Viofo A129

Jeremy Wong

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Author's Note: The original review is found at jwtech, please head to the site to show us your support as well. Click here to view all my product reviews.




Viofo has sent over their latest A129 dual dashcam for testing.

Do note that this is a pre-production unit. So there is no retail box, accessories or manual. Production unit might be different from what I have below. Expected to launch end of May 2018.


Technical Specs:
• Processor: Novatek NT96663
• Sensor: Front & Rear - Sony IMX291 Starvis sensor
• Lens: 140° FOV
• Aperture: ???
• Resolution: Front only – 1080p 30/60fps. Dual – 1080p 30fps
• 2″ High Resolution TFT
• Support up to 128GB microSD card
• Dual band Wi-Fi
• Bluetooth remote
• GPS mount (optional)
• CPL filter for front and rear (optional)
• Built-in super capacitor
• Parking mode (requires hardwire kit)
(Getting some confirmations for the above)


The box



Open box



Contents

• A129
• Rear cam
• Rear cam cable
• GPS mount
• Rear cam mount
• Dual USB car charger
• Long mini USB cable


A129





GPS mount




New GPS mounting interface. And the new mount is slide to the right to release. Previously was slide up.
 
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Jeremy Wong

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Dual USB car charger




Long mini USB cable



Initial firmware out of the box



New features

Can choose low or high bit rate video recording, dual band Wi-Fi, and bluetooth remote.


Test setup


Will be using 64GB Samsung Evo+ for recording


A119 Pro & A129 comparisons

 
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Jeremy Wong

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Final thoughts?
Well, this A129 is not yet in its final form.

What do I like about it? 1) Better mount system, slides to the right, not up. 2) Sony IMX291 Starvis sensor for both front & rear cam. 3) Dual-band WiFi. 4) Great new lens. 5) Bluetooth remote for emergency recording. 6) Removable rear cam 7) Parking Mode (hardwire kit).

I miss the power button from the A119/A119S/A119 Pro.
 

krole

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Thanks for the write-up. Looks like it will be the budget 2ch cam to beat.

In addition to the missing power button, one feature that would be nice is to have the front GPS mount have both USB power in and the rear camera out on it. I think I only see USB power in.

Other than that I like what I see. Maybe I'll put one of these in my girlfriend car. Having the bluetooth remote will make it even easier to use instead of reaching up.
 

TonyM

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In addition to the missing power button, one feature that would be nice is to have the front GPS mount have both USB power in and the rear camera out on it. I think I only see USB power in.
The rear camera cable carries both power and data. I do not think it would be wise to try and transmit data across connector pins between the front camera and the mount. Much better to have the data connected directly between the camera units IMO.
 

JohnnyMnemonic

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What is the length of the cable that connects front to rear camera? I ask because vehicles like a Chevy Suburban, Yukon XL or Escalade ESV need a minimum of 20 feet, and that’s an absolute minimum.

Edit: also, in regards to the “Resolution: Front only – 1080p 30/60fps. Dual – 1080p 30fps” mentioned, does that mean the front can record 60fps while the rear is recording 30fps or the front can only do 60fps without the rear connected/recording at the same time?
 
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TonyM

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What is the length of the cable that connects front to rear camera? I ask because vehicles like a Chevy Suburban, Yukon XL or Escalade ESV need a minimum of 20 feet, and that’s an absolute minimum.
6m (20 feet)
Obviously the length you need depends on the route you choose.
 

krole

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The rear camera cable carries both power and data. I do not think it would be wise to try and transmit data across connector pins between the front camera and the mount. Much better to have the data connected directly between the camera units IMO.
Good point. Would be nice though

Almost defeats the purpose of having the power in the GPS mount since you either you will need to remove a cable. But I can see why they designed it as such if that was the concern.
 
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Jeremy Wong

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What is the length of the cable that connects front to rear camera? I ask because vehicles like a Chevy Suburban, Yukon XL or Escalade ESV need a minimum of 20 feet, and that’s an absolute minimum.

Edit: also, in regards to the “Resolution: Front only – 1080p 30/60fps. Dual – 1080p 30fps” mentioned, does that mean the front can record 60fps while the rear is recording 30fps or the front can only do 60fps without the rear connected/recording at the same time?
If you only use the A129 alone without the rear cam, you record in 1080p 60fps. But if front and rear together then it's both 1080p 30fps.
 
