Viofo A119 V2 Update | Comparison vs A119 Pro & A119S

January 31, 2020

Hello it’s Andrew with Car Cam Central and today we’re checking out the newly released $100 Viofo A119 Pro We’ll compare it against the A119S and the original A119 which we first recommended nearly two years ago After testing all three the original Viofo A119 with version two hardware is still the best value camera for most drivers today The price has also dropped from $100 to $80 making it an even better deal We’ve also researched and tested cameras from other brands and we haven’t found another that delivers the value, reliability and video quality of the original A119 We recommend you watch our older A119 review first as we explain why it’s our top choice and how the camera works This video focuses on the updates since it was released There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get into it [INTRO MUSIC] Looking at the camera’s body all three have the same basic wedge design The side facing the driver will have an LCD screen and controls for the camera At the bottom you’ll find a lens that can swivel up and down Our recommended camera is the only one that can also pivot side to side The other two have a fixed lens On the back you’ll find the slot for the mount and these metal contacts which deliver power and positional information from the optional GPS mount We’ll talk about what it does later There are a few differences between the three models The A119 is the first launched and our top pick The S and Pro models have a different image sensor and lens You can pause the video if you want to read more In May 2017 Viofo updated the A119’s hardware and accessories labelling it V2 or version 2 Most importantly they fixed the GPS mount which can supply power to the camera The older pin connections could fail and stop making contact with the camera causing it to randomly restart The newer design does not have this issue Viofo also replaced the lighter color adhesive tape with a darker version which helps the camera be more stealthy You get a thicker mount for use with vertical windshields if you didn’t purchase the GPS mount Finally EVA foam was added to the packaging which attaches to the mounting area and greatly reduces vibration while driving Besides the GPS mount there are two other optional accessories to consider A circular polarizer and suction mount Both may be useful depending on your needs The $15 circular polarizer clips onto a notch cut on the lens body It reduces glare from the sun and street lights As well an optional suction mount was made for users who frequently move the camera or for vacations But, it’s not as strong or secure as the adhesive tape that’s included To my understanding only the version 2 hardware is being sold right now from retailers Installing the camera hasn’t changed After peeling the mount adhesive you press the camera against the glass Next, you insert and hide the power cable pop in a memory card rotate the camera lens and you’re done The GPS mount is attached the same way with the usb power at the top Besides having a cleaner installation it makes it easier to remove the camera as you don’t have to pull out the power cable Once installed the camera is ready to run but you may want to change settings like the time and date first The camera’s navigation is the same as before but now you have finer control over audio notifications what information such as speed position and date are stamped onto your video and more Most people will be satisfied Originally we praised the A119 for its ability to detect malfunctioning SD cards We liked its continuous audible warning when a camera has issues recording Since then we have acquired additional test cards and we discovered some issues Three of our four broken cards lack audio warnings and only show a persistent message that something is wrong It’s harder to notice and as all cards eventually fail how well the camera notifies the user is important to us We hope Viofo improves the firmware in the future We compared the video quality of all three
A119 models and we still think the original is best overall Starting with daylight footage the A119 Pro has very similar sharpness and dynamic range as the original A119 The original’s FOV is wider so you see more of the environment but objects are comparatively smaller reducing perceived sharpness The A119S was disappointing Partly due to its 1080P resolution it was much harder to read license plates which can be very helpful in hit and run incidents At night we expected the A119S to have significantly better video quality because of its Sony Starvis sensor But, that wasn’t what we found Under low light situations you can see more details in the darker areas However under brighter conditions where there is more street lighting we found the original A119 to be sharper The Pro model used to have blurry night recordings but after a firmware update in May the quality was significantly improved but we still found the original A119 to reign supreme If the Pro’s quality improves further we’ll let you know in the video’s description Normally we have other video comparisons with competing cameras but we couldn’t find anything worthwhile to bring in and test at the $100 level We’ll talk about that later We now recommend purchasing the optional CPL It’s a special filter which reduces glare from sunlight or streetlights bouncing off your dashboard You can see significantly more details While it does reduce light hitting the sensor we saw little change in sharpness at night We also tested the automatic parking mode It has to be enabled in the settings first and it turns on a special motion detection and impact sensing mode after 90 seconds of the car not moving We found it was reliable in picking up moving objects and the time lapse setting helps save space on the memory card Don’t forget the A119 needs constant power for parking mode to work You can hardwire the camera to your car’s battery through the fuse box We recommend the Vicovation VicoPlus We are also testing temperature safe battery options like the Cellink-Neo In the interest of time we skipped many details on parking mode and hardwiring We have an article if you want to learn more Moving on let’s talk about our failed attempts to find an A119 replacement using the criteria listed on the side I think the primary reason is the lack of any major technological advances in the two years since the A119 was released We looked at the recently released 4K cameras from Rexing and Aukey Their brand power and popularity makes them attractive for certain users However we didn’t find a good reason to recommend them over the A119 There are other cameras we researched including Anker, Thinkware, and Blackvue We’ll explain why they didn’t meet our standards in the written article So let’s come back and talk about Viofo the company and why we recommend a camera with mixed online reviews Basically Viofo had a hardware issue with their GPS mount They made a fix distributed it for free to retailers but failed to communicate clearly and quickly with their customers It was Viofo’s first product and while they manufactured dash cams for years customer service was new to them So the product is solid and reliable but its ratings tooks a beating which lasts to today Hopefully we were able to explain why the original A119V2 is still our top pick and cover the changes since our last review. If you are buying the A119 get the circular polarizer if you can The GPS and suction mounts are optional depending on your needs Check out our Best Dash Camera article for our other picks Our Facebook page posts what we are working on right now Our next video will be on premium front-back dash cameras So, if you liked this video give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel and enable notifications for future reviews That’s going to do it for this video Thank you for watching and I’ll see you in the next one

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