April 4th, 2018: The Viofo A119V2 is still our go-to recommendation for the best value dash camera. To see all dash cameras we recommend right now please read our Best Dash Cams Article.
Aug 25th, 2017: Added all improvements Viofo has made with the new V2 version of the A119
Dec 6th, 2016: Viofo Circular polarizers are now available for purchase. These held reduce glare from your dashboard.
Video ReviewSee this video first. The article adds extra details including the changes since A119V2 was launched.
Viofo A119V2 UpdatesSince we first launched the review, Viofo has made
a number of significant improvements to the A119.
GPS Mount Fix
Viofo launched their second version of the GPS mount which fixes power connection issues resulting in a constantly restarting camera. Viofo replaced the V1’s spring loaded pins which got stuck in a lowered position with flexing metal contacts. The new V2 mount is not compatible with the older v1 camera.
Viofo added a notch to the lens on the A119V2 camera to give their circular polarizer a way to remain fixed in place.
Black Adhesive Tape
When the camera was first released Viofo used grey colored tape for the mount which was noticeable. Within a few months it was swapped out with a black version which is much more stealthy.
Due to complaints of the camera vibrating in the mount Viofo added three sheets of die-cut foam and when added to your camera helps reduce movement when your vehicle rolls over bumps.
Added Mount + Adhesive Tape
Viofo added a thick non-GPS mount which is designed for vertical windshields to help the camera lens clear the glass. Before, you would have had to purchase a GPS mount. Viofo also applied VHB tape so you get an extra adhesive for free.
New Suction Mount
Viofo also made an optional suction mount. It can rotate 360° if you lower the camera. We will test it in the future. Assuming Viofo used the same suction mount as the Viofo WR1 we think it’ll do a good job sticking to your windshield. This mount is not compatible with the GPS mount.
Firmware – Adding Parking Mode and Firmware FIxes
Viofo has made a number of improvements fixing bugs and most recently adding a proper automatic motion detection mode to their camera. Before you had to manually turn on and off parking detection which could cause problems with the camera not recording if you failed to turn it off.
However, we do want to mention there are issues with the camera freezing which can be fixed by reflashing the firmware. Viofo is looking into this issue and we hope it’s fully fixed in the future.
Viofo was the original creator of the A118 which we recommended in a previous review. Unfortunately the design and tooling were copied and multiple factories started producing the A118 which resulted in lower quality units coming onto the market.
Viofo launched the A119 as its successor in July 2016 and greatly improved the hardware in conjunction with feedback from the community at Dash Cam Talk. It has a similar wedge profile but otherwise everything else has been changed. It looks nicer and less industrial.
|Date Released||July 2016|
|Max Resolution||2560 x 1440P @ 30FPS|
|Image Sensor||Omnivision OV4689|
|Lens||Glass f/1.8 Lens|
|Capacitor // Battery||Capacitor|
|Operating Temp||Max 65°C|
|Size||8.5 cm x 5.2cm x 3.6cm|
Video Quality & Raw VideosViofo’s A119 has excellent video quality. It’s not the absolute best but it ranks amongst the top cameras we reviewed. There are some tradeoffs such as having worse low-light performance and reduced dynamic range. It’s much better the popular and similar looking Rexing V1 or KDLinks X1. We directly compared the A119 against a few cameras:
Dome D201: A camera we recognized as having the best video quality for $100 but has many flaws so it’s not a recommended pick.
Vicovation OPIA2: A $300 premium camera with the same excellent video hardware as the Dome D201 but the video quality is better.
Against the older A118 it holds up quite well during the day. Details are the same if you look at the builds and foliage in both cameras but is noticeably different in the license plate of the white truck.Download Raw Videos: A118 – A119 Dynamic Range Comparison
Surprisingly the Yi had the worst results, it’s very dark under the hotel vestibule even if you increase brightness. The A119 and A118 were again tied in performance. Finally the OPIA2 had the clearest performance. The A118 was taken on a different day but the conditions were similar and we drove in the same position.Download Raw Videos: A118 – A119 – Vico OPIA2 – Yi Dash Cam Comparing Exposure in Rapidly Changing Lighting Conditions
Nighttime VideosIn general the A119 excels at more brightly lit scenes but falls behind when the light drops off. That’s why the Yi which has a smaller pixels has better quality.
