Swimming pools are a worldwide popular relaxing tool for the whole family. However, an outdoor swimming pool is expensive in your backyard as it requires regular maintenance. Each swimming season starts with chemical treatment, removing leaves and large debris, and cleaning walls and floors. You may think that this is enough and till autumn, you may swim there, but you need to maintain a determined chemical composition to prevent organics from growing and to kill harmful bacteria; moreover, you need to clean the floor, walls, and waterline from fine and ultra-fine debris every week. In addition to that, you need to have a pool pump with a skimmer and a filter for constant water circulation for at least half a day. Only by fulfilling all these requirements can you be sure that you and your kids are safe.
To reduce the time for pool cleaning, robotic pool cleaners were invented. This type of automatic pool cleaner is an upgraded version of suction side and pressure side cleaners that work from pool equipment. Robotic pool cleaners have many advantages compared to other automatic models; we will in detail compare two bestsellers – Polaris Freedom vs. Dolphin Liberty – in this article. These two pool cleaners are for those tired from cables but still want a clean swimming pool.
Polaris Freedom vs. Dolphin Liberty – Comparison Table
The main differences between models
Even though two different Companies manufacture these two robots, they have similar appearance and features. Nevertheless, some differences make these models unique:
- Polaris Freedom is designed for large in-ground pools up to 50 ft, while Liberty 200 cleans only medium and small pools up to 33 ft, but manages in-ground and above-ground pools.
- Polaris Freedom is equipped with two Helix brushes, and Liberty 200 has only one active brush.
- Liberty 200 cleans walls and floor, while Freedom can effectively clean the waterline – the dirtiest place in your swimming pool.
- Although Polaris has four cleaning cycles, Dolphin is limited to one cleaning cycle.
- You can control both robots from the buttons on the back side, but only Polaris can be connected to a smartphone app to give access to more features.
- Polaris provides users a five-year limited warranty; unfortunately, Maytronics gives only two.
As you see, some key features are different when compared to Polaris Freedom vs. Dolphin Liberty. For more information about the capabilities of these models and their pros and cons, see the following sections.
Detailed product review
Polaris has been making pools better for more than 50 years. Their innovative pool cleaners have become the leaders in the industry as they can scrub the walls with a waterline, be controlled by a smartphone app or voice programs, adjust to the different water depths, and much more. Every year their cleaners become more convenient and effective. Polaris Freedom is one of the most innovative robots designed to show the best performance in the summer heat.
Polaris Freedom is a premium cordless robotic pool cleaner for all in-ground pools up to 50 ft. It has Intelligent Cleaning Technology to clean floor, walls and waterline. Its track wheels from two sides ensure climbing on all pool surfaces. The package includes an intuitive charging station for direct contact charging. The charging station should be connected to the GFI outlet. It is essential to check that Freedom is dry before placing it for charging. The charging time is about four hours; during this time, a green indicator will blink on the station, showing that the process is in progress.
Two grey plastic scrubbing brushes are on the front, designed to clean the floor, walls, and waterline. On the bottom, you can see a large debris opening, to which double helix brushes direct the dirt and debris. With cyclonic vacuum technology, it collects all dirt and debris without losing suction. This robotic pool cleaner has an easy-to-reach debris canister on the top. It has a transparent plastic lead to check quickly if the 4L filter is full or not.
In addition to a quick start-up guide and user manual, the blue plastic hook is included. Typically, to take a robot from the water you had to gently pull the cable, but as this model is cordless, you have to use the hook when the Freedom waits for you on the wall. At the end of the cleaning cycle, the robot comes to the waterline and waits for 30 seconds until you take it out, then it goes back in the water and repeats the same on another wall. If within 10 minutes you do not take it out, it will stop at the bottom, and you need to use an extension pole with the hook to reach it.
On the back of the robot, there are several indicators – battery, WI-FI, and modes. The cleaner is designed to operate for about 2.5 hours until the battery is empty. That is why there are three preset modes that you can change with the slide on the back – floor (1.5 hours), floor and walls (2.5 hours), waterline (45 minutes), and a preset smart cleaning mode – floor, water and waterline (2.5 hours). The robot is equipped with sensors and will not start working if it is not in the water.
Unfortunately, Wi-Fi does not work underwater, so you can’t control the robot during cleaning. All commands you should set before putting it in the water. You can check the countdown of your cleaning procedure during cleaning, which is essential, as it is not allowed to swim while your robot is in the water.
