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VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW 2K QHD
Dash Cam Comparison Review

Nextbase has been a popular brand when it comes to single-channel, full-featured premium dash cams. This UK-based company launched models such as the 322GW, 422GW, 522GW, and its 4K entry, the 622GW. Aside from the resolution, what people find cool about these dash cams is the tech – the Alexa voice controls for example. Some may think that its convenience features can make up for the fact that these nifty, expensive dash cams are made of lithium-ion batteries, and not supercapacitors, one example of cut corners.

And there’s VIOFO - not as high-end as Nextbase, but also popular for good reasons. This China-based company has been around since 2011, and the long list of dash cam models they have launched have been crowd favorites not only for the features, but also for durability and affordability.

In this article, we will take a look at two dash cams under the 2K segment from Nextbase and VIOFO, the 522GW and the A119 Mini 2 respectively. Let’s see which among these two models are more worth the positive reviews, and the penny.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Design

Let’s talk about the physical aspects of these dash cams, putting the spotlight on VIOFO’s entry first. With a wedge-shaped design and a front-only camera system, the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 is discreetly sized at 1.8 inch x 2.9 inch x 1.6 inch – as tiny as a car key. The form factor is almost the same as its predecessor, the A119 Mini, which also has a 1.5-inch screen display. On the front, we can see that the A119 Mini 2 comes with the LED status PWR, REC, Mic and Wi-Fi. On the bottom part of the front camera, you can see the Power, Recording, Video Protection, Microphone, and Wi-Fi buttons. You can use the Video Protection / Emergency Button to lock the currently recording video, which we find crucial if you're driving and you want to make sure you save the current footage as locked. Moreover, you can easily mount the dash cam on the windshield with the VIOFO static stickers.

The Nextbase 522GW, on the other hand, is slightly larger than the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 at 1.89 x 3.82 x 2.17 inches and shares a similar build with its sister cameras, the Nextbase 422GW and 622GW. Users can play videos and adjust settings directly on the dash cam unit's three-inch full-colour touchscreen display. Every purchase includes a Click&Go PRO car mount, which has a low-profile design and high-strength neodymium magnets. Overall, we think that the 522GW bears a resemblance to the digital cameras you had in the early 2000s, with its body hanging lower off the windshield, in a less discreet manner.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

Nextbase 522GW

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Video Resolution

Now, let’s move on to the video resolution. The VIOFO A119 Mini 2 can capture 2K QHD at 30 FPS, downgradable to 60 frames per second – which we recommend if you’re driving at high speeds on highways. For sure, recording at 60 frames per second gives smoother recording, however, we noticed that the sharpness and clarity are a bit downgraded compared to 2K @ 30 frames per second. The highest the Mini 2 can go is 2592 by 1944p @ 30fps, while at 60fps, it will only go as high as 2560 by 1440p.

Nevertheless, the overall image quality of the A119 Mini 2 is so far the best 2K QHD dash cams we’ve seen. This is because this dash cam is the first 2K QHD to be equipped with the new Sony STARVIS 2 IMX 675 image sensor, which works best in producing well-lit, extra sharp, and vibrant images. It also has a multiple HDR feature, plus a Super Night Vision 2.0 that automatically adjusts the lighting in low-light situations.

On the other hand, the Nextbase 522GW also has a Sony STARVIS sensor, although less advanced as it still carries the IMX 335. This is also used by the VIOFO A119 Mini 2’s predecessor, the A119 Mini and the A119 V3. This Nextbase also records in 2K QHD at 30fps that can also be downgraded, although to a lower 1080p at 60fps. Its maximum resolution is only 2560 x 1440P at 30 fps, so the A119 Mini 2 wins. 

Both the Nextbase 522GW and VIOFO A119 Mini 2 are compatible with CPL filters. Beyond that, we highly recommend the BlackboxMyCar Aqua Shield rain guard to keep the front view free from glares, reflections, and most importantly, rain droplets that may distract and ruin your footage.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

Nextbase 522GW

VIOFO VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Parking Mode

The VIOFO A119 Mini 2, like other VIOFO dash cams, has three intelligent parking modes: Auto Event Detection, Time Lapse Recording, and Low Bitrate Recording. This gives you the peace of mind that you will have a clear view of your car’s front view 24/7. To use the Parking Mode feature, you must hardwire the dash cam to your car's fuse box. With the A119 Mini 2, what’s used is the HK4 ACC Hardwire Kit, which you can buy from BlackboxMyCar separately.

And the Nextbase 522GW is also equipped with an Intelligent Parking Mode feature. If the G-sensor registers movement in front or when someone bumps your car, it will turn on and record for 30 seconds. However, most premium dash cams offer buffered parking mode that records before the event, during the event and after the event. Unfortunately, the 522GW records after the event only.

Moreover, we also discovered that the 522GW’s hardwire kit has an 11V voltage cut-off setting. The safe voltage cut-off range is 12.0V to 12.2V(The range of the VIOFO hardwire kit, which is adjustable), and setting it to 11V is extremely hazardous to your car battery, potentially causing it to drain, require a jumpstart, and shorten its lifespan. If you wish to extend your parking modes for the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 or the Nextbase 522GW, we recommend an external battery pack such as the PowerCell 8 Battery Pack.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

Nextbase 522GW

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Convenience Features

When it comes to connectivity, both the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 and Nextbase 522GW have built-in Wi-Fi – although the Mini 2 has more advanced connectivity with 2.4 Ghz and 5 GHz. Even if both dash cams have built-in screens, drivers can use the VIOFO app or My Nextbase Connect to quickly view, playback recorded videos as desired, and download or share instantly. Aside from built-in Wi-Fi, both the A119 Mini 2 and Nextbase 522GW also come with a built-in GPS.

