The A129 is the latest model from the Chinese dash cam maker VIOFO. Building on the success of the VIOFO A119 and A119S, the A129 is VIOFO’s first foray into the dual channel marketplace. The camera has a premium feel at a budget price as per usual from the VIOFO lineup.
VIOFO A129 Full Review
The A129 is the first dual-channel camera from VIOFO to have built-in Wi-Fi, so users can now adjust settings, view, and download footage directly. The app is closely related to the Action Cameras that VIOFO also sells. The menus are responsive and easy to navigate, and the video playback is snappy and quick. Do note that in order to adjust any settings, you must stop the camera from recording. If you’d like to adjust settings through the LCD screen menu, you will need to turn off Wi-Fi first. To do this, you will have to hold down the button on the right side of the camera for 5 seconds.
In terms of video quality, the A129 is very similar to the A119S. With the same Sony STARVIS sensor and Novatek NT96660 processor, the A129 boasts a max resolution of 1920 x 1080P Full HD at 30fps with a recording bitrate of 20 Megabits per second. Thanks to the advanced video processor and image sensors, these statistics translate directly to excellent video recording quality during both day and night. In our opinion, the A129 offers the best video quality available at this price point for a dual channel camera setup.
Also included in the A129 is a capacitor-based power supply which will let your camera keep recording during an extreme range of temperatures.
Another change from the older models is the new rear camera cable. Being the first dual channel camera from VIOFO it comes with one of the thickest rear camera cables we’ve seen from any dash cam manufacturer. This ensures a durable cable that will withstand abuse and a wide range of temperatures. The only slight downside to this is that the installation does take a bit more time and effort to tuck everything in.
This next bit is where we hit our only real con, the reasonably confusing VIOFO parking mode settings. The biggest of these issues is that the menus are split up and displayed separately, leading to clunky and mismatched options. Of these options, you are provided with: Parking Mode, Timelapse Mode, and Motion Detection Mode. When the camera is set to Parking Mode, it will enter a low-FPS recording mode after the vehicle has been stationary for a period of time. You have the option of choosing either 1 FPS, 5 FPS, or 15 FPS, and recordings are triggered by both motion and movement of the vehicle. Do note that this is not pre-buffered, so only videos from after the motion/shock was detected will be saved and you will not see the run-up to the incident. If the A129 is set to Timelapse Mode, then it will only record at 1 FPS, regardless of vehicle movement. Finally, motion detection mode means that the camera will record at 30 FPS anytime motion is detected.
In our short time with the VIOFO A129, we found that the video footage was consistently crisp and clear and that both the front and rear units performed just as expected. The only footage issue that we came across was that there were some glare incidents coming off of other vehicles, but that is a problem that can easily be resolved with a CPL filter. In the end, the VIOFO A129 comes with all the simplicity and convenience that we know and love but raises the bar in terms of technology. The Wi-Fi is easy to use and quick to set up, and we’re glad the dual channel system did not take away from the excellent video quality that we come to expect from VIOFO.