
Scrubbing Brushes
1 Hyperbrush
Filter Type
Single-click Basket
Waterline Cleaning
Coverage
Floor
Cleaning Time
2 hours
Cleaning Frequency
Weekly Scheduler
Product Dimensions
22 x 22 x 18
Robot Weight
14 pounds
DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Automatic...
Pool Size
33 feet
Cable Length
50 feet
Anti-Tangle Cable
Suction Rate
4000 GPH
Scrubbing Brushes
1 Hyperbrush
Filter Type
Single-click Basket
Waterline Cleaning
Coverage
Floor, the lower portion of walls
Cleaning Time
2 hours
Cleaning Frequency
Weekly Scheduler
Product Dimensions
16 x 17 x 9 inches
Robot Weight
14 pounds

Last update on 2021-12-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Main Differences

  • The Proteus DX3 is larger than the Nautilus CC, although both nearly weigh the same.
  • The Nautilus CC has better traction than the Proteus DX3, thereby this model can scale walls to a limited extent.
  • The Nautilus CC boasts of Clever Clean Technology, a navigation software that the Proteus DX3 lacks
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Design and Dimensions

Dolphin Proteus DX3

Dolphin Proteus DX3 Design
The Proteus DX3 highlights Dolphin’s signature aesthetics.

Equipped with tracks instead of wheels, it looks like a tiny military tank. The tracks provide better underwater movement as opposed to wheels.

At 14 pounds, this robot weighs as light as Pug. You can pick the robot by the handle.

This model is fitted with a 50-foot rubberized power cable that supports movement in in-ground pools of up to 33 feet in length.

attention

However, the cable does not have an anti-tangle swivel feature.

Dolphin Nautilus CC

Dolphin Nautilus CC Design
The Nautilus CC also highlights the signature design of Dolphin.

Dolphin, however, claims that this model has better traction than older models, such as the Proteus DX3 and there is some truth to it, as well. The Nautilus CC does have the ability to clean the lower portion of the pool walls as they can cling longer to the surface.

In addition, the Nautilus CC comes with a rubberized swivel cord that can rotate 360 degrees to prevent internal wires from breaking. Dolphin says the 50-foot power cable works for pools up to 33 feet but it may be short depending on where you are plugging in your power supply.

Lastly, this model weighs 14 pounds. You can pick the robot by the handle.

verdict

Design-wise, the difference between the Proteus DX3 and Nautilus CC are minimal, but the latter has the edge due to its better traction.

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Dolphin Proteus DX3

Dolphin Proteus DX3 Navigation
The Dolphin Proteus DX3 is a plug-and-play robotic pool cleaner with a simple on/off switch and a weekly timer. The power supply is straightforward.

I’ve read from one source claiming that this robot boasts of Clever Clean Technology but the truth is, it is an entry-level model and does not offer such.

important

While the robot may manage to clean a decent-sized pool, it does so using a random route.

Dolphin Nautilus CC

Dolphin Nautilus CC Navigation
The Dolphin Nautilus CC is also a plug-and-play model.

While the Nautilus CC has a standard two-hour cycle, you can program the robot to run daily or two to three times a week.

A more advanced model, the Nautilus CC features Clever Clean Technology. This software aims to help the robot avoid obstacles, such as stairs and drains.

Unfortunately, the robot’s route was not especially intuitive based on actual tests. While the software is meant to determine the robot’s most efficient route, it lingered in the deeper end of the pool longer than what was needed.

verdict

Thanks to Clever Clean Technology, Nautilus CC easily wins in terms of navigation and control. Wall coverage is mediocre, but the floor coverage is still excellent.

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Suction Rate and Cleaning Performance

Dolphin Proteus DX3

Dolphin Proteus DX3 Suction Rate

The Dolphin Proteus DX3 cycles approximately 4000 gallons of water per hour. This tremendous water flow rating is more than enough to pick large debris commonly found in small pools with its limited cleaning cycle of two hours.