128GB Cards Accepted
On Viofo’s website it states that the A119 only takes up to 64GB cards. I have confirmed with Viofo staff that it does indeed take 128GB cards. Here’s their quoted answer: “You can say the 128GB cards are compatible, we released an action camera based on NTK96660 last year, so know it works.”. If you’re wondering what card to pick (and it makes a big difference in reliability) see our guide on SD cards.
A119S Sony Exmor Model
Viofo has launched their low-light A119S in December 2016. The A119S uses a Sony Starvis IMX291 sensor, a faster f/1.6 glass lens and a new lens housing which does not allow side to side movement. We purchased a production unit and tested it against the A119 (firmware version v2.0).Overall Video Quality
The A119S has worse sharpness and more motion blur compared to the A119 even under low light situations. The A119S does have better dynamic range which means you can see more at night but in my opinion isn’t a significant improvement. The A119S at 60FPS runs close to natively and there’s not much reduction in quality compared to other cameras.The A119S has much less distortion in the corners due to the reduced field of view. From what I understand the A119S’ Sony Exmor IMX291 firmware is still new and image improvements are coming. As well I want to do a number of tests I listed at the bottom. Videos
Circular PolarizerNow officially launched the circular polarizer will reduce glare from your windshield. There are two versions available with drawbacks for both. As it’s just released there are no comparisons yet. You can follow the discussion on DashCamTalk.
Official Viofo Clip-OnThis version clips onto your lens and allows you to perfectly adjust the polarization angle for best performance. Unfortunately the A119 lacks the detent slots and you’ll need to use tape or blutack to make sure it doesn’t fall off. On the A119S there are handy slots so no extra effort is needed. See the Price on Amazon
BlueSkySea Adhesive VersionMade by a very well known retailer this version is smaller and sticks onto your lens. This allows you to continue using the side to side adjustment of your lens but you won’t be able to remove the filter often as the adhesive will wear down. See the Price on AmazonSee the Price on eBay
SummaryOverall: Expect a camera that delivers on the major features with a few shortcomings that are easily looked over.
|The Good||The Bad|
Viofo released v2.0 in Oct 31, 2016 which fixes a number of bugs with the camera. Since the original version Viofo has improved the image quality, added imperial units and customization for your speed and location stamp on the video. You can download and read more about it here: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/a119-firmware.22223/
Loop Recording – 3 Minutes: Anything but off will work. 3 Minutes is a good compromise between too many video files and discoverability.
Exposure – 0EV: If it’s overly bright or dark you can change this number
WDR – Off: WDR does nothing but worsen night quality for minimal gains in dynamic range
Time Lapse Record – Off
Motion Detection – Off
GPS – On
G-Sensor – Off: No reason to turn this on
LDWS/FCWS – Off: Too many false warnings
Record Audio – Depends: Make sure it’s legal where you live. Otherwise it’s your choice.
Screensaver – 15 seconds:
LED – On: Turns the status LED on/off. Helpful in checking for problems.
Date/Time: No GPS, adjust date/time here.
Time Zone: If you have a GPS your camera will calibrate time/date to the set timezone
Beep Sound: On Disabling this will disable audio notifications. Keep it on.
Frequency: Depends on your electrical grid. 60HZ in North America, 50HZ in Europe.
Format Warning – 30 Days:
Car No – Optional: Some people put their license/name here
Where to Buy It?
Viofo has a number of authorized retailers listed on their webpage. We’ll list them below and talk about the sellers. It’s worth paying the additional $10 for the GPS mount as it improves convenience but it’s not necessary.
OCDTronic is the store launched by Jon, formerly from Pier28. He is known for his amazing customer service and has deep ties with the Dash Cam Talk community. My first choice.