A229 Pro Test & Review PP

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Dash Cam
VIOFO Since 2020
Viofo is back at it again with another industry first.
Last year they released the Original A229 Duo (May 2022).
It was the first 2-Channel dash cam to offer 2K Front & Rear with Sony STARVIS 1 IMX335 image sensors.
I’ve had the Original A229 Duo installed in my car since July 2022, and I’ve become fond of the good quality 2K rear camera, and the excellent built-in microphone audio quality.
Back when I reviewed it my Cons for the Original A229 Duo were;
1.) No 2K60fps Resolution Option
2.) No Optional CPL Filter For Rear Camera
3.) No Voice Commands
Well I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. lol
The A229 Plus has a 2K60fps resolution option, I’ll make a separate Test & Review thread just for the A229 Plus.
And we get Voice Commands on both the A229 Pro & Plus, this is especially welcome because it makes purchasing the $20 optional Bluetooth Remote Lock Button unnecessary.
And being able to turn On/Off the Wi-Fi without having to touch the main unit is really helpful in day to day interactions to change settings, download clips, format SD Card, etc.

The biggest news / improvement with the A229 Pro 3-CH over the A139 Pro for me so far is it’s capable of maintaining 30fps for all the 3 channels, (A139 Pro 3-CH drops to 24fps), and the FRONT camera can maintain the full 60 Mbps Bitrate in 2-CH configuration with the REAR camera, (2-CH configuration with IR Interior drops the FRONT camera to 36 Mbps =(

When I first learned the A229 Pro had grown into a 3-Channel model I was kind of bummed because I just knew it meant I was going to lose one of my favorite features, (3.5mm External Microphone Jack Input).
The 3.5mm jack is now the output for the IR Interior Camera.
But, I’m pleased to report the A229 Pro has retained the excellent audio quality of the built-in microphone from the original A229 Duo.
As a consolation, after some preliminary testing I’ve found the IR Interior camera to be much improved over the A139 Pro’s IR Interior camera for three reasons.
1.) Image Sensor upgraded from STARVIS IMX291 to STARVIS IMX307
2.) HDR Support
3.) Built-in Light Sensor with IR Cut Filter
I’ve found it has better low light sensitivity, so it can maintain full color until lighting conditions drop so low that it engages the IR LED Emitters, and switches to black & white.
The HDR works fantastic.
The built-in light sensor is more accurate, and quicker to respond to changes in ambient lighting conditions, (switching back and forth between color & black and white).
And the IR Cut Filter has gotten rid of that annoying purple hue on dark colored objects during daytime recordings.

The A229 Pro I received on 9/11/23 is a pre-production model, and I’ve been comparing it to my A139 Pro (STARVIS 2 IMX678), and A119 Mini 2 (STARVIS 2 IMX675) for the past two weeks.
It was delivered with firmware 0912, then we got 0915, and now we have 0925.
The Viofo engineers have been working assholes & elbows to perfect the image quality for release, and it will continue to improve as time goes on.
I’ll be getting another retail production A229 Pro for test & review, so if I notice any differences in hardware, functionality, etc. I will make note of it.

Test Rig 1 .jpg
Test Rig 2 .jpg
Test Rig 3 .jpg

Another notable upgrade is the new QUAD MODE GPS Module.
So far during testing I have noticed the upgraded GPS Module gets GPS Lock much sooner than any previous Viofo GPS Module.
Sometimes in my garage it can take up to 15-20 minutes to get GPS lock depending where the satellites are in relation to my location.
I guess this is the additional 3 GPS protocols working, (BeiDou, Galileo, GLONASS).
This is a much welcome addition.
I often see complaints here on DCT about GPS not getting a locked signal until after a few minutes into their drive.
I can see this fixing those issues.
I discovered by accident the Original A229 Duo GPS Module is NOT compatible with the A229 Pro & Plus, and vice versa.
The A229 Pro will power up, and function with the A229 Duo module, however GPS data & coordinates are non-functional.
This will be a slight bummer to existing A229 Duo owners because they will have to swap out the GPS Mounts, along with different REAR camera cables.
The A229 Pro has switched to USB Type-C to USB Type-C for the REAR camera, instead of the A229 Duo’s Coax.

