The A129 Plus Duo is the latest dual camera released by the Chinese manufacturer VIOFO. Launched in September 2020, this camera is an upgrade to the popular VIOFO A129 Duo.
Comparison with original A129
As can be seen by the table below, the A129 Plus is using newer, more capable hardware than the original A129. This results in higher resolution and better picture quality in the front camera.
|Feature||New A129 Plus Duo||Original A129 Duo|
|Processor||Novatek NT96670||Novatek NT96663|
|Front CMOS||Sony STARVIS IMX335||Sony STARVIS IMX291|
|Rear CMOS||Sony STARVIS IMX307||Sony STARVIS IMX291|
|Front Resolution||2560 x 1440p (Quad HD)||1920 x 1080p|
|Compression||H.264 or H.265||H.264|
The front camera records 1440p (Quad HD) video at 60fps with an average bitrate of 27.4 Mbps. Video quality for the front camera during the day is very good and night quality is good. The higher resolution, greater frame rate and increased bit rate are the biggest improvements over the original A129. Video quality is slightly better both day and night.
The rear camera records 1080p video at 30fps with an average bitrate of 23.2 Mbps. This rear video is not as good as the front camera but still one of the better 1080p video we have seen for a rear camera. It is good during during the day and above average at night.
Like the original A129, the A129 Plus comes with a 2″ screen, g-sensor and a GPS mount. The camera comes with WiFi and apps for Android and iOS. The Android app has decent ratings, while the iOS app is not as good.
The A129 Plus comes with an adhesive mount. Like most wedge cameras, it cannot swivel to record interactions at the driver or passenger windows. The A129 Plus Duo is a small camera at 84 x 55 x 40mm. The build quality is very good and initial reliability appears to be good.
The camera comes with audio and screen error notifications. This is a great feature since most dash cams only come with screen error notifications that can be easily missed by the driver.
16GB eMMC Option
VIOFO is offering a version of the A129 Plus with built-in 16GB of eMMC storage (embedded Multi-Media Controller). While a regular microSD card is still required, the eMMC storage will record if the microSD card is missing or if there is a memory card error. We will share more details once it is available.
The A129 Plus offers 3 parking mode options (when hardwired to your vehicle):
- Buffered Parking Mode: When a moving object is detected while parking, a video is recorded for 45 seconds (15 seconds before the event to 30 seconds after the event).
- 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.
- Low Bitrate Recording at approx 4Mbps will always record when parked and audio is recorded
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.
Hidden H.265 Option
The default compression used for the A129 Plus Duo is the common H.264 codec. However VIOFO has included a hidden H.265 compression option. To access the hidden H.265 compression you will have to:
- Stop Recording by pressing the record button
- Long press the MIC button for 4 seconds, an SD icon will appear on the left side of the screen.
VIOFO is responsive to questions and has adequate support. They also provide firmware updates which is a positive as well. Since the A129 Plus is on newer hardware than the original A129, you will likely see more firmware updates and improvements on this problem.
Buffered Parking Mode
Note that some owners indicate that the buffered parking mode does not work reliably. The camera will stop recording or crash during this mode. Until a firmware update is provided, we suggest using timelapse or low bitrate parking mode instead.
Should I Purchase?
The VIOFO A129 Plus Duo improves on the very good A129 Duo for only $10 more. Newer hardware and improved resolution for the front camera results in slightly better video quality. The discreet wedge shape, GPS, capacitor, WiFi with a decent Android and parking mode options (buffered, time lapse and low bitrate) make the A129 Plus Duo a great dual cam.
It is a bit early to tell if reliability will be good but early reports have been positive. While not the most affordable dual camera, price is reasonable given the overall quality. A recommended buy.
See what other owners have to say about the A129 Plus Duo on our forum.
Where to Purchase for Lowest Price
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
- Note: You must upgrade the front camera and rear camera firmware separately
- Format a microSD card using FAT32
- Download and copy the FWA129S.bin, RearcamA129FW.bin, and RearcamA129FW.update to your microSD card
- Plug the rear camera and connect the front camera with an external charger, it will start to upgrade the front camera automatically. After the front camera is upgraded, the camera will restart automatically.
- After the camera restarted, and the camera screen shows the live video for both the front camera and rear cameras, short press the Wi-Fi button(the last button), the screen will show “Send FW to TX…”；wait for about 1 minute, you will see “Tx Start Update FW…”, wait until this popup disappears, and then reboot the camera.
- Check the firmware version in the menu, make sure the rear and front cam version is up to date.
The latest firmware can be downloaded at the Viofo site or below:
Published: Oct 26, 2020
Updated: Nov 27, 2020