REVIEW – The maintenance of a pool and its equipment is the key to avoiding costly and unnecessary expenses. I’m now a year into owning my first pool and still learning, but I can say that robot vacuums can absolutely lighten the lift. Aiper recently sent their newest Seagull SE to review and there’s a lot of bang for the buck. Let’s dive in.
What is it?
The Aiper Seagull SE is a self-contained, pool cleaning robot that scrubs the bottom of your pool for 90 minutes and only requires minimal assistance to deploy, retrieve, rinse and charge.
What’s in the box?
- Seagull SE Pool Robot
- Wall charger
- (2) Cleaning brushes
- (2) Wheels (spares)
- Retrieval hook
Pool Size: Up to 850 sq. ft with flat floor
Charger: Input 100~240V, 50/60Hz | Output 12.6V/1.8A
Battery: 2.5 hr charge time | up to 90 min run time
IP Rating: IPX8 waterproof
Max Water Depth: 10ft (3m)
Water Conditions: Designed for 50-95º | pH: 7.0-7.4 |Chlorine max: 4ppm | NaCl max: 5000 ppm
Design and features
Compared to other robot pool vacuums including some of Aiper’s other models, the Seagull SE pool cleaner robot looks like a sports car right down to the carbon fiber-ish rear spoiler.
The teal doors (under the Aiper logo above, and hiding beneath the spoiler below) take turns as the propulsion port using water to move the robot around instead of motorized treads.
The Aiper Seagull SE pool cleaner robot has 4 wheels on the underside allowing it to roll smoothly, each with a small amount of angular rotation to help navigate.
The start button is the only control you need and the LEDs are easy to read and understand even at the bottom of the pool.
A quick note before walking through the setup. Aiper is clear that the Seagull SE pool cleaner robot was designed for flat floor pools with no slopes. If you’ve got a pool with a significant slope or large curve up to the walls, check with Aiper before purchasing to make sure the Seagull SE is compatible.
Getting the Seagull SE pool cleaner robot ready for its first cleaning session is pretty easy. Just a couple of quick steps.
- Install the two brushes by pushing them into place until you feel a click. (Above, the upper left shows the posts that latch while the lower right is installed).
- Connect the wall charger to a power source and then to the power port on the underside of the robot. Note the keyed geometry of the port. Keep the robot upright while charging to avoid damaging the handle.
- That’s it! You’re ready to have your pool cleaned robotically.
To pull the Seagull SE pool cleaner robot from your pool, install the retrieval hook onto your skimmer pole in place of the skimmer and hook under the handle to lift it to the surface.
To empty collected debris, open the latches at the front and rear of the robot and then using the flanges on the left and right sides, flex outward slightly to remove the top cover.
Hold the Filter Tray in place with your thumbs while you tilt and pour out any water remaining in the chassis (which can be quite a bit). Then you can remove the filter and dump out the debris.
While everything is still wet, spray down the filter and inside of the chassis and reassemble all parts, before drying off the charge port and plugging it in so it’s ready to go again.
So the first thing to mention, I reviewed the larger Seagull 3000 pool cleaner robot back in February. It’s been in regular use and has performed admirably prior to the SE arriving. Although they are quite different machines. The 3000 has motorized tank treads, two collection baskets, a floating battery on an umbilical cord, a Bluetooth companion app and weighs 28 lbs before it’s loaded with water. The Seagull SE pool cleaner robot uses water propulsion to move, uses the entire lower chassis as a collection basket, has an integrated battery, and weighs just 8 lbs. They literally couldn’t be more different. Here’s a visual for you with a standard-sized basketball as a reference.
There’s a lot to like about the Aiper Seagull SE pool cleaner robot. Here are my favorite details after using it for a month.
You just press the button and place it in the water like this…
It will run until the battery is depleted or until you fish it out with the included retrieval hook. The power indicator is visible even at the bottom thanks to its bright LEDs. You’ll see the number of LEDs reduce during its operation before eventually flashing red for 60 seconds at which point it will park itself next to the closest wall. (I’ve never actually seen the red flashes as I’m off doing something else while the SE cleans the pool).
