Outstanding cleaning performance. Easy to use. No-mess filter cleaning.
No connectivity or mobile app. No remote control. No programming options.
- Bottom Line
Designed for in-ground pools of up to 36 feet, the Polaris 7240 Sport is a compact robotic pool cleaner that does an excellent job of keeping your pool looking its best, but it's short on features.
Zodiac Pool Systems knows robotic pool cleaners. Its Polaris line of robots has garnered two PCMag Editors' Choice awards for their excellent cleaning performance, ease of use, and numerous programming options. Its latest offering, the Polaris 7240 Sport ($1,200), is designed for smaller in-ground pools, and it too offers excellent cleaning performance and is a cinch to use. However, it doesn't offer any smart technology or programming options, nor does it come with a caddy like its higher-rated sibling, the Polaris 9650iQ Sport.
Design and Features
The 7240 Sport looks nothing like the 9650iQ Sport. For one thing, it's smaller: It measures 11.8 by 11.4 by 14.5 inches (HWD), weighs 12 pounds, and is designed for pools of up to 36 feet, while the 9650iQ measures 6.9 by 18.9 by 10.6 inches, weighs 21 pounds, and can handle pools of up to 60 feet in size. Additionally, the 7240 Sport uses two tractor-like treads to traverse the pool bottom and sides, while the 9650iQ Sport uses four-wheel drive.
The 7240 has a blue housing with a clear hatch on top that covers the filter canister. To remove the canister, simply flip up the handle and use it to lift the filter straight up and out. As with other Polaris cleaners we've reviewed, the filter is easy to clean using a hose, and your hands never have to come in contact with the debris like they do with the Aquabot Turbo T4RC. The front of the cleaner contains a rubber brush that loosens up dirt and scrubs the walls. The 7240 Sport uses Zodiac's Cyclonic Vacuum technology, which allows it to capture debris and expel filtered water without losing suction.
The robot is controlled by a head unit and is connected to it using a 54-foot cable made from the same flexible rubbery material as the cable used on the 9550 Sport and 9650iQ Sport. The head unit is white, measures 4.0 by 8.0 by 8.2 inches (HWD), and comes with a cradle for resting it on any flat surface. The lone control is a Start/Stop button used to begin and interrupt the cleaning cycle, and there's a small information LED indicator that flashes once if there's a power problem, twice if the brush or tread wheels are jammed, and three times if the filter canister is full or the impeller is jammed.
There are no programmable schedules, cleaning modes, or timers, nor are there any Bluetooth or Wi-Fi radios for connecting to a mobile app or a remote. Additionally, the 7240 Sport lacks the Lift system found on the 9650iQ Sport, which has the robot climb the nearest wall and expel any water inside, making it easier to lift out of the pool.
The 7240 Sport comes with a head unit, a 54-foot cable, and an owner's manual. You don't get a caddy with this cleaner like you do with the Maytronics Dolphin S300i, the Polaris 9550 and 9650iQ, and the Hayward AquaVac 500, but you can order one for $159.95.
Installation and Performance
The Polaris is ready to roll right out of the box. I attached the cable to the head unit, snapped the head unit into place in its cradle, and plugged it in to a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlet. I submerged the robot, moving it from side to side until all of the air was purged, and let it sink to the bottom. I pressed the Start button and let the robot do its thing for the next 2.5 hours.
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The 7240 Sport may be smaller than most other robot pool cleaners, but its cleaning performance is as good as any I've seen. It had no trouble sucking up acorns, leaves, filter sand, and loose dirt and debris from the many trees that surround my pool. The cable never got tangled, and the robot never flipped over and had to be rescued like we saw with the Hayward AquaVac 500 and Aquabot Turbo robots. Removing the cleaner from the pool was fairly easy as it is relatively light, but I had to use the cable to bring the cleaner close enough to the edge to pull it out. The Lift system would come in handy here. Removing and cleaning the filter with a few swipes of the garden hose was quick and easy.
You don't get much in the way of features with the Polaris 7240 Sport, but you do get a small and powerful robotic pool cleaner that is very easy to use and gets the job done quickly and efficiently. It did an excellent job of removing leaves, grass clippings, and assorted berries and acorns from my pool, as well as dirt and filter sand, and cleaning the filter canister is quick and easy. That said, I expect a few more features for a $1,200 pool cleaner—maybe a remote control, programmable schedules, or smartphone connectivity. Including a caddy in the box would be a step in the right direction.
If you have an extra $200 in your budget, the Polaris 9650iQ Sport is a much better deal. It uses Wi-Fi to connect to your phone, has a neat mobile app and multiple programming options and cleaning modes, and uses a Lift system that makes it easy to remove the cleaner from the pool. That's why it remains our Editors' Choice for robotic pool cleaners.
About the Author
John R. Delaney Contributing Editor
As a Contributing Editor for PCMag, John Delaney has been testing and reviewing monitors, TVs, PCs, networking and smart home gear, and other assorted hardware and peripherals for almost 20 years. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of t… See Full Bio
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