Viofo A139 is on sale at Amazon prime day $215.99

drivedisk

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
2
Location
New York
Country
United States
Hello, I was looking to buy A139 dash cam, and whiling looking for some review came to this site and saw there are some heating issues with this dashcam. Today and tomorrow is Amazon Prime day and this dashcam and other viofo cams are on sale.
2 channel A139 is on sale for $175.92. You need to be logged in to amazon prime to see the price.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/B08QCM7FL1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/B08QCBPJF2

Is it worth buying with this heat issues? is it hardware issue or is it firmware issue?

Thanks
 
Last edited:

kamkar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
30,374
Reaction score
17,077
Country
Denmark
Dash Cam
10 years, many dashcams
Parking do seem to have some issues but i am not quite sure what names to pin to the system, i fear it is a little of this and a little of that,, but as for recording while driving my A139 have been rock solid.
Parking guard are secondary to me as i dont really feel a need for it, so if i get the option to test that i only do so for 1 hour if there is a timer function in the system, otherwise i must use a high 12.4 V cut off to go easy on my battery.
Only testing for 1 hour are way short in regard to endurance testing, so i have ramped up that timer now summer is in the neighborhood of Denmark, winter i also cant do much cold testing as really we Danes dont get the really frosty winters i remember from my youth, so -10 deg C here and it is cold now VS -20 or more as i remember from the good old days in the 70 and 80ties.

I also feel personally that if you are interested in using parking guard, then any system with the main unit on the windscreen is not optimal VS systems with 1 or 2 remote cameras like for instance the SG9663DR.
when summer return to Denmark in force i am going to enable parking guard on both my SG9663DR and A139 on the hottest day in sight, and see who win, even if i know who thats going to be, but i am interested in seeing if the DR system can pull thru when the heat really hit the little red car i drive.
 

Lothar

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
39
Location
Maryland
Country
United States
That $175 price is very tempting, but that 16 page thread about heat that I've been reading over the past week is giving me pause...
I'm only interested in a 2CH dashcam and not a 3CH one.
 

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
9,090
Reaction score
7,918
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Numerous and ever-changing
If you read that thread carefully you'll see that there is no conclusive evidence of the noted issues being caused by heat. Some well-known and respected members had the same issues at much lower heats while others have not had problems at all. I've run extensive tests of earlier FW in high heats without problems, and in my limited but ongoing tests with the newest FW I'm still not having problems. I am of the belief that this is primarily a firmware bug, which is a common occurrence in dashcam development. Since there are stable well-tested FW's available for this cam which offer all the features of the newest FW (and even more) that problem is easily solved- just don't use the latest FW until the problem(s) with it have been fixed.

Phil
 

k9x9

New Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
Country
United States
I strongly considered picking up the 3-chan A139, but after reading all of the posts here I decided to hold off - perhaps until the product matures a bit.
 

Lothar

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
39
Location
Maryland
Country
United States
It's not even clear whether heat, or even being on the latest firmware alone is even the issue, his special cables, or something else?
It could also just be his own individual camera that is misbehaving and just needs to be replaced due to various reasons(ex: a capacitor or whatever random part did not meet company/industry specification?) despite running the same v1.2 firmware that may be fine and is being shipped with other new A139 cameras worldwide? This is completely normal and can happen due to randomness. I work in the healthcare industry and specific lot numbers of drugs can be recalled as a precautionary measure for various reasons (such as not adhering to industry/company specifications, even if the result maybe completely harmless to consumers).
My understanding is that he was using the firmware that shipped with his camera (v1.2)? Other people that bought their units super early or were provided units for review may be on v1.1, or an older version of 1.2
It's also good to see that they're finally sending him a replacement.

I do appreciate them pushing the envelope in everything that they do and I know that there are both risks and rewards that come with that.
The A139 2CH is still in the "top 2" for the dashcams that I'm considering today. It will either be this or whatever SG comes up with next (which depends on timing) for sure.
I've ruled out both Thinkware and Garmin for my personal needs based on my research.
 

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
9,090
Reaction score
7,918
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Numerous and ever-changing
AFAIK all the people having problems are using one of the last 2 FW's. Also AFAIK there's been no hardware re-design. Some of those having issues did not have any before FW updating and they, like me, also saw some quite warm days. So to analyze this:
1- If a design problem then all cams will be affected. Didn't happen here
2- If heat related due to hardware only, then likely all FW's would be affected. Didn't happen here.
3- If a bad component then the issue will be very limited in scale to few cams. Do note that at least a few are having this problem, and the affected cams are from very early to very recent production. A batch of bad components will show a problem over a limited timeframe- that much we can rule out; a few bad components at random is possible.
4- If a FW bug, usually all the cams using that FW are affected, but not always. Sometimes other factors come into play with this such as settings, use of functions, and different SD cards. Another possibility.
5- If a card problem it may not affect all cards or all cams. These do vary slightly from batch to batch, and of course different brands and types can prove to be more/less problematic. I've had reliability problems with the first card the OP of that thread used, while others have had success with it, The second card tries was the same brand but a different type. Not sure if the card maker has changed their process but we've seen that happen with several top brands. Possible it's a card problem.
6- Bad remote cam(s) or cable(s). Possible that OP has this happening, but not likely with the others. As a widespread problem cause it's very unlikely here.
7- Powering doesn't seem to be an issue so I think we can rule that out as we're all using the same HWK yet getting different results.
8- App issue. No evidence of that.