- Battery indicator on the robot
- Several cleaning modes
- Double Helix brushes
- Quick water release
- Two retrieval methods
- Large filter canister with transparent lid
- Extended working time – 2.5 hours
- Long-lasting 9.6 Ah Li-ion battery
- Outdoor storing and charging station
- Notifications about robot status in the app
- Can’t control the robot from the app while it is in the water
- Smart mode activation only from the iAquaLink app
- No scheduling
- No dirty canister indicator
Meanwhile, the competitor in this review, Maytronics (Dolphin brand owner), has produced leading swimming pool tools for 40 years. Maytronics produces Dolphin automatic and robotic pool cleaners for every budget and each swimming pool size. The brand is internationally recognized, and cleaners are sold in 42 countries. New lightweight models regularly appeared using the latest technologies, including the cordless Dolphin Liberty 200.
Dolphin Liberty is a new generation in swimming pool cleaning – intensive and without cords. It has high suction power for cordless cleaners – 4000 GPH for effective cleaning of walls and floor. It is designed for small and medium in-ground and above-ground pools with a size not exceeding 33 ft. It cleans perfectly fiberglass, gunite, concrete, or other types of pool. The Liberty has track wheels on both sides that help it climb walls in the swimming pool. In comparison, the corded models (Dolphin Premier and Nautilus CC Supreme) have slightly higher suction power – 4500 GPH. The default cycle for such cleaning is 1.5 hours; unfortunately, the robot can’t clean the waterline. It doesn’t fear falling from the stairs as it is equipped with a gyroscope. Liberty has smart navigation for effective cleaning as any other Dolphin robot.
Dolphin Liberty has one active rubber brush in front to scrub debris, dirt, and algae from the pool surfaces. It has a large debris opening at the robot’s bottom. All collected debris is going in a filter basket with top access. The lid is also transparent, as in Polaris Freedom, to check if the basket requires cleaning with tap water. This basket captures all debris sizes except ultra-fine (up to 70 microns); you can’t clean cloudy water. But you can purchase separately ultra-fine dolphin panels. As with any other filters, you need to remove and clean the filter with a hose; every month, it is recommended to dismantle panels from the basket and clean them separately.
As the battery is capable of handling only one cleaning cycle in 90 minutes, you need to pull out the robot daily. For that, in the package is included the hook for easy removal (the same way as with Freedom). You can remove the robot while it is waiting (parking) for 60 seconds on the wall or using a hook and standard pole (not included) from the bottom. After removing it, you need to clean the filter basket and connect the robot to the electricity for charging. The inductive charger connection is located on the back; it is an easy magnetic connection. The whole charging process requires 6 hours. The battery is not removable.
On the back, there is a power button, settings, status, and battery indicators. Three LED battery indicators provide a detailed status of battery life. If you have a red indicator above the power button, your robot gives you an error message or a temperature warning.
The robot can’t be used at temperatures lower than 43 F and above 95 F. For winter storage at the temperature of 14-104 F, the robot should be charged at least 50% (2 green indicators).
- Works in above and in-ground pools
- Three LED battery indicators
- Track wheels for easy climbing
- Quick water release
- Magnetic charging
- Two retrieval methods
- Top-access filter basket
- Large debris opening on the bottom
- High suction power – 4000 GPH
- Does not clean waterline
- Only one default cleaning cycle
- Long charging time (6 hours)
- No control through a smartphone app
- Short warranty
Robotic pool cleaners give their owners hours of free time without manual scrubbing and governance under the cleaning process. The detailed review of Polaris Freedom and Dolphin Liberty has shown their effectiveness. However, such devices are costly; understanding their advantages and comparing them with other pool cleaners, which are mainly cheaper, is essential.
To give you a clear view of pool cleaners, please find our short review of the available models:
- Manual brushes are recommended for small pools and spas with a filtration system capable of removing all debris. Brushes are suitable for deep cleaning and can be an addition to all other cleaners that miss some spots at the waterline or can’t clean it.
- Handheld manual pool vacuums are systems with suction or bristle heads and a filter. They require an operator for guidance; with its long pole, you can reach all pool parts.
- Automatic suction side cleaners require a flexible hose connection to the filtration pump. It works automatically while the pump collects debris around the pool; such models do not have a built-in filter.
- Automatic pressure side cleaners require a connection to the booster pump and have their own filter bag. These cleaners are outstanding in collecting large debris and leaves, and they are more powerful than the suction side and can climb the walls.
- Robotic pool cleaners work independently; some are corded, and others are not. Some models are powerful enough to clean walls, floor, and waterline. All collected debris goes to its filter. They have delay and program features.
Such a short comparison shows that robotic pool cleaners are the most autonomous vacuums, but their initial cost is much higher than other models. Instead, you receive the possibility to control the process via a smartphone app or remote control and set different cleaning cycles and modes. You can choose budget models without waterline cleaning or choose the more powerful ones with a choice of filters for different debris sizes.
