Polaris 9350 vs. 9450 vs. 9550 vs. 9650iQ Robotic Pool Cleaners

In general, the Polaris brand has been a dominating brand and well known for producing equipment that would clean pools properly, but while it is more known for suction-type cleaners (Polaris 280, 360, 380 and 3900 Sport) it has also become well-known as an excellent pool cleaner manufacturer!

Polaris F9350 vs F9550
Polaris F9350 Sport

Polaris also manufactures a range other exciting types of cleaners besides the suction type as we will discuss (Polaris 9350/ 9450/9550/9650iQ). If you have previously bought a Zodiac – it was a good choice but deciding on one single model could be quite daunting!

We will be reviewing the range of Polaris robotic pool cleaners which are on the market. We are sure this would be of some assistance to you when deciding which model to buy. We will provide an overview of all of these models before doing a comparison to address the features of each model.

Polaris Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Our Pick No. 1
Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic...
Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic...
IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Polaris 9350 Sport

If you are shopping in the budget range of cleaners, it would be safe to have a look at the Polaris 9350. It was designed with Vortex vacuum technology which makes it more powerful than the Polaris 8050 and 7240 using Cyclonic vacuuming technology.

Polaris F9350 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner
Polaris F9350 Sport

The Polaris 9350 comes equipped with a 2WD system and a pleated brush that makes it suitable to clean the floor and sides of the pool.

This cleaner is the actually the best investment you can make in this range and was produced with the the normal features one would expect from this type of robotic cleaners, which includes the following:

  • Simplified removal system
  • A good quality and durable carrying/storage holder
  • ActivMotion technology
Polaris 9350 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9350 Sport 2WD provides premium cleaning performance and features. Complete cleaning...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 50 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris 9450

If you require convenience of programming and scheduling, the Polaris 9450 would be first choice as it has a 7-day programming facility. It also features 4WD capability where the other models do not.

Polaris F9450 vs F3450
Polaris F9450 Sport

The cable is similar to the Polaris 9350 but has a tangle-reducing swivel which is very unique. The main differences between the Polaris 9350 and 9450 would be the three points as mentioned above.

If it is not important to have a remote control, an indication if the canister is dirty or clogged, the ability to clean up to the waterline facility some extra length in the supplied cable of cable that would mean a would make it bit more expensive, then you can’t go wrong with this unit.

Polaris 9450 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9450 Sport 4WD provides best-in-class cleaning performance and features. Complete...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 50 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris 9550 Sport

The 9550 Sport was manufactured with a different type of brush system (solid blade) and comes equipped with a cable with some extra reach. This model is also the first in the range that has the facility to indicate if the condition of the canister.

Polaris F9550 Sport
Polaris F9550 Sport

This unit is also equipped with a motion-sensing remote control to be used when you are close to the pool. The remote does not have the capability to connect to other devices and you need to be quite close to the pool for it to work effectively.

The most important feature is that the Polaris 9550 has the ability to clean right up to the waterline, which the Polaris 9450 is unable to do.

This unit is excellent value for money, is cheaper and has the remote control facility as well.

Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9550 Sport 4WD provides best-in-class performance and 5 cleaning modes.
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris 9650iq Sport

The latest- and most expensive unit would be the Polaris 9650iQ Sport. However, the price is justified if you consider the Wi-Fi capability for smart connectivity.

Polaris 9650IQ Robotic Pool Cleaner
Polaris 9650IQ Sport

If it is important to have remote control over the unit across great distances, this would be the one for you! Even if you just want to stand out from the crowd, this one would do it!

Although similar in other features, this feature would be the main difference between the Polaris 9550 and the 9650iQ.

If the remote operation feature is not important to you, you could make do with the Polaris 9550 because it is somewhat cheaper.

Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic...
  • INTELLIGENT POOL CLEANER: Wherever you are, whenever you want -- clean your pool easily with the iAquaLink...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.
  • MOBILE APP & WiFi: With a built-in WiFi connection that enables iAquaLink app control, the power to start or...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris 9350 vs 9450 vs 9550 vs 9650iq

While we explored the features of these models, there are also other important features that need mentioning. These other features are address below:

Cleaning orientation

Which area of the pool needs cleaning? Most of the pool cleaners will clean the floor and sides of the pool, but very few will be able to clean right up to the waterline. If your pool tends to develop stains on the sides, you would need a cleaner that would cover all the surfaces – floor, sides and also the waterline.

Polaris F945 Review
Polaris F9450 Sport

In this instance it would be a toss-up between the Polaris 9550 and 9650, as both would clean all the floor, sides and waterline and both would be comfortable with an area of up to 60 ft.

The Polaris 9450 and 9350 models can both clean an area of up to 50ft and both of them would clean the floor and sides of the pool. The drawback of both models is that they have shorter cables.

The most important of all cleaners would be that the cable is long enough to reach all areas of the pool, irrespective of the size of the pool. All of these models are suitable for all kinds of pools, whether it be concrete, vinyl, finite or fiberglass.

Notice

If you need a cleaner that is a good all-rounder, the Polaris 9550 and 9650 should be considered. They might be a little more expensive, but remember the feature we mentioned – a cleaner that would clean right up to the waterline!

Cleaning Performance

The cleaning performance of the Polaris range of cleaners should be the most important consideration when you are in the market for a pool cleaner. Still, performance varies a little between the available models.

Two factors come to mind when thinking of cleaning performance, and that would be a decent brush system and the vacuuming technology that goes along with it.

The whole range of Polaris robotic pool vacuums apart from the Polaris 8050 and 7240, use Vortex vacuuming technology. The mentioned two models actually use something different, called cyclonic vacuuming technology.

The patented Vortex technology Polaris uses actually delivers a lot more suction power and is up to four times as strong, compared to other products. Because of the wide suction opening, it is also man enough to collect debris of all sizes.

There is however a slight variation in the brush system as the two new Polaris units are manufactured with a solid blade brush system. This is a much better method of disturbing dirt and also scrubbing of stains that might appear, and the solid blade is much more durable.

Both the Polaris 9350 and 9450 still have the old traditional pleated brush. It is good enough but might find severe algae and waterline stains hard to deal with.

First-hand experience have proven solid blade brushes are the better option, and in this case it makes the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ stand out from the rest – clear winners in this category!

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner
Polaris F9550 Sport

Canister And Filter Features

As with all pool cleaners, regular maintenance is key. Summer months will be the time when these units work most and one must ensure that the canister is emptied regularly, so as not to decrease the efficiency of the unit.

The only two models that come with a Dirt Canister indicator are the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ. It is good to have a warning system to ensure the best performance from the units.

Most of the problems experienced with the Polaris 7240, 8050, 9350 and 9450 pool cleaners are dirty and full canisters! If you notice that the unit is not functioning properly, not sucking up dirt or not scaling the sides of the pool properly – check the canister and in most cases that would solve the problem.

All the Polaris robotic cleaner models are fitted with their Easy Clean Filter Canister. The design is very simple and mostly just needs a good rinse to clean. Accessing the canister and cleaning it is super easy as well.

The full bin indicator function clearly distinguishes the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ models, and in our opinion makes them the winners.

Navigation Technology

If you have used a robotic cleaner before, you would have noticed that the robotic cleaners have quite a different way of moving around the pool, and quite different to the way that suction pool cleaners do.

Robotic pool vacuums are fitted with an intuitive type of system that navigates them and that allows them to move around in the pool in a much more productive way, and as such ensures that the whole pool surface is covered.

The Polaris range of robotic pool cleaners are produced with technology called ActivMotion Sensor. From the name alone one could gather that the navigation system would have a motherboard and sensors to determine the units’ position in the pool and where the areas are that needs to be covered.

All the models in the Polaris range have this ActivMotion Sensor navigation technology which ensures that every inch of the pool is covered.

