A229 Duo Test & Review PP

Panzer Platform

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Dash Cam
VIOFO Since 2020
Hey guys,
I’m please to announce I didn’t screw up my A119 Mini review too bad, and Viofo decided to send me the A229 Duo for test & review. It was delivered 2 days ago with the latest firmware "0623" , and I’ve only completed some basic preliminary testing.

So far my initial impression of this camera based on the fit & finish quality, and “big screen LCD”. This does not feel like a “budget class” camera. It feels closer to “Mid-Tier” if that makes any sense.

I’m late to the party, and I’ve read all the posts by @kamkar, @Nigel, @rcg530, @Paul Iddon, @Karagandinez, and @SawMaster so I will do my best not to repeat info that’s already been mentioned.

The first thing I did was a current draw test.
Normal Recoding, 2K@30 Both Channels, Maximum Bitrate. Wi-Fi & Screen OFF.
I measured 385mA @ 12.6 Volts or 4.851 Watts using the hardwire kit, and my Fluke 115 Multimeter.

Using those same settings I wanted to see how long the camera would run on my 20,000mAh (74Wh) USB Power Bank. The camera ran continuously for 15 Hours 43 Minutes. The camera never shut off, or stopped recording. I check the files on the SD Card, and they were all there, and playable.

I checked the capacity of my power bank using the Keweisi KWS-V30 USB Power Tester $10 on eBay. Shoutout to @Dashmellow for recommending this wonderful little device. It revealed my Power Bank has degraded, and the true capacity is only 18,916mAh (70Wh) and took 10 hours 35 minutes to recharge using a 2.0 Amp (10 Watt) charger brick.

When the camera was running for the 15 hours 43 minutes on my workbench in my garage, the hottest part of the day was 94F / 34C, and that’s how hot it was in my garage. The maximum temp of the front camera was 120F / 48C, and the rear camera was 100F / 37C. Of course these temp readings are almost meaningless, and direct sunlight heat testing is needed.

Using a 64GB SD Card with the above settings I got these available record times;
Max Bitrate: Front 29 / Rear 25 - 2 Hours 23 Minutes
High Bitrate: Front 24 / Rear 19 - 3 Hours 8 Minutes
Norm Bitrate: Front 20 / Rear 16 - 3 Hours 46 Minutes
Low Bitrate: Front 17 / Rear 12 - 4 Hours 36 Minutes

On Max Bitrate I get these file sizes;
1 Minute Video Front: 226MB
1 Minute Video Rear: 184MB
I tested how fast the two Wi-Fi bands are at downloading a 1 minute (226MB) video clip to my iPhone SE 2020 using the latest version 2.8 Viofo App.
2.4GHz: 36 Seconds
5GHz: 18 Seconds (2x fast)

I can’t wait to get this thing installed, and take some day & night time test footage.
I like the Voice Notifications so much I made a short demo video;
-Chuck
 

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Welcome to the party Chuck.

Paul.
 
I’m late to the party, and I’ve read all the posts by @kamkar, @Nigel, @rcg530, @Paul Iddon, @Karagandinez, and @SawMaster so I will do my best not to repeat info that’s already been mentioned.
Don't worry about that, write your own review, and make it interesting. Your info may turn out to be different anyway, you have a more up to date firmware, and possibly hardware too.

I like the Voice Notifications so much I made a short demo video;
A very cheerful sounding dashcam :)

Using those same settings I wanted to see how long the camera would run on my 20,000mAh (74Wh) USB Power Bank. The camera ran continuously for 15 Hours 43 Minutes.
I measured 385mA @ 12.6 Volts or 4.851 Watts using the hardwire kit, and my Fluke 115 Multimeter.
74Wh/4.851W = 15.26 hours.
- surprisingly close to your 15 Hours 43 Minutes :)

I checked the capacity of my power bank using the Keweisi KWS-V30 USB Power Tester $10 on eBay. Shoutout to @Dashmellow for recommending this wonderful little device. It revealed my Power Bank has degraded, and the true capacity is only 18,916mAh (70Wh) and took 10 hours 35 minutes to recharge using a 2.0 Amp (10 Watt) charger brick.
Ahh, so:
70Wh/4.851W = 14.43 hours.
- Now it is a little out from your 15 Hours 43 Minutes, so maybe it would be more accurate to say that the power consumption is:
70Wh/15.72h = 4.45W?
Did you measure how much power your power bank gave out, or how much you put into it? Because there would be some losses...

Which do you trust more, your $10 Keweisi KWS-V30 USB Power Tester, or your Fluke Multimeter :sneaky:
There is only 8% difference, so maybe it doesn't matter.

So far my initial impression of this camera based on the fit & finish quality, and “big screen LCD”. This does not feel like a “budget class” camera. It feels closer to “Mid-Tier” if that makes any sense.
Remember that there are many very cheap, and often rubbish, dashcams on the market, and not so many higher quality. I would put the A119 Mini at mid-tier, you could compare the A229 to that, the voice quality for example is well above the A119 Mini...
 