If you wish the robot to repeat a cycle, you can always do so with a press of a button. But yes, you have to go outside to start the robot when you want it to perform another round.

This model uses the Hyperbrush, which does a fantastic job of agitating slime and dirt embedded among the crevices and feeding them into the filtration system.

important

Unfortunately, the Proteus DX3 still leaves for more manual scrubbing because it does not tackle dirt on walls, let alone the waterline.

Dolphin Nautilus CC

Coleman SaluSpa Portable

The Dolphin Nautilus CC also uses the Hyperbrush, which actively spins at twice the speed of the unit itself. Similar to the Proteus DX3, it cycles approximately 4000 gallons of water.

Moreover, the Nautilus CC comes with Hypergrip tracks and these are more effective than the standard tracks. As the robot climbs, the Hyperbrush scrubs and feeds dirt and debris into the filtration system.

Thanks to the tracks, the robot does a good job at attaching itself to the surface so that it doesn’t easily lose traction.

important

Unfortunately, this model does not clean full walls and it seldom reaches the waterline where the gunk mostly lies. Without the waterline cleaning capabilities, you are still left to clean up after the Nautilus CC.

verdict

The Proteus DX3 is designed to clean both the pool floor and the lower parts of the walls.

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Filtration

Filtration

Dolphin Proteus DX3

The filtration system for Dolphin Proteus DX3 is a top-loading basket, which provides ample space for storing various types of debris.

But with one filter media choice, you are limited in your cleanings. You can buy an ultra-fine filter basket but that would cost you extra.

On the bright side, this upgrade will give you a deeper clean as it catches finer particles.

Dolphin Nautilus CC

The Dolphin Nautilus CC has a top-loading filter basket complete with an oversize leaf bag and a standard cartridge.

The filter basket is spacious enough and it does a good job at catching twigs, leaves, grass clippings, and whatnot. But with just a single filter choice, you are limited in your cleanings.

Dolphin offers an ultra-fine basket for a price that will provide a deeper clean as it catches finer particles, such as algae and sand. However, the fact that it is an extra purchase is rather disappointing.

verdict

It’s a draw; both the Proteus DX3 and Nautilus CC use the same filtration system. Dolphin urges its consumers to purchase the ultra-fine cartridge, especially when algae, dander, pet hair, and sand are always a concern.

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How to Choose the Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

The following are the basic features you need to consider when buying a robotic cleaner for an in-ground pool.

Anti-Tangle Cabling
Anti-Tangle Cabling

The most restraining factor on a robotic pool cleaner is the length and durability of its power cord.The shorter the cord, the smaller the coverage. Then again, length is not everything.

A power cable that lacks an anti-tangle swivel feature is prone to tangling and when it does, it hinders the robot’s mobility. The robot will fail to reach the full width of the pool.
When this happens, you will have to stretch the cord out and manually untangle it. Worst-case scenario, the internal wires break.

So when purchasing a robot pool cleaner, you also want the power cable to have the appropriate length and an anti-tangle feature of any kind.

Since you will have to pull the cleaner by its cord after each cycle, the internal wires must be enclosed with heavy-duty rubber that can withstand countless tugging.

verdict

Although not 100% anti-tangle, the power cord fitted for the Nautilus CC comes with a swivel feature so that it is a lot easier to untangle the wires when needed.

Brush and Filter
The brush and filter are some of the most important keys to achieving a great clean. You need an effective brush to lift stubborn dirt and a large-capacity filter that can store all kinds of gunk. A bonus point if the filter basket is a cinch to access and unload.
Pricier models tend to come with multiple filters that you can switch out to change what they collect. Apart from the standard “large debris” filter that will pick up items like leaves, some filters will be fine enough to pick out algae or even catch mold spores and bacteria.

verdict

The Proteus DX3 and Nautilus CC use the same brush and filter basket.

