Here is an explanation in a nutshell for you. Hayward Purchased Poolvergnuegen back in January of 2014 or so and in that purchase came all of the patents. Since the PoolCleaner was not a Hayward product it couldn't be offered in the Hayward rebate programs. So they spent a lot of money to design a new body and color schemes for the AquaNaut and Phoenix and made them Hayward products. So essentially all three are the same cleaner, PoolCleaner "Next Generation," AqauNaut and Phoenix.
So why purchase the AquaNaut/Phoenix vs the Poolvergnuegen?
The answer is Rebates. The PoolCleaner still carries the Poolvergnuegen name so Hayward could not add it to it's rebate programs. Right now both the Phoenix and AquaNaut come with a $100 rebate offer good until September 6th 2015.
All three come with a two year warranty.
The Aqaunaut and the Phoenix have a better color scheme then the PoolCleaner and the body is well crafted - they both just look great.
I think the AqauNaut/Phoenix will have a wider appeal then the PoolCleaner with the Hayward brand behind it and it will be marketed to consumers unfamiliar with the Poolvergnuegen brand. Hayward isn't trying to fool anyone, they are just trying to promote a cleaner design that is superior to all others on the market.
Make no mistakes all three are great cleaners. The parts are super long lasting and I can almost bet that you will get at least 5 years before needing to change any parts - except the rubber tires that wear out every 18 months or so. It is that well engineered. I've got over 16 Poolvergnuegens on my route some over 6 years old and working fine. I never worry about getting to one of those accounts and finding the cleaner broken down - it just doesn't happen.
The V-flex turbine is designed to pick up large debris and the gearing prevents the cleaner from getting stuck in the step areas or a corner in your pool. Plus the hump on the tire keeps it off main drains that tend to trap other cleaners.
So what you are getting is a durable cleaner that works great with proven engineering. A good purchase and a cleaner I highly recommend to all of my customers on my pool route.
POOLVERGNUEGEN POOLCLEANER THE NEXT GENERATION:
This is the updated version of the PoolCleaner that was in the works when Hayward purchased the cleaner. Currently it doesn't ship with the three suction inlets but I think they will very soon. It is the standard white color scheme and white hoses although there is also a Limited Edition with a darker body and hoses available. There are no rebates but the online price is the lowest of the three. A good solid choice.
The main difference from the PoolCleaner is the handle on top, the hubcaps on the wheels and of course as mentioned the color of the cleaner and the hoses. The Phoenix cannot be purchased online and is available only at retail pool stores.
The AquaNaut is the E-commerce version of the three. You can find it online at various websites. The color scheme is different then the Phoenix and it comes with the dark hoses. If you have a colored pool it will look really sharp in it.
Whichever of the three you chose you will be happy. They are the best suction side cleaners on the market and all three also come with a 4x model. The four wheel models are made for larger pools and deeper pools (9 ft or more), They also come with two extra hoses. Basically the gearing is set in the 4x models to turn at a longer interval so it covers more distance consistently.
If you are interested in learning more or purchasing one of the three you can visit my website where I I have links to Amazon.com
For the Phoenix you can visit Leslie's pools: