Using a good quality dash cam can help protect you and record any situation that can happen on road. Viofo’s A129 series is one of the most comprehensive lineups on the market, offering a range of models to suit your needs.
In this post, I’ll be reviewing the Viofo A129 Plus Duo as well as comparing it with its 4k sibling, the Viofo A129 Pro, to help you decide which device is right for you.
Table of Contents
- Viofo A129 Overview
- Pros & Cons of the Viofo A129 Plus Duo
- Recording & Video Quality
- Parking Modes
- WiFi Connection
- GPS Tracking
- Heat Resistance
- Differences between the Viofo A129 Plus & Viofo A129 Pro 4k
- Frequently Asked Questions
Viofo A129 Overview
Viofo’s lineup of A129 dashcams contains three slightly different devices; the Viofo A129 Duo, the mid-range Viofo A129 Plus Duo, and the top-tier A129 Pro Duo. What sets these three devices apart from each other is the quality of their video capabilities.
The basic A129 option features Full HD recording capacity. The A129 Plus model raises this to 2k with 1440 pixels and has QHD capacity, while the premier A129 Pro can record in 4k and Ultra HD. The rear cameras for all three versions can record in 1080p.
All three models are available as either single front-facing units (single channel) or a duo set of front and rear cameras (dual channel). Going for the duo option is always going to bring you the most benefit, allowing you to record what’s going on in front of and behind your vehicle.
Each model shares the same basic features, with a 2 inch LCD display, compact and functional casing design, adhesive mounting pads, easy-to-use button controls, and GPS capabilities. All three A129 devices can be connected to the Viofo phone app for even easier control.
For this Viofo A129 review, I’ll be focusing mainly on the mid-range A129 Plus Duo model.
Pros & Cons of the Viofo A129 Plus Duo
- Competitive Pricing: The A129 Plus Duo offers premium features like GPS, Wi-Fi capability, and 2k video recording at a very competitive price, continuing Viofo’s track record of unbeatable value.
- Excellent Image Quality: With its 2k recording capability the Viofo A129 Plus Duo provides clear and detailed image resolution at most standard driving distances.
- Good Low-light clarity: Most dash cams struggle to capture fine detail at night or in other low-light conditions. But the A129 Plus Duo does a pretty good job of preserving detail thanks to its Sony Starvis image sensors.
- Easy to Use: The Viofo A129 Plus Duo is easy to set up and control, both with the device’s own controls or through the Viofo app for your smartphone.
- Can handle extreme conditions: The Viofo A129 Plus Duo features uses a capacitor system to protect the dashcam against extreme heat or cold.
- GPS features: The Viofo A129’s GPS logs your speed and position, then embeds timestamps in the footage to give you precise information in the event of an incident.
- Parking modes: The A129 Plus Duo contains three settings for recording while parked so that you don’t miss any potential crimes or incidents that damage your car.
- SD card capacity: The A129 Plus Duo can support SD card sizes of up to 256 GB to give you plenty of space to record footage.
- The image quality has limits: As with most dashcams, the A129 Plus Duo will struggle to capture detail at certain distances. License plates that are more than 50 feet away will appear blurry and difficult to read.
- Can be difficult to move: The adhesive pads that Viofo provide for mounting the A129 Plus Duo are incredibly strong. It can be a pain to remove the camera mount.
- The app has limitations: While having a companion app is a good idea, the Viofo app can suffer from some issues. At the highest quality, transferring video via WiFi can sometimes take a while.
- The rear camera needs a cable: While this may not be a problem in most cars, if you have a bigger vehicle like an SUV it can be difficult to connect the rear camera to a power cable. You should be able to find a longer compatible third-party cable if necessary.
Recording & Video Quality
For its competitive price point, the Viofo A129 Plus Duo gives you excellent video quality from both the front and rear units in varying lighting conditions.
The front-facing camera can record in 2560 x 1440p 2k QHD quality at 60 frames per second. It can also be set to either a 16:9 or 21:9 aspect ratio, although recording quality will drop to 1080p in the latter ratio.
The rear camera will only be able to record at Full HD 1080p. In terms of recording angle, the A129 Plus Duo can work between 130 and 140 degrees, giving you a complete view of the road ahead.
You can also choose to use a more compressed codec for the videos you capture, allowing you to store even more footage on an SD card. This H.265 format is activated by pressing and holding the MIC key on the Plus Duo’s control panel while the device isn’t recording.
At nighttime and other low-light conditions, the A129 Plus Duo stands up well. While it is virtually impossible to capture clear details on any dashcam at night, the Plus Duo boasts Sony Starvis Exmor R sensor technology, which enables the camera to offer surprising quality at night.
With a lower resolution than the 4k Pro model combined with the capacity to record at 60 fps, the A129 Plus Duo offers the best nighttime vision of the three A129 devices and can lock on to static details well when the footage is paused. Not impressed with the recording capabilities of the A129? Check out this review we did on the vantrue N2 pro.
The Viofo A129 Plus Duo also offers some useful features when it comes to recording footage while parked.
Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, buffered parking recording has been removed from the A129 Plus model. However, it remains on the standard A129 as well as the 4k Pro version.
The A129 Plus Duo does still support features such as impact and motion detection and time-lapse recording. Motion Detection allows the system to monitor and capture cars and people who walk past your vehicle. This can help catch out any potential car thieves and other dangers.
You can adjust the sensitivity of the system based on whether you are parked in a busy or quiet traffic area, with a choice of three intensity settings. A time-lapse mode is also available, which records images at preset intervals and condenses them into a silent time-lapse montage.
There is also a mode that allows you to lower the bit rate massively to allow the camera to capture continuous audio and video while the vehicle is parked.
To allow you to transfer footage from the camera to a phone or laptop, the A129 Plus Duo comes with a dual-band WiFi connection. Through this wireless link, you can also adjust your dashcam’s settings through the Viofo app on your smartphone.
The WiFi on the Plus Duo can use either 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies. This helps cut down on any interference as well as making the signal faster and stronger. At the higher bandwidth, footage can be downloaded to your phone in around 30 seconds.
Viofo’s app is free for both Apple and Android phones and can be downloaded from the respective app stores. However, the A129 Plus Duo cannot connect to any Cloud-based networks, which is a feature that you will find on more expensive dashcams.
Although the option to download recordings to your phone is useful, sometimes it’s quicker and easier to plug the SD card or dashcam itself into a laptop to transfer video files.
Viofo’s A129 Plus Duo dashcam also features GPS tracking technology as standard, which is connected to the GPS mount that comes in the box. With the GPS active, the device will track your driving speed as well as your GPS positioning.
These details will then be embedded into the footage. This will also add specific time stamps to the footage, giving you precise details about exactly when and where any incidents occur.
Whether recording high-quality video or being exposed to harsh sunlight and high temperatures on your dashboard, some dashcams can get quite hot and even suffer damage. This is especially true on models with lithium batteries.
But the Viofo A129 Plus Duo uses a supercapacitor system in its battery setup. This helps protect the device against severely hot conditions. This means that the Plus Duo can tolerate working temperatures of up to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another advantage of the Plus Duo is that the front and rear cameras have individual computer chips. This lessens the pressure on the main camera as it doesn’t have to handle the processes for two cameras. This helps avoid overheating and helps the batteries last longer.
Differences between the Viofo A129 Plus & Viofo A129 Pro 4k
The main difference between the A129 Plus Duo and the Pro model is the recording quality. The Pro device can record in 4k, while the Plus Duo can only capture 2k video. However, for most people, 2k is going to be sufficient.
One surprising area where the Plus Duo actually has an advantage over its more powerful sibling is its low-light performance. Thanks to a lower resolution, the 2k Plus Duo is not as severely affected by a reduction in visibility as the Pro model. This allows the Plus Duo to capture finer detail at night.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I install the Viofo A129 Duo?
Connect either the mini USB or cigarette outlet charger to whichever outlet your car has. Then plug the other end of the cable into the Viofo camera.
Clean the windscreen to provide an unobstructed surface to attach the camera to. Connect the camera to its mount. Test the placement first before you remove the film of the adhesive pad. You want the camera to see approximately 40% sky and 60% road.
Remove the protective peel from the camera lens, then remove the film protecting the adhesive pad and stick the camera to the windscreen. You can use Viofo’s prying tool to tuck the excess cable into the roof and door lining of your vehicle.
To install the rear camera, plug the rear camera cable into the camera unit. Attach the rear camera mount and repeat the steps above when deciding where to place it. Connect the power cable to your car’s outlet. Place the rear camera in between the heating lines on your rear windscreen.
Want to see other installation options or a full installation guide? See our detailed steps here.
How do I update Viofo A129 firmware?
When updating the Plus Duo, you’ll need to perform this process for the front and rear cameras independently.
Head to this Viofo support page and download the file “FWA129S.bin”. Use the micro USB cable to connect your camera to the laptop and then copy the downloaded file to the camera’s SD card.
You’ll need to make sure the SD card has been configured to a FAT32 format. The camera will do this automatically when you first insert the SD card into the camera.
The device should automatically begin to update. The REC light will flash during the installation. The unit will then restart.
During this Viofo A129 Duo review, I’ve gone over the key features of the A129 Plus Duo model. Overall, this is a fantastic dash cam that will meet the needs of most drivers.
The Viofo A129 Plus Duo provides great video quality thanks to its 2K resolution and the ability to record at 60 fps. The Plus Duo is also easy to use and install.
But what about the 4k Pro version? While the picture quality will be better with the A129 Pro, the difference isn’t likely to be staggering for most users. The mid-range A129 Plus Duo even has an advantage over the 4k Pro in low-light situations.
The A129 Plus Duo is fantastic value for money compared to both its 4k Pro sibling and competing units from other manufacturers. You can’t go wrong with this do-it-all dashcam!
Looking for a dashcam for your truck? See these options we reviewed specifically for trucks.
Viofo A129 Duo