Right on Nigel,
Thanks for stopping by.

I measured the capacity of the power bank by seeing how "much" it took to "fill up" after it was depleted with the USB power tester.
I tend to trust my Fluke over my other meters. lol
Of the 1,000 dash cams available on Amazon, I lump them into 3 categories for simplicity sake;
Premium: BlackVue, Thinkware, etc.
Budget: Viofo
Temporary Class: cameras costing less than $70 (1-channel), or $120 (2-channel).
So when I called the A229 "mid-tier" I meant it was approaching premium status. lol
-Chuck
 
Thanks for posting your first tests/impressions @Panzer Platform

Good idea the video recording of the dashcam voice notifications. I love it too. It's great how it says " video recording 2 channels started". Imagine one day the rear camera got disconnected or something, many people wouldn't notice it right away (I barely check my A129 pro screen as it switches between parking mode and driving mode automatically and doesn't need any human intervention on a daily basis), if the voice says "video recording 1 channel" when starting up the car, driver would be notified right away, I think it's pretty cool.
Same for the confirmation that a video file has been protected. This is a nice addition.
 
Calling all A229 Duo owners, (professional testers & paying consumers).

@bilan, @kamkar, @Mark65, @Nigel, @rcg530, @Mio NoVue, @Paul Iddon, @chizzle36, @runtohell121, @Karagandinez, @TakeMyCash, @CliveR, @essigb, @markus, @SawMaster, @Vortex Radar, @BlackboxMyCar, @DrekiTech,

I would like to arrange a YouTube Review Collaboration with everyone who has a Viofo A229 Duo. The collab is “TENTATIVELY” scheduled for September 4, 2022 at 12:15AM (PST) California Time. The deadline to email me the private link to your YouTube Review is 8/31/22. This is so I can email all collab participants the private links of everyone’s review video to be placed in the description box of all collab videos. Anyone is invited to participate.

Q: What topics should your review cover?
Q: How long should your review be?
Q: What is the point of this Collaborative Review?
Q: Are there any requirements?

A: You can talk about anything you want. Your honest opinion is what matters most. Your review video can be a simple unboxing, a simple list of Pros & Cons & Final Thoughts. Things you’ve noticed about using the camera. Things you would like to see improved in the next generation, (A229 Duo Pro).
A: Your review can be any length.
A: The point of the collab is to get as many different points of views from a wide range of users, (professional to amateur). And basically HAVE FUN! I just love dash cams ever since I got my first one 2 years ago, (I represent amateur users).
A: Please mention in the beginning of your video that it’s a collaboration, and to check out the reviews from the other guys.

What do you think? This oughta be fun. You can email me with any questions.
Email: BudgetPantherPlatform@gmail.com
Thanks again,
-Chuck
 
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Hey guys,
In my quest to confirm & verify, whenever I get a new dash cam to test, I like to try all the SD Cards I have on hand to see if I can coax a malfunction, or see if the camera is “picky”. This is a duplicate thread by @runtohell121;
-
But I thought I would bring it up again because I got some neat video footage to document the malfunction. I inserted a SanDisk High Endurance 64GB, (not to be confused with SanDisk MAX Endurance). I tried to format the card in the camera, and, the voice notification kept saying “Memory Card Format Failed”. How nice of the young lady to tell me. If this happened on my A129 Plus it would probably just keep beeping at me. Lol

I tried to format the card 5 times to no avail. Then for giggles I put the SD Card in my A119 Mini, and it worked no problem like it has been for the past month. So the A229 really does not like the SanDisk High Endurance. And Viofo is really serious about their new SD Card recommendations on their website, (see attached screenshot).
-Chuck

 

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I tried to format the card 5 times to no avail. Then for giggles I put the SD Card in my A119 Mini, and it worked no problem like it has been for the past month. So the A229 really does not like the SanDisk High Endurance. And Viofo is really serious about their new SD Card recommendations on their website, (see attached screenshot).
I wonder if it tests the speed of the card, to check if it can manage 2x 2K?
Otherwise, how would it know to fail your card? A format isn't particularly demanding!

How nice of the young lady to tell me. If this happened on my A129 Plus it would probably just keep beeping at me. Lol
You are a fellow Usanian, do you recognise where her accent is from?
 
I'm not sure Nigel.
According to the item descriptions on Amazon the SanDisk "HIGH" and "MAX" Endurance have identical read & right speeds.
100 read, 40 write, (see attached screenshots).

The young lady's accent is devoid of any particular region of the country.
So she could be from anywhere.

