Viofo A129 Pro Duo 4K – Best Value 4K Dash Cam

VIofo A129 Pro front and rear dash cam

Technical Specifications

– Dual channel dash cam
– Max. resolution: front 4K, rear 1080p
– Price: Amazon US / CAeBay US / CA / UK / AUAliExpressmore vendors
– Optional GPS in mount
– Wi-Fi (2.4 or 5 GHz)
– 2″ Screen
– Video format: MP4
– Supports up to 256 GB MicroSD card
– Novatek 96685 processor
– Time and date stamp on video
– Loop recording, auto on/off, G-Sensor, motion detection
– Parking modes: Buffered, time-lapse, low bit rate
– Lock file button
– Optional CPL filter
– Optional Bluetooth remote lock file button
– 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
– Overheat protection
– Internal capacitor instead of battery
– Internal microphone and speaker
– Adhesive mount

Front Camera:
– Max. resolution: 4K (3840×2160 pixels) @ 30fps
– Bit rate: 15-50 Mbps
– Size: 84mm x 55mm x 40mm
– 8.29MP Sony Exmor R sensor (IMX317)
– Aperture: f/1.8
– Angle of view: 130° diagonal

Rear Camera (Optional):
– Max. resolution: 1080p (1920×1080 pixels) @ 30fps
– Bit rate: 15 Mbps
– Size: 53mm x 50mm x 31mm
– 2MP Sony Starvis sensor
– Aperture: f/1.6
– Angle of view: 140° diagonal

Viofo A129 Pro Duo 4K Review

In late 2019, Viofo released their first 4K dash cam. 4K, sometimes also referred to as UHD (Ultra High Definiton), means that the camera records at 3840×2160 pixels.

The (optional) rear camera records at 1080p (1920×1080 pixels). Both the front and rear camera operate at 30 frames per second (fps).

Never Change A Winning Design

The Viofo A129 Pro Duo looks almost exactly the same as Viofo’s earlier cameras, such as the A119 series and the A129 Duo. The Pro version is a bit bigger than the A129 (a few mm more on each side). It’s also heavier, due to the built-in cooling system. The cooling system is necessary because processing 4K video uses a lot more processor power than 1080p, and generates more heat.

With its characteristic wedge shape, the A129 Pro is relatively discreet. It comes with a 2″ screen, so you can review videos on the spot. Underneath the screen, there’s Viofo’s time-proven array of 5 buttons. A large round lock file button is set in the center, and smaller rectangular buttons for navigating the camera’s menu are situated on either side.

Video Quality

The A129 Pro is currently the only 4K dash cam that can record at bit rates as high as 60 Mbps. Other true 4K dash cams compress their video streams to 25-30 Mbps, saving storage space, but also sacrificing image quality.

The front camera’s video quality during the day is nothing short of excellent. It’s easy to read other car’s license plates while driving by, and even the foliage of trees looks awesome. Just compare how trees look on the A129 Pro’s video with the video of any other dash cam, and you’ll notice a striking difference.

Day time front video quality is excellent. You can read other cars’ license plates with ease. All details look super sharp and crisp, and even foliage is recorded in impressive detail.

Rear video at day time is of good quality: You should be able to read most license plates of other cars by pausing the video. At night, both the front and rear cameras record only fair quality: You’ll be able to see what’s going on, but it will be hard to read license plates except when you are very close.

Rear video quality at day is good. You can read most license plates by pausing the video.

On Bit Rates And File Sizes

Of course, recording at 60Mbps has a drawback: Your video clips become huge, and your memory card will fill up a lot quicker than usual!

That’s why the A129 Pro lets you choose the bit rate of the front camera. It’s worth to play around with this setting, and see which bit rate is best for your taste. The difference in video quality between the individual settings isn’t huge.

Here’s an overview of how many megabytes of memory a one-minute video clip will occupy, for each of the bit rate settings:

  • Low (15 Mbps) – 109 MB/min
  • Medium (30 Mbps) – 216 MB/min
  • High (43 Mbs) – 303 MB/min
  • Max (60 Mbps) – 431 MB/min

If you get the front and rear version, the rear camera will add another 15 Mbps, resulting in an extra 109 MB per minute.

Memory Card Sizes & Storage Time

The A129 Pro supports a maximum memory card size of 256GB. Depending on your bit rate setting, and whether you have single or dual channel version, here are a few examples of how long you’ll be able to record with a 256GB card before the loop recording kicks in and overwrites the oldest files:

  • Low bit rate, no rear camera (= 15 Mbps): over 37 hours
  • Low bit rate, with rear cam (= 30 Mbps):  over 18 hours
  • Max bit rate, no rear cam (= 60 Mbps): over 9 hours
  • Max bit rate, with rear cam (= 75 Mbps): over 7 hours

Remember to always use high endurance SD cards with your dash cam (here’s why).

Night time front video quality is fair. While the footage is relatively clear, it’s hard to make out other cars’ license plates.

Parking Modes

When installed with a hard-wiring kit, the A129 Pro supports three different kinds of parking mode:

  • Buffered: records from 15 sec before to 30 sec after an event detected by the G-sensor
  • Time-lapse: records continuously at a low frame rate
  • Low bit rate: records at 30fps, but at a low bit rate to save memory (not recommended, as you might not be able to make out license plates in case of a hit-and-run)

Other Features

The A129 Pro supports Wi-Fi, so you can control the camera with your phone. Free apps are available for Android and iOS phones.

It also has an in-built overheat protection, so if the temperature of the chip set ever rises above the maximum operating temperature of 65°C (149°F), it will shut down automatically to avoid damage to the equipment.

Optional accessories include an external GPS antenna, a CPL filter to reduce windshield reflections in the sunlight, and a remote lock file button that you can place in a convenient place on your dash.

Rear footage at night is of fair quality. On a brightly lit road you’ll see all the details, but you can only read license plates when you are very close.

Conclusion

As of November 2019, the Viofo A129 Pro is not only the cheapest true 4K dash cam on the market, it’s also the one with the best video quality during the day. Night video quality is average to fair, comparable to the BlackVue DR900S. If you want better night video, and/or cloud connectivity, check out the Thinkware U1000 (which is roughly twice the price, though).

With GPS, Wi-Fi, buffered and time-lapse parking mode, and many optional extras, the Viofo A129 Pro Duo is by far the best value 4K dash cam out there. What’s more, Viofo are a trustworthy brand, and have been known to produce reliable top-selling dash cams for many years now.

If you’re looking for a reliable, true 4K dash cam below $300, the A129 Pro is the one to go for.

Compare Prices And Buy Online Today

At the time of this writing, the front-camera only version of the A129 Pro is available only on Aliexpress.

The Viofo A129 Pro Duo 4K (dual channel version) is available for sale from the following vendors:

Amazon US / CA

eBay US / CA / UK / AU

AliExpress

Viofo

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