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VIOFO A119 & A119S Review

The entry level dash cam market is one of the biggest markets as the products can offer an incredible value proposition if they can help the user avoid an at-fault insurance claim. These dash cams are less than a fraction of most insurance deductibles and can curb insurance fraud as well as prevent unfair hikes to a driver's premiums. That being said, there are a number of infamous products on the market that have poor quality control and cheap unknown components. VIOFO is not one of these manufacturers and have a solid track record of build quality and use of proven components in their dash cams. We've been carrying their products for a number of months now and the reliability has truly blown us away. In our opinion, VIOFO's flagship dash cams, the A119 and A119S, are easily the best non-parking mode dash cams under $150 on the market right now.

Viofo A119 and A119S review

For a side-by-side comparison of the A119 and A119s, check out our blog post here

The design of the A119 and A119S builds upon the successful A118's sleek wedge shaped design. The new camera has a more premium feel to it and the buttons are clearer with a nicer click to them. The screen is also slightly larger at 2" while still keeping the device size fairly small. The two models look virtually identical but you can distinguish them by looking at the lens housing. The non-S model can be adjusted left and right while the S model can only be rotated up and down. In addition to the great design of the camera, the packaging on both the A119 and A119S also sets them apart from other Chinese dash cams. Like the camera, the box is compact and attractively designed. VIOFO also includes a number of useful accessories like mounting clips and extra mounting tape, a dual USB cigarette adapter, and a short USB for PC data transfer.

The internal components of the A119 dash cams are what really separates them from other dash cams in this price range. Both models use a super capacitor based power supply and won't have issues running in hotter climates that we've seen in other entry level cameras. The A119 and A119S are using the same Novatek 96660 processor which allows them to record 1080P video at 60 frames per second with an impressive bitrate of around 20 Megabits per second. The non-S A119 model can also record at a 1440P Quad HD resolution thanks to the Omnivision sensor. The A119S maxes out at 1080P, the latest Sony IMX291 sensor more than makes up for it by offering some of the best low-light visibility and dynamic range we've seen. When paired with the 60 FPS frame rate, both cameras offer very smooth video even at night.

Both cameras offer great video quality but on very dark streets we can see that the A119S (top) offers more detail

The cameras are also differentiated by the lenses used. The standard A119 uses a wider 160° lens with an F/1.8 while the A119S uses a narrower 130° with a F/1.6 aperture. The A119 lens will capture a slightly wider field of view while the A119S will have slightly better night time performance. Both cameras support an optional CPL filter that clips nicely into place over the lens housing. This CPL filter helps to reduce glare and reflections on the windshield, similar to driving with polarized sunglasses. While CPL filters can sometimes make videos too dark at night, we found no issues running it on the powerful A119 and A119S. We did notice however, that when paired with the thinner non-GPS mount, the CPL filter makes it difficult to aim the camera as there isn't enough clearance for the lens to rotate upwards. When fitted with the thicker GPS mount, there is no issue with the CPL filter.

VIOFO A119S CPL Filter A119

VIOFO A119S Shown with CPL Filter Attached

VIOFO Mini USB Hardwire Kit

Another available accessory for these cameras is the Mini USB hardwire kit which can be used to hide the wires in your car. This kit is meant to hook up to an ignition switched fuse and will allow your camera to turn on and off with the car. We really like VIOFO's mini USB hardwire kit as it comes with the C-shaped grounding terminal already attached while other kits we've tested came with no terminal. When paired with the correct add-a-fuse for your vehicle, this kit makes for a very clean and sleek setup which is perfectly matched to the A119's low-profile design.

These two models from A119 really raise the bar of what we expect from an entry level camera under $150. They check all the boxes for what we look for in a great dash cam: great video quality, great build quality, capacitor based power supply, sleek design, and 128GB Micro SD support. In our opinion, most users will be impressed and happy with the video quality from the A119. Those that simply want the best video quality, or live in rural areas with not a lot of street lighting should definitely consider the A119S for that extra bit of low-light sensitivity.

What We Like

  • Amazing video quality despite low price point
  • Reliablity track record from VIOFO
  • Optional factory CPL filter

What We Don't

  • Thinner non-GPS mount limits lens adjustment range
  • Lack of true pre-buffered parking mode by motion detection

If you have any questions about choosing between these two devices, be sure to contact us with some details of your commuting style, familiarity with hardwire installs, vehicle model and any other information that may be relevant, and we can help you make a decision.

VIOFO A119 and A119S Review

Based on 4678 reviews
86%
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10%
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(146)
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Lives up to the good name
2015 GoldWing
Enjoying my 3rd B124-e!
Happy with my dash Cam
BlackVue DR900S
Excellent!!!!!!
Great system and customer service
Great cameras!
Hi Darryl, thanks for leaving a review! Glad you love parking mode.
Love the cam
Hi Lawrence, thanks for sharing your review. We're glad to hear your installation worked out great! Let us know if you have any questions.
Very helpful
Hi Dave, thanks for leaving a review!
Exceptional Service and Great Dash Camera
Hi Javier, thanks for leaving a review and for leaving the compliment for our team. We're here to help! When you're ready to buy your second unit for your other vehicle, you know who to reach out to :)
Satisfied customer
Hi Ted, thanks for leaving a review! Thanks for shopping with us.
Nice and easy to use
Hi Luis, thanks for leaving a review! Glad we have you as a customer :)
Good camera, bad mounting tape
Hi JC< that's not good - sorry to hear you're having issues with the dongle. Could you reach out to us at info@blackboxmycar.com? Our staff will help you out.
Dashcam upgrade
Hi Neil, thanks for leaving a review! Our team is here to help!
Q 800 pro
Hi Hector, thanks for shopping with us and for leaving a review!
Thank You Blackboxmycar!
Hi T Shaw, thanks for leaving a review!
Blackvuwe DR590W-2 CH IR WiFi Dashcam
Hi Michael, oh no - that really sucks to hear what happened to your wife. We sure hope the dash cams will be able to capture those perpetrators next time. Absolutely agree with you on the cloud capabilities, but you've made a great decision nonetheless with the DR590W-2CH IRs. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out.
Dash cam.
Hi John, thanks for leaving a review with us! If you have any questions during your install, let us know :)
Excellent camera
Hi Ubaldo, thanks for leaving a review! Glad you love your IROAD :)
A+++++++++++++++++ thank you Alex
Hi Mohammed, thanks for leaving a review!
As expected
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Fast shipping
Hi John, thanks for leaving a review!
Great Service!
Hi Jomary, thanks for shopping with us. Glad to hear our team was able to help you out with what you needed. Sorry to hear about the circuit tester issue, but we hope our team was able to solve it in a timely manner. If you need anything else, don't hesitate to reach out!