Viofo A129 Duo – Small but mighty

Key features:

  • Dual Channel Full HD Video Recording
  • Wi-Fi Built-in 2.4GHz & 5GHz Dual Band
  • F1.6 Aperture 7 Elements Glass Lens
  • 2.0 inch HD LCD Display
  • 140° Wide Viewing Angle
  • G-Sensor & Motion Detection Supported Parking
  • Parking Mode Supported
  • Quick Release Mount
  • Bluetooth
  • Video Resolution Front & Rear: Full HD (1920 x 1080P 30FPS)
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The Viofo A129 Duo is one of the most affordable dual-channel dash cam which offers quality 1080p day and night footage from both its front and rear cameras. I was incredibly excited to get my hands on this dash cam earlier this year after having previously tried out and been pleasantly surprised with its preceding version, the Viofo A119. The A129 also integrates GPS, and a supercapacitor which replaces lithium batteries and helps to keep the dash cam performing well, even in extreme weather conditions where batteries are known to be ineffective.

Design and installation

I’m not one to read through in detail the installation guides and user manuals, so very much look forward to things that are reasonably intuitive – the Viofo A129 Duo was that. Though, I must admit, while I executed this with a fair bit of confidence, I was left questioning myself a couple of times as I flicked back through the instructions wondering where I went wrong.

The front and back cameras have a semi-permanent mount that pivots vertically, but not horizontally, which is fine – except if (like me) you don’t take care to install it exactly parallel. So, take extra care with the install of these cams as they aren’t forgiving to user error!

I found the rest of the installation and set up pretty straight forward – though it does sit on a funny angle on the front windscreen because of its ‘wedge’ shape, making it a tad difficult to view from the driver’s seat. Apparently this shape makes it well-disguised, but I feel like this might miss the mark when it comes to user functionality a little. 

The overall look and design is great – very neat and not at all obstructive for the driver. The Viofo A129 Duo features a neat little two inch LCD display. On this display, the set-up menus are great – even my teenage children know how to operate it well, and the buttons are very easy to press and navigate. 

The only final challenge with the installation is that you need to run a long, thick cable all the way to the rear to fit the back camera. This can be quite tricky, especially with a view to keep it well concealed. I am not sure I mastered this part of the installation if I am honest, in particular, not really sure how to hide this given my car has side airbags tucked. I didn’t want to tamper around with the insides of my car, so recommend you get a bit of help with this if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Video and audio quality

This is one of the features that surprised me the most about this camera, as many other brands make the claim to be HD, but very few deliver a genuinely clear product. The Viofo A129 Duo is crystal clear during the day and night, capturing all of the details you need to see. This was from both cameras, not just the main one at the front. As I manoeuvre my way into a reverse park, I can see exactly what’s behind me, including the number plates on the cars. 

Both front and rear camera feature a high quality Sony Starvis IMX291 Sensor which has better night vision than any other sensors, combine F1.6 Aperture 7 Elements Glass Lens and WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology, provide clearer view than most other car cameras in low-light conditions. These cameras are also producing an impressive 1920 x 1080p footage at 30fps. 

The audio is a good, but not as critical feature in the Viofo A129 Duo. When it works, it’s great, however, I have had a few troubles with mine cutting in and out for no apparent reason. It’s not a roadblock for me though, rather a ‘nice to have’ feature that needs a bit of attention.

Safety features

Instead of using a battery, the Viofo A129 Duo is installed with a supercapacitor for power supply and heat protection. The supercapacitor is becoming more and more popular with dash cams, protecting them from extreme heat and unexpected shutdowns, like those hot days we experience during summer in Florida. 

The integrated GPS feature of the Viofo A129 Duo means that you can log the speed and GPS location, also automatically correct the time by synchronizing with the satellite. Real-time speed displays on the car camera screen in KM/H or MP/H, depending on your preference and settings. This feature is particularly useful should you need to make an insurance claim or police report – providing vital evidence to these decision makers. It’s for this reason that I strongly believe GPS is a necessary feature in any dash cam. 

I was thrilled to see that the Viofo A129 Duo included G-Sensor & Motion Detection Supported Parking. This means that even though the car is switched off, if it detects motion outside the parked car, the dash camera will switch on and start recording, capturing any critical evidence. This extra level or surveillance is quite reassuring, protecting you from vandalism and robberies.

Our verdict

I have been more than surprised at the quality and price point offered by the Viofo A129 Duo. It’s a compact, discreet camera, offering all of the fundamentals of a safe dash cam at a fraction of the price. The Viofo A129 Duo easily competes in quality and functionality with many of the high-end competitors. Other than the challenges I faced with the installation, particularly for the rear cam, I am swayed. I would highly recommend the Viofo A129 Duo to anyone looking for a camera with the dual functionality and seeking the integrated GPS capability.