Polaris 9650IQ
Polaris 9650IQ Sport

Drive System

Some of the robotic cleaners available on the market have a different drive system to ensure their movement. Some have tracks and others are fitted with wheels.

The Polaris 8050 and 7240 have tracks to provide traction while the remaining units in the range make use of wheels. Although tracks have a better grip on the surface of the pool, it also means that they require more maintenance and replacement from time to time.

Wheels however have a totally different capability and can effectively roll across just about all of the dirt you would normally find in the pool, depending if it is 2WD or 4WD.

The only model that comes with 2WD is the Polaris 9350. It is not a bad unit and can effectively roll across most kinds of dirt you would find, but just sometimes experiences a bit of difficulty in doing so. Curved floors and on the sides of the pool provides a problem and it also then takes longer to clean the pool.

The Polaris 9450/9550/9650 models are fitted with 4WD system and does the cleaning a lot quicker.

Depending on the size of the budget, and if possible we would suggest looking seriously at the Polaris 9550 or the 9650iQ. Of course do not forget about the very nice mobile app capability!

Related Post: Dolphin vs. Polaris vs. Aquabot Robotic Pool Cleaners

Programming

Like most robotic appliances you would find, the Polaris range of robotic pool cleaners are also programmable. This would really allow you to plan and schedule proper cleaning sessions.

Polaris 9350 vs. 9450 vs. 9550 vs. 9650iQ
Polaris F9350 Sport

The pool cleaner would automatically then start the cleaning process once the scheduled time is reached, as programmed. Unfortunately this feature is not available on all of the models, as discussed.

If this is a feature that is important to you or that you would appreciate, there are three options available to you – the Polaris 9450, 9550 and 9650iQ. The typical programming cycle covers 7 days and would ensure a brilliant clean whole summer round!

Where the physical programming is done is also something to take note of, as you could have two options – the Polaris 9450 unfortunately only has the head unit capability for programming.

The two main contenders remaining would be the Polaris 9650iQ and 9550 as both of them have the mobile app and IR remote capabilities.

If you are looking for the best, you can’t go wrong with the Polaris 9650iQ as you would have much more control over the unit. It is easy to program the cleaning schedule and is also a very clever unit!

Remote Control

The latest pool cleaners have the option of being controlled via IR remotes or Smartphone apps, which is in keeping with the development of making units easier to control. The two main contenders and also the best on the market, would be the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ models.

Zodiac has developed the facility to control the cleaner by way of a remote control, and the Polaris 9550 is the first model in the range to have this feature. This is very handy as you can control the unit properly without having to physically be there, and an added feature is that you could steer the unit to where it needs to clean.

The Polaris 9650iQ has an entirely different approach because it can be controlled via IR remote and/or Wi-Fi connectivity, which is quite dandy. The unit can be monitored from just about anywhere you choose, using the iAquaLink Control mobile app.

The app has some quite unique features – the unit can be controlled by way of a virtual joystick, would give you notifications regarding cleaning sessions or when the cleaner lost contact. You have to use the app for control as the app will unfortunately not initiate contact by sending pop-ups.

The Polaris 9350, 9450, 8050 and 7240 do not have IR remote control functions and you would have to do this by using the head unit only. This would not present a problem to owners of small pools, but if you do have a larger pool it might be a bit cumbersome.

The older models of the Polaris range lose out on this battle and the ones to take note of would be the Polaris 9650iQ and 9550.

Polaris 9450 vs. 9550 vs. 9650iQ vs 9350
Polaris F9450 Sport

Our Verdict

For us the only choice would be the Polaris 9650iQ and the main reason would be the ease of use by using the mobile app capability. Understandably not everybody is so much into smart technology and smart appliances, but it is still very handy.

A concern for some would also be the security against hacking attacks, but there have been no reports of such incidents. The Polaris 9550 would suffice for some clients, but if you are looking upwards in the range the Polaris 9650iQ would be it!

