Viofo A129 Duo

Viofo A129 Duo front and rear car cameraTechnical Specifications

– Dual channel dash cam
– Max. resolution: front 1080p, rear 1080p
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– Aperture: f/1.6
– Optional GPS in mount
– Wi-Fi (2.4 or 5 GHz)
– 2″ Screen
– Video format: MP4
– Supports up to 256 GB MicroSD cards
– Novatek NT96663 processor
– Time and date stamp on video
– Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor, motion detection
– Parking modes: Time-lapse and motion activated
– Buffered parking mode in development
– Interfaces: Mini-USB, AV out
– Lock file button
– Optional bluetooth remote lock file button
– Optional CPL filter
– Operating temperature: from -10°C to 65°C (14°F to 149°F)
– Storage temperature: from -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F)
– Apps for Android / iOS
– Wide Dynamic Range (WDR)
– Internal capacitor instead of battery
– Internal microphone and speaker
– Adhesive mount
– Front and rear images can be flipped upside down

Front Camera:
– Max. resolution: 1920×1080 @ 30fps
– Bit rate: 16.5 Mbps
– Size: 84mm x 55mm x 40mm
– Sony STARVIS IMX291 sensor
– Angle of view: 140° diagonal

Rear camera:
– Max. resolution: 1920×1080 @ 30fps
– Bit rate: 16.5 Mbps
– Size: 53mm x 31mm x 50mm
– Sony STARVIS IMX291 sensor
– Angle of view: 140° diagonal

NOV 2019 UPDATE: There’s a newer version of the A129 Duo, called A129 Pro. It records at 4K (2160p) resolution with its front camera, instead of 1080p. At just $80 more than the A129 Duo, the A129 Pro currently is the most affordable true 4K dash cam available. Check out our review of the Viofo A129 Pro if you’re interested.

Viofo A129 Duo Review

Viofo are a Chinese dash cam manufacturer that have had tremendous successes with their A119 and A119S models. Now they’ve released a relatively low-cost dual channel dash cam, aptly named A129 Duo. Let’s have a look if this device has the potential to become as popular as the single-channel models.

Design

Outwardly, Viofo have kept to their trademark wedge shape. This is a popular form factor for dashboard cameras, as it makes for a stealthy and unobtrusive design. Gone are the days of a huge suction cup mount sticking out like a sore thumb from the windshield.

Viofo A129 Duo screen and buttonsBuild quality is good, and the layout of control buttons has been rearranged for the A129. There are five buttons, lined up in a row: Menu, Record, Lock File (a bit larger than the others), followed by Mute, and Picture-In-Picture (PIP) keys. Three LEDs indicate recording, Wi-Fi, and microphone statuses.

Long-pressing the Menu button turns the camera on or off (power button), and long-pressing the PIP button serves to toggle Wi-Fi.

While the rear camera looks the same as the Aukey DR02‘s, that’s only its external appearance. The hardware used inside is totally different. For example, the Viofo A129 Duo is the first dash cam that uses a SONY STARVIS IMX291 sensor for the rear camera.

In fact, the front and rear cameras actually use identical sensors and lenses. Most other dash cams use inferior hardware for the rear camera.

Video Quality

As for the quality of video footage it records, the A129 Duo performs about the same as other two-way dash cams in its price range. While its video isn’t as sharp as what high-end dash cams like those by BlackVue and Street Guardian produce, the A129 records better video at night than most other dual dash cams below $250.

At day, the A129’s video quality is good to very good. Check here for an overview table detailing the video performance of various front and rear dash cams, at day and at night.

Bit rates are 16.5 Mbps for both the front and rear video streams. A 128 GB card will give you a little more than 8 hours of uninterrupted recording time. The maximum supported card size is 256 GB.

Basic Parking Mode

If you purchase a hard-wire kit (also available separately) and hook the camera up to the car’s fuse box, you have several options for recording while the car is parked. One option is time-lapse recording, and the other is to record at a lower bit rate (reducing video quality).

If an event is detected by the camera’s G-sensor or by visual motion detection, the A129 will wake up and start to record normally. At the moment though, wake-up time is around 4 or 5 seconds, during which nothing will be recorded.

While this issue will hopefully be resolved in the future, for the time being you may want to consult our list of the best dash cams for parking mode if parking surveillance is important to you.

Buffered (“true”) parking mode is in development, and should be available with a future firmware version.

Other Features

A GPS receiver is built into the mount of the camera (which is actually more of a bracket that sticks directly and very discreetly to your windshield). While GPS is labelled as optional, at this time we have only seen a GPS version of this camera offered for sale.

A CPL filter is available separately for this camera, to reduce reflections.

The A129 supports Wi-Fi, either at 2.4 or at 5GHz. Free apps are available for Android and iOS smart phones.

There seems to be an issue with the camera’s Wi-Fi currently. If your phone connects to the A129’s access point but doesn’t seem to connect to the camera, you’ll need to turn off your phone’s mobile data.

The A129 Duo is one of the first dash cams to feature a remote lock file button that operates via Bluetooth. The remote button costs around $20 and comes with two batteries included (one of them is a replacement, for when the first one runs out). You can just place the button within easy reach near the steering wheel, and push it whenever something happens that you’d like to keep the video of.

UPDATE: The A129 Duo is now also available with an infrared (IR) rear camera, which is great for recording the passenger cabin: a must-have for taxi and uber drivers. The infrared version is called Viofo A129 Duo IR.

Conclusion

The A129 Duo is a highly reliable, sub-$200 dual channel dash cam that records 1080p, both ways. Overall video quality is good.

Viofo are quickly becoming one of the most trustworthy dash cam manufacturers, and their A129 Duo is currently the best value for money front and rear dash cam on the market.

Viofo A129 Duo Video Samples

For full original video quality, make sure to watch on full screen and select maximum video resolution (use the cog icon in lower right corner). You may have to rewind the video after changing the resolution.

Day Time Front Video Sample

Forward video at day looks very good. License plates of other cars are easy to read even while driving by at some distance.

Day Time Rear Video Sample

Day rear video quality is good. License plates of nearby cars are easily readable by pausing the video.

Night Time Front Video Sample

Forward video at night is good. License plates are mostly readable, albeit sometimes washed out by our own headlights, or blurry when the viewing angle is inconvenient.

Night Time Rear Video Sample

Rear video at night is fair. Other cars’ license plates are readable when driving by slowly, but are blurry at higher speeds.

Where To Buy

The Viofo A129 Duo is available for sale from the following vendors:

Amazon US / CA / UK / DE / FR / ES / IT

eBay US / CA / UK / AU

AliExpress (global)

Viofo (manufacturer)