The fact it’s so light makes all of that easy and much easier to handle for more of the family. By comparison, the Seagull 3000 was easily 35 pounds as you lifted it from the water. This applies to charging as well. The charge port is on the bottom which is a little awkward, but facing down keeps it from collecting water so it’s a small inconvenience to flip it, plug in and flip back.
Watching the Aiper Seagull SE pool cleaner robot zip around the pool is cool because it’s fast and completely silent. It has two propulsion doors facing opposite directions and it’s mesmerizing to watch it bump into the wall and pause, swapping intake directions closing one door, and opening the other only to speed off in the other direction. You can see that here.
There are a couple of caveats to mention, the first of which they mention in their marketing material. The Seagull SE is designed for flat-bottomed pools. I don’t know what percentage of pools that rules out, but I would imagine it’s not trivial. It also, by definition, implies that the Aiper Seagull SE does not clean pool walls. For the most part, any sediment and debris are going to reside on the bottom of your pool, and a quick brush of the walls knocks it all down there anyway.
It has pretty low clearance so it’s good at picking up sand and small stuff, but it can get stuck on larger debris as you can see in this photo. We had a wind storm and I decided to stress test the SE without skimming first.
Needless to say, I was setting it up for failure, so I went ahead and skimmed about 3 of these out of the pool…
And then set the SE loose again, emptying it 3 times in its 90-minute run with each looking like this.
Another thing to note is that the Seagull SE pool cleaner robot does not know if its suction ports get clogged or if it’s full. It’s pretty easy to tell though as it starts to drag debris around. Here’s an example.
One other note is that the geometry of the chassis, filter, and top assemble in one orientation. This video helps to explain that along with some tips on closing it up.
My pool has a flat Baja shelf at the shallow end and then a semi-subtle slope from 4-6 feet finishing in a flat-ish section in the circular deep end. The curved walls are vertical but don’t have 90º angles at the bottom, but instead a tight radius of less than one foot. I wasn’t sure how the SE would handle this, but it does pretty well as it turns out. The slope is not consistent so there’s one section where it has trouble climbing, but in the other areas, it cruises up and down. When it hits the wall radius it rolls up slightly, pauses, and then switches direction. It’s only gotten stuck once when it hit the curve at an angle and wedged itself in a corner. A quick poke with the pole fixed it right up. I also have two raised circular drain covers at the bottom of the pool that sticks up about 3 inches. They’re high enough that the Seagull SE hits them and gets redirected or swings around them and heads back the other way.
It’s funny, but the only truly flat section of my pool is the Baja shelf. If I launch the Aiper Seagull SE pool cleaner robot there, it will hit a wall or two before diving off the edge towards the rest of the pool. I kinda wish it had a cliff sensor like the robot room vacs have. Then I could let it run on the shelf for a few minutes before sending it down to the rest of the pool.
What I like
- Small, lightweight, and painless to start
- Does a good job of cleaning
- Easy to remove from the pool and rinse out
- Completely silent
- No lengthy hose hanging out in your pool endlessly
What I’d change
- Capacity is limited but easy to clean quickly and continue
- Would love to see a cliff sensor so it could run on the Baja shelf without jumping off
- Does not alert you to being full
Compared to expensive pool vacuums, the Aiper Seagull SE pool cleaner robot is a screaming deal. It’s lightweight, has plenty of suction, and lots of room for debris. It cleans quickly and is small and easy enough to use that almost anyone can manage.
Where to buy: Aiper or Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Aiper
4 thoughts on “Aiper Seagull SE cordless robotic pool cleaner review – An affordable, easy-to-use pool cleaning robot”
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You mention they work on flat bottom pools only – mine is flat but sloped from about 3 feet deep to about 6 feet deep so slight decline/incline – will it work in that situation?
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What is the warrantee
My pool also goes from 3 ft to 5 ft. Will the cleaner work?