Going back to our comparison of Polaris Freedom vs. Dolphin Liberty, these robots are good examples of autonomous self-time cleaners that move without tangling hoses and cords. Let’s examine their differences and similarities face-to-face to see their pros and cons.
Dolphin Liberty 200 is a compact cordless pool cleaner (22.2×17.6×12.6 inches) with a black and cyan body. In front, there is one rubber active brush; on the back, there are control buttons. It also has two trucks fixed on one large and one small wheel each. This robot is lightweight (25 pounds) and essential for the cleaner to take in and out of the swimming pool.
Dolphin Liberty 200 is more compact and lighter, which is essential for regular pool cleaner maintenance. The only advantage of Polaris Freedom is two front brushes, instead of Dolphin’s one, but as they are the same size as one of the Dolphin Liberty, such an aspect does not influence the overall functionality. Dolphin Liberty is the winner in this part of the comparison.
Dolphin Liberty 200 is designed for in-ground and above-ground pools. This pool could be small and middle-sized, with depths from 1.33 ft to 8.2 ft—no limitations on the pool’s size and shape.
Polaris Freedom is more flexible regarding the size of the swimming pool; it can be used in small, medium, and large swimming pools. There are no differences in requirements on shape and material, truck wheels can climb all walls.
Dolphin’s filtration system is presented with a filter basket and a large opening on the bottom. Filter basket consists of fine cartridges that can catch debris up to 70 micrometers.
There are no differences between the filtration systems of two robots. Both filters have top access for convenient cleaning after each cleaning cycle. Unfortunately, both do not have full filter indicators.
Dolphin Liberty 200 can clean walls and floor. It has only one default cycle for 1.5 hours.
Polaris Freedom has more cleaning options; it also cleans the waterline. So, it is the winner in this part of the comparison.
Dolphin Liberty 200 has a 5 Ah Li-ion battery for 1.5 hours of pool cleaning. The battery is charged from a cable with a magnetic connection. The complete charging process takes 6 hours.
Polaris Freedom has a battery with a large capacity for more effective cleaning of all surfaces and charges less. Its outdoor charging station is convenient to use – place on the go. Polaris is again the winner.
The Liberty 200 is controlled only with one button on the back of the robot – start. The battery status is available with three LED indicators; any other errors are notified with a red LED indicator above the start button.
Polaris Freedom is more flexible in control; you may use buttons and a smartphone. Here, Freedom is the winner.
A detailed face-to-face comparison of Polaris Freedom vs. Dolphin Liberty has shown that Polaris Freedom is the winner in many positions, such as battery, control, cleaning performance, and swimming pool size. But if you have a small or medium pool that does not require waterline cleaning, you may consider Dolphin Liberty.
How to choose the best cordless pool robotic vacuum cleaner?
Our final suggestions for choosing between Polaris Freedom and Dolphin Liberty (as any other cordless robotic cleaners) are based on the general questions to be answered to choose the best robotic pool cleaner. We start from the more to less essential points that also help to choose the suitable model for you, as all robots have different parameters.
- Check your pool size, shape, and material. As cordless robotic pool cleaners require significant time for charging, some robots can’t clean the whole pool in one cycle. Some robots are not powerful enough to clean stairs and pools with angled floors.
- Check your debris size and the location of the most dirt. Depending on your average debris size, you must choose the filter type. If possible, choose filters with top access, as you need to turn the robot for cleaning. Also, not all robots can clean walls and waterlines.
- Required control method and automation level. Cordless robotic cleaners can’t be programmed for weekly cleaning as the battery should be charged almost after each cleaning. So, a remote control or smartphone app is suitable only for remote start and progress checking.
- Quantity and duration of cleaning cycle. If your pool can be dirty differently during the week or you need a choice between short and long cycles, you need to choose a model with several cleaning modes.
Please follow these small instructions in the listing order, to choose the most appropriate model for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why my Dolphin Liberty 200 can’t clean for 1.5 hours?
How often should I run my cordless robotic cleaner?
What does the orange LED indicator mean on my Polaris Freedom?
How should Polaris Freedom be stored in winter?
Our detailed article has shown that in comparison, Polaris Freedom vs. Dolphin Liberty won Polaris Freedom, as it can clean larger swimming pools. This robot cleans walls, floor, and waterline in four cycles and can be controlled from a smartphone app or the product. But Polaris Freedom is significantly more expensive than Dolphin Liberty 200. So, if you have a small or middle-sized pool and can manually clean the waterline, keep an eye on Liberty 200. It has a powerful 4000 GPH suction and a large filter basket for different sizes of debris. Finally, these two models have many pros, but if you want to save money, the same corded models will be significantly cheaper.
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!