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Jeremy Wong

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What is the length of the cable that connects front to rear camera? I ask because vehicles like a Chevy Suburban, Yukon XL or Escalade ESV need a minimum of 20 feet, and that’s an absolute minimum.

Edit: also, in regards to the “Resolution: Front only – 1080p 30/60fps. Dual – 1080p 30fps” mentioned, does that mean the front can record 60fps while the rear is recording 30fps or the front can only do 60fps without the rear connected/recording at the same time?
I think it's more than 5 meters long as it's much longer than other rear cam cable I have pulled before.
 

JohnnyMnemonic

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If you only use the A129 alone without the rear cam, you record in 1080p 60fps. But if front and rear together then it's both 1080p 30fps.
Thank you Jeremy, that coincides with what someone else had mentioned in the past and wanted to confirm.

6m (20 feet).
Thanks as well Tony.
 

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What is the length of the cable that connects front to rear camera? I ask because vehicles like a Chevy Suburban, Yukon XL or Escalade ESV need a minimum of 20 feet, and that’s an absolute minimum.

Edit: also, in regards to the “Resolution: Front only – 1080p 30/60fps. Dual – 1080p 30fps” mentioned, does that mean the front can record 60fps while the rear is recording 30fps or the front can only do 60fps without the rear connected/recording at the same time?
Front 60fps is only when there is no rear camera.

6m (20 feet)
Obviously the length you need depends on the route you choose.
Not sure all the cables that have been sent out are production length, might need to ask Viofo for a correct answer.
Seems unlikely that the roof would be 20ft, if you go straight above the headliner! My route is about 1.5m and I have a lot of spare cable.

Good point. Would be nice though

Almost defeats the purpose of having the power in the GPS mount since you either you will need to remove a cable. But I can see why they designed it as such if that was the concern.
It is actually quite easy to remove, even though there is one cable to unplug, probably easier than taking the SD card out and then trying to find where it sprung to! Sending video via the base would likely cause some significant problems, including interfering with the GPS reception.
 

JohnnyMnemonic

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Front 60fps is only when there is no rear camera.
Thanks as well for the confirmation on that, just making certain.

Not sure all the cables that have been sent out are production length, might need to ask Viofo for a correct answer.
Seems unlikely that the roof would be 20ft, if you go straight above the headliner! My route is about 1.5m and I have a lot of spare cable.
In mine if I start from the middle of the windshield where the rear view mirror is and run the cable along the top of the windshield under the headliner to the drivers side a pillar and then continue to the rear tucking the cable in to remain hidden along the way to the rear liftgate and leave some slack for the rear liftgate to open and close with the camera attached, I'd need just about 19 feet and maybe even a few extra inches. I've got a very large SUV (2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV) so I'd be needing a lot more cable length than most people so 20 feet would be ideal for Viofo to offer to accommodate nearly everyone's requirements. To test how much I'd need I ran a piece of twine the whole route from my existing A119 Pro and then measured it end to end after removal. I'm considering the DR900S-2CH or this cam so it was worth tracing the route out now in advance.

I could get away with less going straight back from above the rearview mirror inside the headliner to the rear liftgate but I'm definitely not trying to drop the headliner in this vehicle myself as there are multiple HVAC vents, 2 drop down screens etc mounted up there as well. I'd get myself into more trouble attempting all that instead of just going around the sides.
 
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JohnnyMnemonic

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Just wanted to mention for those who may miss the power button on this cam compared to the A119, A119S and A119 Pro, this inline mini USB switch is an option. I've mentioned I use it in other threads and posted a pic of my setup with it so sorry for reposting it here but wanted to share as it may be a good workaround for those missing the power button on the A129.
 

TonyM

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Not sure all the cables that have been sent out are production length, might need to ask Viofo for a correct answer.
I quoted the cable length shown in the A129 user manual that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
 

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This looks like a really good cam - the video shown here is highly impressive.
 

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Why would they eliminate the power button or is it still possible to power on/off by long pressing another button?
 

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Why would they eliminate the power button or is it still possible to power on/off by long pressing another button?
Why would you want to turn it off?
And if you can't turn it off, why would you need a button to turn it on?
 
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