So we've got some possible problem sources: FW, card, and bad hardware components. Could also be a combination of some of these causing a conflict and stopping the processor. For the wider issues of the many it won't be bad components. Now we've got cards and FW. We have known good stable FW in earlier versions where there are no reported problems, yet using the newer FW and the same card we have some problems. Using the newer FW and other cards we have some problems.

Therefore the only plausible source if the problems will involve FW, and possibly cards. Nothing wrong with the cam save for that OP maybe having bad hardware components (to include cables and remote cams). With diametrically opposite results from users trying 2 different cards there does seem to be something in that, but it has been seen in dashcams before in some occasions. Nothing that a different card won't fix. FW is user-choosable so that too is easily fixed.

So all I can conclude is that there;s no reason to not buy this cam unless you must have something the last 2 FW's offer which isn't available in earlier FW. I'm sure the newer FW's will be de-bugged in time. You may need a different card than the one you plan on using, but that's something which can happen with any cam. IMHO this is likely the best cam overall that Viofo has ever done. Your opinion may vary.

Phil
 

Freakrule21

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
Country
United States
I passed on the A139. Hopefully the A129 plus duo is problem free.
 

Lothar

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
39
Location
Maryland
Country
United States
it won't be 3 channel if that's what you're looking for
2CH only is what I'm looking for right now since this will be my first.
Let me get my feet wet first, then I can start looking at interior cams, side cams, and all that jazz.
 

Lothar

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
39
Location
Maryland
Country
United States
I passed on the A139. Hopefully the A129 plus duo is problem free.
I would still have taken the A139 2CH over the A129 Plus Duo. I agree with @SawMaster that this is still one of the best cams that Viofo has ever made.
A139 is likely to be more refined and have a longer support/shelf life than the A129 Plus Duo despite nearly having the same hardware.
I know that the A129 Plus Duo had an issue with skipping frames, not sure if that issue was ever fixed and I don't remember under what conditions that occurred. Since it was likely almost the same hardware (besides screen, voice acting, different cables, the outer clam shell, and some firmware differences) as I mentioned above, it was very easy for me to cross that off my list and elevate the A139 2CH over it.

Funny thing is that I would have even bought this a week or two ago, but when I chatted with someone (or something...not sure if this was a "bot" similar to what you see on car dealership websites?) called Alex at BlackboxMyCar to inquire if they plan on carrying the 2CH version, he/she said no. It seems almost everyone here has the 3CH version(which is what only BlackboxMyCar carries as well), so I might be in the minority looking at the 2CH version but I'm okay with it.
 

CaptureYourAction

Well-Known Member
Retailer
Joined
Feb 6, 2016
Messages
3,691
Reaction score
2,092
Location
New England
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Viofo, GitUp
I would still have taken the A139 2CH over the A129 Plus Duo. I agree with @SawMaster that this is still one of the best cams that Viofo has ever made.
A139 is likely to be more refined and have a longer support/shelf life than the A129 Plus Duo despite nearly having the same hardware.
I know that the A129 Plus Duo had an issue with skipping frames, not sure if that issue was ever fixed and I don't remember under what conditions that occurred. Since it was likely almost the same hardware (besides screen, voice acting, different cables, the outer clam shell, and some firmware differences) as I mentioned above, it was very easy for me to cross that off my list and elevate the A139 2CH over it.

Funny thing is that I would have even bought this a week or two ago, but when I chatted with someone (or something...not sure if this was a "bot" similar to what you see on car dealership websites?) called Alex at BlackboxMyCar to inquire if they plan on carrying the 2CH version, he/she said no. It seems almost everyone here has the 3CH version(which is what only BlackboxMyCar carries as well), so I might be in the minority looking at the 2CH version but I'm okay with it.
I should have the 2ch version available in about a week or two.
 
OP
D

drivedisk

New Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
2
Location
New York
Country
United States
Even I was interested in 2CH a139. I skipped the sale at Amazon prime day and the sale now ended. Its still on sale on viofo.com. 2 CH dash cam is available on amazon.com and viofo.com. I will wait till July 4th weekend and see how it goes. Looks like there is a new beta 1.6 firmware is release with extra features, not sure is any other issues are fixed or not.
 

SawMaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
9,090
Reaction score
7,918
Location
SC
Country
United States
Dash Cam
Numerous and ever-changing
I don't think any of the A129 cam versions have been as trouble-free as the A139 has been up to the last couple FW's. One needs only to scan the threads on those cams to see the issues. Given the similarity of the A129 versions and Viofo's history, I would not be surprised to see whichever of those is the slowest selling model being dropped in the next year's time- maybe sooner. With The A139 2-channel emerging that gives more reason to drop one or two of the A129's. Viofo moves forward quickly and doesn't continue slow-selling models which makes sense business-wise. But whichever Viofo cam you choose they are all good cams so you can't go too far wrong with any of them provided you do some research to be sure the one you prefer isn't having issues with a function or feature you want to use.

Phil
 

Nigel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2014
Messages
14,187
Reaction score
7,237
Location
Devon
Country
United Kingdom
Dash Cam
Gitup F1+G3ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Viofo A139ꞈꞈꞈꞈꞈ Blueskysea B4K+B2K
I don't think any of the A129 cam versions have been as trouble-free as the A139 has been up to the last couple FW's. One needs only to scan the threads on those cams to see the issues.
A119 V3, A129 Duo/Plus/Pro, and A139 have all been largely trouble free except for the odd fault in individual units and certain features,mostly added after launch like the buffered parking mode on the A129. The A139 has maybe had more issues at launch because it contained more features, but the basics have been better than previous cameras, certainly things like power supply, capacitors, clock battery, etc. seem significantly improved on previous cameras, very few reliability issues and plenty of lessons have been learned.

There does tend to be a lot of discussion on issues with these cameras, mainly because a lot of people buy them, and customers can often get features improved/fixed/added. Other brands that have issues often don't get discussed because there is no chance of getting them sorted.

Given the similarity of the A129 versions and Viofo's history, I would not be surprised to see whichever of those is the slowest selling model being dropped in the next year's time- maybe sooner. With The A139 2-channel emerging that gives more reason to drop one or two of the A129's. Viofo moves forward quickly and doesn't continue slow-selling models which makes sense business-wise. But whichever Viofo cam you choose they are all good cams so you can't go too far wrong with any of them provided you do some research to be sure the one you prefer isn't having issues with a function or feature you want to use.

Phil
A129 Duo is still a good camera for those happy with 1080 at a good price, not sure there is a reason to drop it unless they run out of stock and there are issues getting components, which may happen at some point. I recommend getting a 2K version, but that does come at extra cost and really isn't necessary in countries with bigger plates like UK.

A129 Plus is relatively new and seems to be doing well, so I guess that will keep going too.

A129 Pro still has the best video quality of just about any dashcam, despite a reasonably low price, so no reason to drop it unless they can produce something better for similar or less price... Maybe something to watch out for, but not just yet since it is still hard to beat that image sensor...

A119 V3 is the oldest I think, really should have wifi these days, but not having wifi does make it cheap considering the image quality, so maybe that will keep going too. For people wanting wifi there is the A129 single channel at not much extra cost.

A139 is the newest, so that will surely continue for ages, also a lot of people like the screenless design, so there is a market for both dual and triple channel versions.

As you say, they are all good cameras, and give plenty of choice, so they will all likely continue for a while... but in that case, what will Viofo come up with next? Maybe something to add to the collection rather than replace... It is a while since we had a real improvement in image quality, but Sony doesn't seem to have made any major improvements to their sensors, other than to make cheaper versions, so for a big improvement we still need larger sensors, which tend to be significantly more expensive.
 

HonestReview

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
3,143
Reaction score
682
Country
Sweden
By all means, there still needs to be testing done to determine if it's my unit, a bad batch of units, or an issue affecting all cameras to some degree.

Per my other thread:

1. I am going to test the 1.6 firmware on FHD-FHD-FHD h.x264 to see what happens (best case scenario). Hopefully the unit won't freeze.
2. If the 1.6 firmware fails, I am going to test 1.1 on FHD-FHD-FHD and h.x264.

I am allowed to keep suspected (not fully confirmed) faulty camera until replacement arrives. So I will be running more tests.

Viofo is mailing me out a new main camera body and redesigned cords to work with the lock I ordered. I have no intention of re-wiring the rear camera. Main purpose of lock is of course main body and interior camera. Removal of the cord for the "rear camera" isn't much benefit. So unless it becomes 100% necessary, I won't replace the rear coax.

That being said, my interior cord works 100%. It's just odd on Firmware 1.1 it acts strangely. I have had no issues on other firmwares. That being said, the rear cable cable fits very snugly and is pretty hard to remove. While the interior cable is only Semi-Snug. It clips and makes a locking noise. But it is far easier to remove without much force. So that's why I wanted to check all boxes upon getting replacement.

Just to eliminate slight possibility interior cable is an unseen issue.
 
Top