VIOFO A129 Duo

VIOFO A129 Duo

The A129 Duo is a dual camera launched in 2018 from the Chinese manufacturer VIOFO. Like many of the previous VIOFO models, the A129 is a wedge shaped camera allowing for a very discreet installation.

The A129 Duo is using the Novatek NT96663 processor and the Sony STARVIS IMX291 CMOS sensor for the front camera. It also uses the same Sony STARVIS IMX291 for the rear camera. The IMX291 is one of the best low light sensors available in a dash cams in 2019 and is one of the best for night recording.

Video Quality

The A129 Duo can record at 1080p 30fps for both the front and rear camera. Video quality during the day is very good and night quality is good as well for both front and rear cameras. Very few cameras perform better at night.

Features

The A129 duo is similar to other wedge shaped Viofo cameras (A119 series) from a shape perspective.  It comes with a 2″ screen and an optional GPS mount.  Build quality is good and is improved over previous VIOFO models in the A119 series. Members have noted more shielding of internal components as well and the GPS mount has been redesigned to ensure a firm hold on the camera.

Note that the A129 does not come with a power button but if you hold down the menu button, the camera can be powered on or off. Also the camera uses super capacitors instead of batteries which makes it better suited for hot environments.

The camera also comes with WiFi and there is an optional Circular Polarizing Lens (CPL) available as well. A new feature for this camera is an optional Bluetooth emergency lock button.

Our member Harsh provided a comprehensive review on our forum here. He has provided a photo of the package contents as seen below.

Package Contents

  1. Front camera
  2. Rear camera
  3. GPS mount (optional)
  4. Rear camera mount
  5. Rear camera cable (6 metres)
  6. Mini-USB power cable (4 metres)
  7. Dual USB car charger (3.1A)
  8. Short Mini-USB cable (30cm)
  9. Spare 3M adhesive tape for the mounts (2X)
  10. Cable management clips with 3M adhesive tape
  11. Pry tool
  12. User manual

Parking Mode

A129 offers 3 options to record when parking if you hardwire the camera. The 3 options are:

  1. Buffered Parking Mode: When a moving object is detected while parking, a video is recorded for 45 seconds (15 second before the event to 30 seconds after the event.
  2. Time Lapse Recording at 1fps, 2fps, 3fps, 5fps or 10fps. While parked, the camera will be always recording at the low fps but no audio is recorded.
  3. Low Bitrate Recording at approx 4Mbps will always record when parked and audio is recorded

The A129 Duo can be hardwired with a 2-wire or 3-wire kit. With the 2-wire kit, parking mode is entered after 90 seconds with no motion. Parking mode is exited when G-sensor is triggered or average GPS speed is greater than 8 KM/H.

With the 3-wire kit will enter and exit parking mode based on the Accessory (ACC) signal switching on and off. The 3-wire kit is the better choice to switch between driving and parking mode.

While VIOFO does a much better job for parking mode than other Chinese cameras, they are not at the same level as the Korean cameras (Blackvue, Thinkware, etc.). Many of the VIOFO complaints we see on our forum relate to parking mode issues.

Size Comparison

Our member Harsh has provided the following size comparison photos.

A119 on the left, A119S in the middle, A129 on the right.
A119 on the left, A119S in the middle, A129 on the right.

Known problems

Duplicate Frame Issue

A number of owners have indicated that the A129 records 1 duplicate frame, every 92-93 frames with the rear camera. Rear video does not appear as smooth every 3 seconds when the duplicate frame occurs. This problem does not appear to occur when using the front camera only or on Firmware versions 1.11 or earlier.

No fix has been implemented for this as of yet but most owners have not complained about this. You can read more about this issue on this thread.

G-Sensor Sensitivity in Parking Mode

Some owners have complained that the g-sensor sensitivity in parking mode is not adjustable and is not sensitive enough. An adjustable g-sensor sensitivity setting for parking mode would make the most sense so owners can adjust this setting based on their needs. If you are expecting very sensitive g-sensor triggering in parking mode, the A129 currently does not meet that need.

Mounting the Camera

Our member Harsh provided the following photos of the A129 mounted.

Mobius on the left, A119S in the middle and A129 on the right.

Sample Videos

Day Video – Front

Day Video – Rear

Night Video – Front

Night Video – Rear

Should I Purchase?

The VIOFO A129 Duo is one of the best dual cameras available given its video quality for both front and rear due to the Sony STARVIS IMX291 sensors used for both cameras. The other aspects of the camera are excellent as well including the discreet wedge shaped form factor, excellent build quality and good reliability.

While not the cheapest dual camera, price is reasonable given the overall quality provided. Definitely an excellent buy. See what other owners have to say about the A129 on our forum.

Firmware

WARNING! MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR FIRMWARE ARE PERFORMED AT YOUR OWN RISK. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR DASH CAM AS A RESULT OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Firmware Update Instructions

  1. Download the firmware file
  2. Unzip the FWA129.bin file
  3. Copy the FWA129P.bin file directly onto the microSD card root directory, not in any folders (card must be in Fat32 format)
  4. Insert the microSD card into the camera and power it on via a 5V/1A power source. Do not use computers USB ports, they do not supply enough power.
  5. While upgrading, the front REC red LED starts blinking (the light blinks slowly at the beginning, then blinks quickly), when the lights stop blinking, the firmware upgrade is finished. The camera will restart and the firmware file will be deleted automatically.
  6. IMPORTANT!!  Now go into the menu and manually default your cameras settings.  Do not miss this step!

Latest Firmware

The latest firmware can be downloaded at the Viofo site or below:

Previous Firmware

Custom Firmware

On our forums, a number of passionate owners (known as the DCTeam) have customized the firmware to optimize picture quality and functions. The full thread can be found here. Use at your own risk.

Specifications

Detailed Specifications

Read Review
Camera Type Dual Channel
Form Factor Wedge
Country China
Processor Novatek NT96663
CMOS Front Sony STARVIS IMX291
CMOS Rear Sony Exmor IMX291
Channels 2
Screen 2"
Touchscreen No
GPS Yes
G-Sensor Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Parking Mode Timelapse
Lock Files Auto or Button
Max Resolution Front 1920×1080p
Front Frames Per Second 30
Max Bitrate Front (Mbps) 16.5
Max Resolution Rear 1920×1080p
Rear Frames Per Second 30
Max Bitrate Rear (Mbps) 16.5
Video Format MP4
Compression H.264
Diagonal Viewing Angle Front 140°
Diagonal Viewing Angle Rear 140°
SD Card Type MicroSD
Max Size (Spec) 256GB
Max Size (User) 256GB
Size Front (mm) 84 x 55 x 40
Size Rear (mm) 53 x 31 x 50
Mount Adhesive
Power Supply 5V
Operating Temp -10°C to 60°C
Battery Capacitor
Error Notification Audio and Screen
Swivel (To Record Side Windows) No
Apps Android, iOS
Cloud Connectivity No
Release Date Jun 2018
Warranty 18 months with registration
Unique Features Sony STARVIS IMX291 sensor for both front and rear cameras
3 Parking modes (event, time lapse, low bit rate)
Advantages Excellent video quality for dual camera
Discreet
Good support
Disadvantages No buffered parking mode
Final Word Great value for a excellent dual camera. A step above the Mini 0906 from a video and reliability perspective.

Published: Jan 2, 2019

Updated: Oct 26, 2020