Rotatable Full HD Interior Camera Built for Uber Drivers, Rideshares and Taxis
VIOFO T130 3-Channel In-Depth Review
Tested to perform 2 to 4 times for nighttime recording
We have been impressed by VIOFO’s dash cam over the years, as they offer the features you want at a reasonable price. The VIOFO T130 is the latest 3-channel dash cam in the VIOFO product lineup. It brings some highly anticipated features, one of which is the rotatable interior camera that allows you to swing the camera from left to right to capture actions happening outside the driver window.
- 2K QHD + 1080p Full HD + 1080p Full HD
- 140° wide-angle lens
- 5MP Sony STARVIS image sensor
- Rotatable interior camera
- OmniVision Nyxel Infrared Night Vision
- Parking mode recording
- Built-in WiFi
- VIOFO App Viewer
✓ Triple-channel coverage
✓ Built-in interior camera for simpler installation
✓ Rotatable interior camera can be adjusted to point at the driver’s door
✓ Discrete cylindrical design
❌ Not 4K UHD
❌ Can only record at 30FPS
❌ Interior camera can only rotate in one direction and will need to be mounted upside down in right-hand cars
Discover all the specs and features of the VIOFO T130 3CH
Check out the Recording Quality from our Sample Footage
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The first thing you will notice is that VIOFO has again gone with a completely different design shape. Looking nothing like the A129 nor the A139, the T130’s new cylindrical shape reminds us of the BlackVue dash cams - just a tad lighter.
You will also notice that, unlike the VIOFO A139, the T130’s interior camera is built into the main unit. While having one less camera means fewer cables and wires to deals with, it also means limited placement options. For instance, you won’t be able to install the dash cam directly behind the rearview mirror as that might get in the way of the interior IR camera.
The T130 uses USB-C connectors on all its cables, including the power cable and rear camera connecting cable. The rear connecting USB cable are much thicker than the mini coax cables the A139 uses.
Image Quality & Recording Capabilities
In daylight, the main front camera’s image quality is great, meeting all the expectations we had of a VIOFO product.
The T130 is a 2K QHD camera that uses advanced Sony and OmniVision sensors. VIOFO does have 3 other 2K QHD cameras in their lineup: A129 Plus, A119 V3 and A139. So how does the T130 compare to these cameras?
Featuring the 5MP Sony STARVIS IMX335 image sensor, the T130 front camera captures the road ahead at 140-degrees in 2K QHD at 30FPS. Note that, while it is the same image sensor as the A139, A129 Plus, and the A119 V3, the T130 does not offer the option to record at 60FPS.
The T130 rear camera is fitted with the 2MP Sony STARVIS IMX307 image sensor to offer 1080p Full HD recording of the road behind at a 165-degree field of view. The VIOFO A139 uses the Sony STARVIS IMX291, which is the same image sensor that you will find in the A129 Pro Duo rear camera. The Sony STARVIS IMX307 is said to be the cost-down version of the IMX291 - and we will let the sample footage speak for itself.
And just like other VIOFO dash cams, you can choose from multiple bitrate settings.
Built-In Rotatable IR Camera
While the interior IR camera comes as a separate unit on the A139, on the T130, it is built into the main unit. This does make it simpler to install as you have one less camera and one less cable to deal with, but it also limits placement options. Luckily, the interior camera is rotatable, so you can certainly adjust to get that perfect view.
While not the ball-and-socket type, the T130 allows you to rotate the lens up to 60-degrees vertically, and 90-degrees horizontally. Do keep in mind that the interior camera can only rotate in one direction, which means it will work perfectly in left-hand cars, but for right-hand cars, the camera will need to be mounted upside down if you want to be able to record out the driver-side window.
This shouldn’t be a huge problem as there is an option within the VIOFO app to rotate the images. However, because you are turning the camera upside down, the buttons, ports, and the microSD card slot on the camera will also be flipped - just be ready to catch the microSD card should it falls when ejecting from the dash cam.
Interior Camera Image Quality and Infrared Night Vision
Like all IR cameras, the video captured by the T130 interior camera does have a slight purple hue. But, the quality of the image is sharp and clear. Nighttime recording is facilitated by 4 IR LEDs and OmniVision’s Nyxel NIR technology - the OmniVision OS02C10 is said to perform better than Sony STARVIS image sensors and offer sharper images in dark situations, even with fewer LEDs.
3-Channel dash cams are expected to consume more power than a 1-Channel or a 2-Channel system.
Tests by other reviewers found that:
Normal (2K Front)
470 - 505 mA
Normal (2K Front)
420 - 455 mA
Auto Event Detection (no motion detected)
408 - 419 mA
Auto Event Detection (recording event)
474 - 493 mA
390 - 411 mA
410 - 450mA
Low bitrate recording
474 - 506 mA
While the incorporated IR camera means you only need to deal with 2 instead of 3 sets of cameras and cables, do note that the T130 uses USB-C cables, which are thicker than the mini coax cables that the A139 uses.
For power options, VIOFO does have a new Type-C HK4 hardwiring kit specifically for the T130. While the part numbers are different, when you look closely at the two cables you will see that the HK4 hardwiring kit is almost identical to the old HK3 cable. The only difference - the HK4 cable sports a 90-degree connector whereas the HK3 has a straight connector. Function-wise, both the HK4 and HK3 work the same way.
In other words, if you are switching to the T130 from the A139 and already have the HK3 hardwiring kit in place, you can simply swap out the front cameras.
Common Issue: Overheating
One of the most common complaints about 3-channel dash cams, especially those with front and interior cameras built into the same casing is overheating. Remember the Zenfox T3?
The VIOFO T130 is a 2K QHD dash cam, with an integrated IR camera, enclosed in a compact case - we do expect it to generate a considerable amount of heat, and a quick dive into major dash cam forums do confirm that overheating is an issue with the T130.
Also, note that in order for the IR camera to rotate horizontally, VIOFO has moved the microSD card slot to the top of the main camera, just next to the ventilation holes and that area can get pretty toasty - we wonder if this would affect the performance and longevity of the microSD card.
You can be sure we will be doing a Beat the Heat test with the T130 this summer!
Common Issue: Power Supply
When we conducted our in-house testing, we ran into the problem of the T130 jumping between 2 and 3-channel recording. Turns out, if the power supply is not providing enough power for the camera, it will start dropping channels, starting with the rear camera.
This issue did resolve itself once we used the included power cable instead of a multi-port USB 12V adapter.
A139 is better than the T130 because:
- Overall a better, more solid build quality
- Slightly better voice quality
- Thin coax cable
- IR separate from the front camera, offering more flexibility in terms of placement
- Supports dual-band WiFi
- Front camera can rotate up to 300 degrees (T130 front only up to 100 degrees)
- The option for the front camera to record at 60FPS in a 2-channel setup
T130 is better than the A139 because:
- Flexible IR camera (can rotate both vertically and horizontally)
- One less camera to mount
- Better IR quality
- Can be flipped upside-down to accommodate different mounting locations
- Quick access buttons