Viofo A129 Pro Duo dash cam hands-on: Compact and simple to use with a great app

Hands on with the Viofo A129 Pro Duo Dash cam compact and simple to use with a great app zdnet
  • Editors' rating
    8.2 Excellent

Pros

  • Excellent app
  • Simple controls
  • Clear images in low light

Cons

  • Adhesive pad issues
  • App UI shows 2088 year date
  • Can not delete locked videos via app

I have been using the Viofo A129 Pro Duo dashcam for a couple of weeks and -- aside from one irritation -- this is a nice little addition for your car.

Like all dash cams, there is a lot in the box here. The A129 Pro Duo comes with a front and rear camera, a long micro USB cable to connect the rear camera, a plastic stick to push the cable behind the trim in the car, a cigarette lighter adaptor with two USB ports, a short micro USB cable, a USB TF card reader, and several sticky pads and clips.

The dashcam has a good resolution. The front-facing camera is 4K UHD at 30fps with 3840 x 2160px resolution. The rear camera delivers full HD at 30fps with 1920 x 1080px resolution.

Hands on with the Viofo A129 Pro Duo Dash cam compact and simple to use with a great app zdnet

Eileen Brown

The Exmor sensor is made by Sony and is an IMX 317 8MP front-facing camera and IMX 291 2MP rear camera.

The 130-degree field of view is good, and as you can see, there is little lensing on the playback images. In low light, images are good, especially with the wide dynamic range feature.

The Micro SD card (sold separately) will support up to 256GB, so there is the potential to store a lot of video and impact information on the card.

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You can connect to the A129 Pro Duo through an app or manage the settings using the navigation buttons on the dashcam 2-inch screen itself. Annoyingly, the A129 does not have a touchscreen -- most of the other cams with screens have touchscreens.

However, once I had worked out how the buttons worked in each mode, the menus were simple to navigate, and settings were easy to change.

The buttons on the camera are simple. When not recording, you can enter the menu, start and stop recording, enter the saved playlist, enable or disable audio recording, and enable Wi-Fi.

When the camera is recording, the menu button will enable you to take a video snapshot. Other buttons will stop the recording, lock the file being recorded, and prevent it from being overwritten, enable or disable audio, and toggle the screen view to front only, rear only, or picture-in-picture mode.

Hands on with the Viofo A129 Pro Duo Dash cam compact and simple to use with a great app zdnet

Eileen Brown

Other settings allow you to play, lock, or delete saved videos. You can also record your speed and location with an optional GPS module for the dashcam.

If motion detection is turned on, the camera will detect any movement in its field of view and will record for 60 seconds before turning off. You can also configure the camera to detect events and record or record timelapse video at 1/2/3/5/20/15fps.

You do, however, need to buy the optional hardwire kit to ensure that the camera always has power to it.

I was really impressed with the Viofo app. The camera quickly connected to the app, and it was a breeze changing settings on the app instead of the camera. 

The only thing you cannot do is delete a locked video from the card. You need to go into the video list on the camera, manually unlock the video, and delete it from there.

You can only use either the camera settings or control the camera from the app -- not both.

One other issue with the app is that the video library shows the year 2088 -- not 2020 -- even though the video timestamps are correct on each video.

My biggest irritation was the sticky pad -- or lack of adhesion.

I stuck it to the windscreen several times, only to have it fall off when I was driving.

The windshield needs to be warm before the pad would adhere properly, so be aware of this if you are in a cold location.

Once I'd blasted the screen with warm air for 20 minutes, the dashcam stayed put.

All in all, the Viofo A129 Pro Duo is a nice little dash cam with an excellent app and easy-to-use buttons.

For $249, this dashcam will give you the peace of mind you need when out on the road.

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