Polaris 9350 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9350 Sport 2WD provides premium cleaning performance and features. Complete cleaning...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 50 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Easy Lift System

Normally robotic cleaners would be a bit bulky and heavy when filled with water and some clients would risk damaging their cleaners by pulling on the power chord in order to get the cleaner out of the pool – not a good idea!

The Zodiac Easy Lift System is a very nice development which makes it a lot easier to remove from the pool. Basically you just select the Easy Lift button, the cleaner would move to the side of the pool and then dump all the water from inside and that would make it super easy to take out of the pool!

All the models (except the Polaris 8050 and 7240) in the range are manufactured with this feature, absolutely marvellous!

There are distinct differences how this Easy Lift can be accessed. On the Polaris 9350 and 9450 this function can be accessed on the head unit only, the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ can be accessed via the IR remote, mobile app as well as the head unit.

The models equipped with the Easy Lift system are the Polaris 9350, 9450, 9550 and 9650iQ. In our opinion the choice would be between the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ as they have more choices on how this system can be accessed and used.

It would be your choice to buy a pool cleaner with Wi-Fi capabilities which would be the Polaris 9650iQ, or the normal IR remote type of access which would be the Polaris 9550 – your choice!

Polaris 9450 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9450 Sport 4WD provides best-in-class cleaning performance and features. Complete...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 50 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Cable Length And Tangling

The Polaris range of cleaners are manufactured with different lengths of cable, and there is also a difference in quality. In most cases the length of the cable should be sufficient to reach everywhere, providing the main power supply is not too far off.

Polaris F9550 Sport Review
Polaris F9550 Sport

One should always ensure that the length of the cable suits the length required for the size of pool you have.

These Polaris models all have decent length cables – the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ has a 70ft cable for the main power supply as well as a 60ft cable for the pool, the Polaris 9350 and 9450 has a 60ft power supply cable and a 50ft cable for the pool.

With any kind of electrical cable, tangling is always a problem!! These models all have tangle-free cables which is a blessing!

In this category the choice would be between the Polaris 9650iQ and 9550 versus the 9450 and 9350. As long as the particular model you choose has a sufficient length of cable, you should be OK. Longer power cords would of course always be the safer choice, just for that extra peace of mind.

The Polaris 9450/9550/9650 model power cables will not easily tangle, but if for some reason it happens it would be easy to solve the problem.

We found that the Polaris 9350 has a tangling problem under certain circumstances. If you have a large pool and use all of the supplied 50ft cable, it would sometimes create a problem. This model is actually more suited for smaller pools otherwise you could be forced to spend time untangling the cord now and again.

Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9550 Sport 4WD provides best-in-class performance and 5 cleaning modes.
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Clear Winner?

After all the information provided and the tests done, who would walk out the winner? As far we are concerned the choice would ultimately be between the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ as these two has some really good features.

Polaris 9650iQ vs 9350 vs. 9450 vs. 9550
Polaris 9650IQ Sport

The brush system works well and ensures that the surfaces are scrubbed properly and the dirt sucked up. Both of these models have a 4WD system making sure that it reaches every inch of the floor and sides of the pool. When looking at the cleaning performance of the Polaris 9650iQ Sport and 9550, it would actually be a draw are they perform equally well.

In the convenience category it is also hard to make a choice as one has the convenience of Wi-Fi compatibility whereas the other one has a IR remote control.

In the end it would depend how enthusiastic you are to embrace new technology like Wi-Fi connectivity, but if that is not a factor then the cheaper 9550 Sport would really work just as well, and would be a good buy!

Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic...
  • INTELLIGENT POOL CLEANER: Wherever you are, whenever you want -- clean your pool easily with the iAquaLink...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.
  • MOBILE APP & WiFi: With a built-in WiFi connection that enables iAquaLink app control, the power to start or...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Our Pick No. 1
Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic...
Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic...
IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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If you have any questions, please add them below in the comment section. Similarly, please let us know if you spot any mistakes.

Sources
SmartCleaningTips: Best Robotic Pool Cleaners
BestAdvisor Product Comparison: Polaris F9550 vs Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
ElectronicsHub 7 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners in 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide

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