That's so funny because I watched a youtube video the other day how there are 20 different British accents in England.
Before I watched the video I was only aware of 3, or 4.
Like the working class ****ney, proper Queen's English Posh style, Michael Caine, and Ali G (Sasha Baron Cohen). lol
Oh yeah, when ever I see your name I think of the song by XTC Making plans for Nigel. lol
-Chuck
 

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Hey guys,
In my quest to confirm & verify, whenever I get a new dash cam to test, I like to try all the SD Cards I have on hand to see if I can coax a malfunction, or see if the camera is “picky”. This is a duplicate thread by @runtohell121;
-
But I thought I would bring it up again because I got some neat video footage to document the malfunction. I inserted a SanDisk High Endurance 64GB, (not to be confused with SanDisk MAX Endurance). I tried to format the card in the camera, and, the voice notification kept saying “Memory Card Format Failed”. How nice of the young lady to tell me. If this happened on my A129 Plus it would probably just keep beeping at me. Lol

I tried to format the card 5 times to no avail. Then for giggles I put the SD Card in my A119 Mini, and it worked no problem like it has been for the past month. So the A229 really does not like the SanDisk High Endurance. And Viofo is really serious about their new SD Card recommendations on their website, (see attached screenshot).
-Chuck

Can you format the SanDisk High Endurance card with SDFormatter (full overwrite), then place back in the A229 and try again?
 
SanDisk "High" Endurance is a known issue with Viofo dashcams.
No such issues with the "Max" Endurance version.

According to the item descriptions on Amazon the SanDisk "HIGH" and "MAX" Endurance have identical read & right speeds.
100 read, 40 write
That's the only thing that they are identical in. They are different by every other measure.
 
SanDisk "High" Endurance is a known issue with Viofo dashcams.
No such issues with the "Max" Endurance version.


That's the only thing that they are identical in. They are different by every other measure.
I would disagree in part. The SanDisk High Endurance cards only seem to be an issue with their newer cameras. I run the SanDisk High Endurance in the A129 Plus, A119V3 and A129 Pro with no issue.
 
I would disagree in part. The SanDisk High Endurance cards only seem to be an issue with their newer cameras. I run the SanDisk High Endurance in the A129 Plus, A119V3 and A129 Pro with no issue.
I think I recall reading a comment from the Viofo boss in the past month or two indicating Sandisk High Endurance card is a known issue with A229/A119 Mini.
I used the term dashcams because it was more than one model affected, did not mean to say that their entire product line is affected.
 
I think I recall reading a comment from the Viofo boss in the past month or two indicating Sandisk High Endurance card is a known issue with A229/A119 Mini.
Correct. As far as I'm aware, those are the only two that do not like the SanDisk High Endurance cards. Those are the 2 newest models. I don't think they are an issue with the A139, not sure on the T130 yet. Hopefully this is just a firmware/SDK issue that can get corrected at some point, because the SanDisk High Endurance cards have been solid with the older models and can be purchased for a decent price.
 
Can you format the SanDisk High Endurance card with SDFormatter (full overwrite), then place back in the A229 and try again?
Right on CYA,
I just googled SDFormatter and it looks like it requires a Windows PC, or Mac Computer.
I have neither. lol
I'm not too woried about it since the card in question in not on Viofo's recommened list.
-Chuck
 
SanDisk "High" Endurance is a known issue with Viofo dashcams.
No such issues with the "Max" Endurance version.


That's the only thing that they are identical in. They are different by every other measure.
Right on Lothar,
I have two of these SanDisk HIGH endurance cards, and I've been using them in my A129 Plus since May, and my A119 Mini for the past month, and a half.
It's only the A229 that doesn't like it.
I'm not too worried since it's not one of Viofo's recommended cards.
I just thought the voice notification "failure to format" was neat. lol
-Chuck
 
I have the 128 high endurance and it works as far as I can tell in all 3 cams I have running, the A129 pro duo, A139, and the A229, on the occasions where I have used it across the three models.

Paul.
 
I have the 128 high endurance and it works as far as I can tell in all 3 cams I have running, the A129 pro duo, A139, and the A229, on the occasions where I have used it across the three models.

Paul.
Right on Paul,
Thanks for stopping in.
-Chuck
 
A229 Duo “Gentle” heat test, (no direct sunlight).
Dash Cam installed in my car, car parked in my garage.
At 8:00AM I started the A229 Duo, 2K30fps both channels, Max Bitrate, Normal Recording Mode.
I also started the A119 Mini at the same time, 2K60fps, High Bitrate, Normal Recording Mode just for fun.

The high temp for the day was 93°F / 34°C.
Both cameras ran continuously for 10 hours.
At 6:00PM my garage was 93°F / 34°C.
At 6:00PM my car interior was 87°F / 31°C.
The A229 Font camera was 130°F / 54°C.
The A229 Rear camera was 100°F / 38°C.
The A119 Mini was 145°F / 63°C.
Both cameras never shut off, or stopped recording.
I checked the sd cards, and all files were there, and playable.

Of course these heat measurements are almost meaningless, and direct sunlight testing is needed.
But, I was expecting the A229 to run just as hot as the A119 Mini.
The A229 does not have as many ventilation passages built into the case as the A119 Mini.
However the A229 front camera runs 15°F / 9°C cooler than the A119 Mini.
Maybe the A229’s physically larger case, and components allow it to dissipate heat better than the much smaller A119 Mini.
I think that’s neat.
-Chuck
 
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