Another quick note the A229 Pro 3-CH has a listed specification of;
140° Front + 160° Rear + 150° Interior “Viewing Angle”.
Based on my testing I’ve found the true “FOV” to be closer to;
160° Front + 160° Rear + 170° Interior
Specs .png

FRONT
A229 Pro Front 160° .png
REAR
A229 Pro Rear 160° .png
IR INTERIOR
A229 Pro Interior 170°.png

Here’s the test footage I took these screenshots from;


My A229 Plus is scheduled for delivery today.
Once I get it unpacked I’ll reconfigure my scrap wood test rig for more side by side testing of the;
A139 Pro (IMX678)
A229 Pro (IMX678)
A229 Plus (IMX675)
A119 Mini 2 (IMX675)
-Chuck
 
Last edited:
Just a quick update to answer @Karagandinez question;
Q: Are the A229 Pro & A229 Plus REAR & INTERIOR cameras interchangeable?
A: My retail / production A229 Plus just arrived, and I connected the REAR & INTERIOR cameras to the A229 Pro.
I filmed some test clips, downloaded them to my iPhone, and viewed them.
Everything appears to function normally.
I'm going to say they are interchangeable, (even though I labeled them to identify them later on).
To confirm & verify I will connect the REAR & INTERIOR cameras from the A229 Pro to the A229 Plus later on.

Front .jpg
Right .jpg
Back .jpg
Left .jpg
Front 2 .jpg
 
@LateralNW @Agie
Well no wonder the A229 Pro weighs 1 oz. more than the Original A229 Duo.
They installed a huge 1 oz. heat sink.
Geez, that thing looks massive.
This was my first time taking apart a Viofo dash cam, and I’m kind of impressed how sturdy the components feel, and the screws have “precision” feel to them.
I’m almost sure I can put them back together without any damage.
Oh yeah, it looks like they relocated the Wi-Fi Antenna.

1 .jpg
2 .jpg
3 .jpg
4 .jpg
5 .jpg
6  .jpg
 
@LateralNW @Agie
Well no wonder the A229 Pro weighs 1 oz. more than the Original A229 Duo.
They installed a huge 1 oz. heat sink.
Geez, that thing looks massive.
This was my first time taking apart a Viofo dash cam, and I’m kind of impressed how sturdy the components feel, and the screws have “precision” feel to them.
I’m almost sure I can put them back together without any damage.
Oh yeah, it looks like they relocated the Wi-Fi Antenna.

View attachment 67829
View attachment 67830
View attachment 67831
View attachment 67832
View attachment 67833
View attachment 67834
*screen turns white* ;)

Wow that is a big heatsink and good on them for putting one in. With it being pushed hard with the two Starvis 2 sensors, and the high bitrate, wow just wow :D
 
WiFi anthenna was moved in A229 Duo from MIC location to a new location after some user feedback about audio record noise while WiFi is ON. It was ~1 year ago.
1664796904463.jpg
 
WiFi anthenna was moved in A229 Duo from MIC location to a new location after some user feedback about audio record noise while WiFi is ON. It was ~1 year ago.
Yo Dex,
Long time no see.
Oh yeah, I remember that complaint.
I didn't know they relocated it mid production.
 
WiFi anthenna was moved in A229 Duo from MIC location to a new location after some user feedback about audio record noise while WiFi is ON. It was ~1 year ago.
View attachment 67841
Yo Dex,
Long time no see.
Oh yeah, I remember that complaint.
I didn't know they relocated it mid production.
I was told that the cause of this problem was the microphone and that it would go away when I replaced it by sending a new microphone. I made a change. There was a decrease, but it was not completely gone. Changing the wifi location was a better solution.
 
Geez, that thing looks massive.
This was my first time taking apart a Viofo dash cam, and I’m kind of impressed how sturdy the components feel, and the screws have “precision” feel to them.
Those cables on the super capacitor look pretty massive as well, should be able to take many amps of power!
 
