The Zodiac Company of Vista, California, may sound like it has its head in the stars, but its area of manufacturing expertise, pools and spas, is far more earthbound. Still, their automated pool cleaner division runs with the astronomical metaphor. No, it's not called Pisces (though that would seem appropriate), but Polaris, after the northern star that has guided sailors since time immemorial across bodies of water much too large to fit in your yard.
According to Zodiac, the Polaris 9300xi robotic pool cleaner uses Vortex Vacuum Technology to suck up four times what competing pool-cleaning robots can handle. It can use its non-pleated scrubbing brush to polish tiles and can clean the floor, walls and even the tile line of your pool. It can handle pools up to 60 feet long and can be controlled via remote. Or, if you'd rather it follow its internal compass across the oceanic depths of your pool, it can just be set to a pre-programmed mode that will last for between 1.5 to 2.5 hours. All of which may explain why it's slightly pricier than a lot of its competitors. The "premium quality transport/storage caddy constructed of heavy gauge powder coated alloy" might also have something to do with the price, but if you've been looking for a premium quality transport/storage caddy, here it is.
If you're not quite looking for that degree of quality or for a device that can clean a 60-foot pool, you can downscale your expectations with some of Zodiac's other products, like the budget-friendly Polaris 9100. Or you can look at the Mirra 530 from the automated vacuum cleaner wizards at iRobot.
My pool has a deep end. I drop the robot into the shallow end and she heads to the deep end every time. I have to use the remote to keep it in the shallow end.
The smallest amount of dirt or sand is picked up by this cleaner. The only thing I can say that is bad - the cord does get tangled but i guess that was expected, no big deal.
It climbs my walls and does a great job on the tile line. It does get most areas, though there are usually a few small spots that it misses.
We took good care of the cleaner never left the filter inside and wiped it out after using. This is an item you do not use every day and in the winter used very rarely.