Cleaning Cycle and Programmable Timer
More advanced robots have several options ranging from a quick one-hour session to a longer two-hour cleaning cycle.

Fast cleanings are ideal for daily maintenance, while extended modes are more suitable for deeper in-between cleanings.

But the more cleaning cycles a pool cleaner has, it is guaranteed that it will carry a heftier price tag.

verdict

Both models have a limited two-hour cleaning cycle.

Motor
Robotic pool cleaners have one thing in common: they have two motors. One motor is used to suck in water through a filter bag and expel the filtered, cleaner water back into the pool and the second is to move the cleaner around your pool on tractor-like rubber scrubbing tracks.

verdict

Both models cycle approximately 4000 gallons of water per hour.

Navigation
Smart navigation is crucial for big pools, especially when there are many obstacles.
With this feature, your robot can clean more efficiently in a shorter amount of time.

verdict

The Nautilus CC boasts of Clever Clean Technology.

Smartphone Integration
Wi-Fi compatibility has also become a thing not just in the best Roombas, but also in pool cleaners.

Obviously, the biggest advantage to having smartphone integration is that you can control your robot anywhere you are and at the same time, you can monitor its progress or get notified if something went wrong.

Then again, this feature does not affect the cleaning results of the robot. On the other hand, it does provide convenience to the owner.

verdict

The Proteus DX3 and Nautilus CC are two of Dolphin’s more basic models and lack smartphone integration. These units do, however, have the convenience of a programmable weekly scheduler.

Wall Climbing and Waterline Cleaning
The lack of wall climbing is a big issue because the walls of your pool are difficult to clean and it is where a lot of debris settles.
However, wall climbing and waterline cleaning are something that you can find on pricier units. If you can stretch your budget a bit more, I would recommend that you invest a little more to get this feature.

Without waterline cleaning, you will be forced to scrub away the filthiest parts of your pool. Don’t you think this defeats the purpose of purchasing a robotic pool cleaner?

verdict

You could not expect to see waterline cleaning around the price of the Nautilus CC and the Proteus DX3. However, the Nautilus CC can somewhat climb walls.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long can you leave a robotic pool cleaner in the pool?

faq
It is best to take your Dolphin out after each use so that you can empty and rinse the filters.

If you are to program your robot to clean a few times each week, you may keep it submerged in the pool water but you need to make sure the filter is cleaned.

Why is my Dolphin pool cleaner not moving?

If your robot stops anywhere from a few feet, there could be a power cable error or an obstruction.

How long is the warranty on a Dolphin?

Dolphin Pool cleaners are backed with a three-year warranty.
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Conclusion

Will you finally take the bullet and buy any of these incredible machines? If you are still confused about which unit to get, I recommend the Nautilus CC because it offers greater efficiency.

The Nautilus CC may still miss a large portion of the pool walls, but this is not a defect. Besides, this product has not been advertised to clean up the waterline.

Regardless, it is an incredible “starter” pool cleaner that provides easy cartridge access and an anti-tangle swivel cable.

Hi! I'm Markus Robertson, and water is my passion. Five years ago, I graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles and was going to become a professional marine biologist. However, my fate had other plans for me, and due to family problems, I had to find a more stable and well-paid job. I had only one wish for my job to be connected with water. During this period of my life, I worked as a sales manager at Olympic Pool & Spa Supplies. The job helped me learn everything about swimming pools and related pool equipment, as well as how to choose the best option and what to pay attention to. Having worked there for three years, I decided to start my own blog about pools, where I can tell people about the best new pool equipment models and share my knowledge and experience. A marine biologist by education, I became a pool blogger by trade. Now I'm glad I can help the guests of my store and the visitors of my blog know a lot of exciting things about pools, their types, best pumps and filters, necessary equipment maintenance, and so on. I welcome all people who want to choose a proper basin and the stuff to my blog! Hope you'll find this information interesting and useful!

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