Those cables on the super capacitor look pretty massive as well, should be able to take many amps of power!
Yeah, but look at that small red wire that's been crushed by the last person to close the hood. lol
 
Yeah, but look at that small red wire that's been crushed by the last person to close the hood. lol
Was it crushed, or just correctly clamped to avoid a rattle?
 
The camera on the Right, it look as if the ribbon cable from the sensor to the PCB are secured to the PCB/ socket with a dab of glue, and probably a good ides seeing as its at a 90 degree angle.
And so have a strain to the otherwise strait cable

Very not electronics Feng shui :)
 
@LateralNW @Agie
Well no wonder the A229 Pro weighs 1 oz. more than the Original A229 Duo.
They installed a huge 1 oz. heat sink.
Geez, that thing looks massive.
This was my first time taking apart a Viofo dash cam, and I’m kind of impressed how sturdy the components feel, and the screws have “precision” feel to them.
I’m almost sure I can put them back together without any damage.
Oh yeah, it looks like they relocated the Wi-Fi Antenna.

View attachment 67829
View attachment 67830
View attachment 67831
View attachment 67832
View attachment 67833
View attachment 67834

I will guess the silver material where the GPS mounts is an EMF shield? The ribbon cable looks mildly bent but should be OK as the unit is not meant to be opened
on a daily basis. Likely located as it is to force ribbon cable away from heatsink when the back is on the dashcam. Looks like the other silver/metal tape looking stuff
may be shielding also or perhaps a heat-sink. Just a guess.
 
Forgive the ignorance, but is the white /grey line on the snout where the lens is for CPL alignment, and one would presume there is a corresponding alignment mark on the CPL itself?
 
Yes there usually are a " this side up" mark on factory set CPL filters.
Or in this case match line on CPL filter with line on lens housing.
 
Well no wonder the A229 Pro weighs 1 oz. more than the Original A229 Duo.
They installed a huge 1 oz. heat sink.
The SD slot has its own heatsink now?
This is interesting. Keeping the SD card temps lower will maybe make it more compatible with different cards and increase the lifetime.
 
The SD slot has its own heatsink now?
This is interesting. Keeping the SD card temps lower will maybe make it more compatible with different cards and increase the lifetime.
Steam Deck fried microSD cards recently so that's something in recent history on people's minds. Good practice though since the chipset and sensors are pushing out huge data loads now, keep them and the surrounds cool. I'm liking these new changes.
 
Steam Deck fried microSD cards recently so that's something in recent history on people's minds. Good practice though since the chipset and sensors are pushing out huge data loads now, keep them and the surrounds cool. I'm liking these new changes.
I like these changes too.
Testing will tell if this has an impact.
Let's wait.
 
I dont think a heat sink on the SD slot will do anything for the memory card itself, the 2 need to be in contact and have a good transfer of heat, that is why you use a thermal paste when you put a cooler on a CPU in a computer.

Second as some stupid Danish company found out many years ago ( putting liquid metal in what was essentially a heat pipe cooler and a little pump to circulate it), well it is all dandy if you can remove a lot of heat from one place, but if you can not dissipate it in another place you are still left with a mediocre solution.
So that cooler soon faded to the dark realms of history, and not even leaving a mark on any of the pages people remember.
 
I dont think a heat sink on the SD slot will do anything for the memory card itself, the 2 need to be in contact and have a good transfer of heat, that is why you use a thermal paste when you put a cooler on a CPU in a computer.

Second as some stupid Danish company found out many years ago ( putting liquid metal in what was essentially a heat pipe cooler and a little pump to circulate it), well it is all dandy if you can remove a lot of heat from one place, but if you can not dissipate it in another place you are still left with a mediocre solution.
So that cooler soon faded to the dark realms of history, and not even leaving a mark on any of the pages people remember.
Depends if the card gets hot by itself and needs cooling or if it is heated by its (hotter) surroundings (processor running hot mostly). Probably bit of both and by that logic, removing heat from the surroundings will help the memory card regardless?!?
 
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