With Nextbase, what people find exciting about their dash cam line is its ability to connect the dash cam to Amazon Alexa voice control. Customers also get a year's free trial of the EmergencySOS feature, but after that period expires, they must pay a subscription fee.

The A119 Mini 2 does not include Alexa, but it does include Voice Notification features that alert you to events in parking mode and the camera's current status. This new feature acts as your personal assistant, informing you of dash cam events such as video protection, changes, and memory card errors. And similar to how you can give commands to the 522GW, VIOFO also added a new feature to the Mini 2 called Intelligent Voice Controls that enable you to command your dash cam in simple operations. This allows you to start/stop recording, take images, and turn on/off WiFi with your voice, keeping you focused on the road.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

Nextbase 522GW

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Video Playback and File Storage

The A119 Mini 2 has the VIOFO app, while the 522GW has the MyNextbase Connect - both downloadable on iOS and Android devices. The three-inch screen of the Nextbase 522GW can also be used if you want to watch your videos instantly. If you don’t want to use their apps, or their tiny screens, you also have the option to take the microSD card out of the dash cam and plug it into your Mac or Windows. You can also connect the dash cam directly to your computer using the data cable, or even use an SD card adapter to view the footage directly on your phone.

VIOFO doesn’t offer any desktop viewers, so you will need to use a 3rd party program like the Dash Cam Viewer, which we highly recommend for VIOFO dash cam users. Nextbase does have their own desktop app which is called the Nextbase Suite.

And for the maximum SD card capacity, the Nextbase 522GW can only support up to 128 GB. VIOFO on the other hand leveled up the storage capacity of the A119 Mini 2, increasing the maximum SD card capacity to up to 512 GB, which is impressive for such a tiny camera.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

Nextbase 522GW

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Dash Camera Battery and Heat Tolerance

Because they have different form factors, the installation and mount also differ for the A119 Mini 2 and the 522GW. The magnetic flap next to the Nextbase’s camera lens allows quick attachment of its Click&Go Pro GPS mount, and access to the 522GW's removable internal battery.

Yes, even though it is a premium and expensive dash cam, the 522GW still uses a traditional lithium-ion battery, which is responsible for overheating and battery lifespan issues. We think Nextbase knows this well, evident with their warning signs indicated in the 522GW manual.

This is not a problem with the A119 Mini 2, as it already uses a supercapacitor. When it comes to operating temperatures, the Nextbase 522GW can only perform between -20° and 45°C (-4° to 113°F), whereas the A119 Mini 2 can work in temperatures ranging from -20℃ ~ 65℃ (-4℉ ~ 149℉).

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Price

Despite its features, putting an emphasis on Sony STARVIS 2 and Voice Controls, the A119 Mini 2 is priced at only $119.99 USD. The Nextbase 522GW is priced at the higher end of the market, not only in comparison to VIOFO, but also to other premium brands. In fact, the single-channel 522GW dash cam costs $299.99 USD, which is almost thrice the price of the A119 Mini 2.

Verdict: VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Dash Cam - Which is Better?

In terms of design, the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 is built more discreetly and easier to install on the windshield. This makes a safer choice in terms of dash cam legalities, or preventing drivers from being distracted by hanging devices in front.

For video resolution, the A119 Mini 2 obviously wins. Aside from the fact that it uses the most advanced Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor for 2K dash cams, it also has Super Night Vision 2.0, HDR, higher resolution and frame rate options compared to Nextbase’s older IMX335 and 1440p @ 30 fps.

Now for the pricing, the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 is less expensive, despite being launched recently, and having more advanced features than the Nextbase 522GW such as buffered recording and dual-band Wi-Fi. As you might have noticed, the price of the 522GW is really expensive - even higher than VIOFO's newest 4K dash cam with Sony STARVIS 2, the A139 Pro.

We also think that the 522GW's hardwiring and voltage cutoff are also dangerous at 11.0V, which is risky for your car battery. And speaking of batteries, the Nextbase 522GW is equipped with a lithium-ion battery. This is a standard feature of dash cams, and we're surprised that Nextbase, a premium brand, doesn't have a supercapacitor like the A119 Mini 2. If you live in warmer states or provinces, the 522GW is not designed to withstand extreme temperatures, but you can certainly rely on the Mini 2 because of its heat resistance, and guaranteed longevity.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. Nextbase 522GW Product Specifications

Specs VIOFO A119 Mini 2 Nextbase 522GW128

Video Resolution

2K QHD @ 60 FPS

2K QHD @ 30 FPS

Image Sensor



Field of View






Parking Mode

Yes, with Buffered Recording





Operating Temperature

-20℃ ~ 65℃ (-4℉ ~ 149℉)

-20° to 45°C (from -4° to 113°F)

Loop Recording



Max SD Card



LCD Screen






Mobile App











Lithium Ion Battery

Country of Origin


United Kingdom

Manufacturer Warranty

1-Year Manufacturer Warranty

1-Year Manufacturer Warranty

VIOFO A119 Mini 2, now available at BlackboxMyCar!

Heavy on the features, easy on the pockets - that’s the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 2K QHD dash cam. For drivers looking for a low-cost way to protect their vehicles, even if only for the road ahead? It's the A119 Mini 2 that we highly recommend! Order yours here at BlackboxMyCar! Still a fan of the Nextbase 522GW? No worries, we sell that too! Check it out here.

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