Viofo A139 Pro Review

Viofo A139 Pro Review

Viofo A139 Pro Full Review

Here is our full review on the Viofo A139 Pro Dash Cam.

Dash Cam Options

There are 4 different ways you can get the Viofo A139 Pro dash cam.

  • Option 1 – Front Camera
  • Option 2 – Front and Rear Camera
  • Option 3 – Front, Rear, and Interior Camera

Sony STARVIS 2 Technology

Being the first to deploy the newest Sony STARVIS 2 tech, A139 Pro is powerful enough to outbeat most 4K dashcam competitors with immensely upgraded image clarity and accuracy in license capturing. Sony latest technology STARVIS 2 IMX 678 image sensor, type 1/1.8’’, offers a wider dynamic range in a single exposure than the STARVIS pixel of the same size, bringing much less noise and motion blur during day & night recording.

A little bit of history on Viofo Dash Cams. The Viofo A129 Pro uses a Sony EXMOR sensor up front and a Sony STARVIS rear camera. While, the Viofo A229 (New Pro version available now that uses STARVIS 2) uses a Sony STARVIS image sensor front and back. Last but not least the A139 Pro uses a 4K Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor and a rear STARVIS.

Sony Starvis 1 vs STARVIS 2 comparison

Dash Cam Resolution

Here are the options for various configurations of the Viofo A139 Pro

1 Channel / Front Camera

  • 4K 2160P / 1600P 30fps
  • 2K 1440P 30 / 60fps

2 Channel / Front + Rear / Front and Interior

  • 4K 2160P / 1600P 30fps +1080P 30fps
  • 2K 1440P 30 / 60fps +1080P 30fps

3 Channel / Front + Rear + Interior

  • 4K 2160P 24fps +1080P 24fps + 1080P 24fps
  • 4K 1600P 30fps +1080P 30fps + 1080P 30fps
  • 2K 1440P 30fps +1080P 30fps + 1080p 30 fps

Dash Cam Layout of Viofo A139 Pro

viofo a139 pro dash cam layout

Bitrate

You can set the bitrate for video. High bitrate improve the quality or smoothness of the video especially when recording fast motion or high contrast scenes. Using high bitrate mode may decrease the amount of recording time available on your memory card. Using a low bitrate will save space and record for longer time. Therefore, you can change the bitrate from low, normal, high or maximum on the A139 Pro dash camera. I typically run it on high or maximum frequently. I would recommend the same to everyone else for best quality.

Viewing Angle

The A139 Pro has a front viewing angle of 140 degrees, a rear viewing angle of 170 degrees and an interior viewing angle of 170 degrees. Depending on the configuration will depend on what viewing angles you have available.

Licence Plate Identification

When driving with traffic, I do find it to be the best out of any other dash camera that I have tested on the market. Furthermore, for picking up licence plates during the day or at night which you can see in our example video below. However, picking up licence plates to oncoming traffic still suffers motion blur on the license plate quite frequently. This is still the hardest obstacle for the dash cam technology available. Hopefully we will see some upgrades to firmware of the unit to dial it in over the next little while.

I also seen when driving through a tunnel when raining there are a lot of different contrast levels. There are far too many reflections for it to consistently pick up license plates. Certainly, you will not be driving through tunnels in a rainstorm everyday. But these are some of the challenges that still exist. However, from what i have seen in terms of performance. This is by far the best dash camera for picking up license plates.

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High Dynamic Range

The Viofo A139 pro has high dynamic range. HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE also known as HDR enables the camera to deliver video with near-perfect exposure in varying lighting situations. It can enhance video quality, especially when it comes to the issue of the front license plate being overexposed at night.

high dynamic range on or off comparison

G-sensor

The G-sensor measures shock forces and locks the video recorded at the time. The settings from “low to high” determine the amount of force needed. Depending on your settings you can set the dash cam up to lock the video file recordings. There are different settings for parking mode, and while you are driving.

Wi-Fi

So, the Viofo A139 Pro has the option of 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi. They also have an Android and IOS app so you can connect to the phone, download videos and change settings. Furthermore, if you use the 5GHz setting it will allow you to download videos 3-4 times faster then the 2.4GHz setting.

viofo 5 ghz wi-fi via smartphone app

SD Card Capacity

The Viofo dash camera supports up to 512gb micro SD card as long as it is high endurance or a Viofo SD card.

viofo micro sd cards

GPS Antenna

The Viofo A139 Pro has the GPS antenna built into the dock that the dash camera slides into. This will give you information such as GPS speed and location which will be embedded into the video. If you do not want that information showing up on your video, you can also turn it off.

Parking Mode

  • Auto Event Detection-Automatically record when detecting moving objects or impact while car is parked
  • Time Lapse- Video is recorded at a low frame per second from 1, 2, 3,5, or 10
  • Low bitrate recording – You can lower resolution to save space while recording

Parking Mode Cable / Low Battery Protection

In order to use Parking mode you must hook up constant power, ignition and ground. You must also use the selector switch on the cable to select you low battery cutoff. Therefore, you have the options of 11.8,12,12.2, or 12.4 volts. What this means for you is if the car battery drops below that set voltage, the dash camera will shut off to protect the battery of your car.

viofo parking mode cable hardwire

Loop Recording

Above all, the Viofo A139 Pro offers the options of 1,2,3,5, or 10 minute video loop recordings.

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File List Organization

Viofo organizes their files into 3 folders.

  • All – All video files
  • Locked Files – Impacts, or manual recording / emergency recording button recordings
  • Parking Files – Incidents that happen while parked

Cable Sizes

Part of our Viofo A139 Pro review is how big the cables are in size. What I really love about the A139 Pro is it uses a very small cable for rear camera. When comparing the cable size from an A129 Pro to the A139 Pro. The cable size is 5mm in thickness while the A139 Pro uses a 2.8mm. This makes it easier for technicians during installation or do it yourselfers.

Viofo cable size

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Pro’s and Con’s

Pro’s

  • High Dynamic Range
  • Support up to 512 GB SD card
  • Night Vision
  • Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor
  • Best Dash Cam I have tested for license plates
  • Small rear camera cable

Con’s

  • 1080P rear camera
  • File organization
  • No app controlled low battery protection
  • No LCD screen

Comparison Video

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Viofo A139 Pro Review Final Thoughts

Overall, this is a new very exciting product with a lot of firsts in terms of the new Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor. There will be other brand new dash cameras coming out with some of the same tech over the next year it is exciting to see how well this unit works. I know personally I use this unit in my car as of late. If you have any questions please email us info@safedrivesolutions.com

 

 

 

Best 4k Dash Cam

Best 4k Dash Cam

Best 4K Dash Cam

Which is the best 4K Dash Cam for you? Viofo A139 Pro vs Thinkware U1000 vs Viofo A129 Pro.  We’re gonna compare these 3 units as well as have comparison video of driving through a tunnel, driving at night, and driving through the day. Also how well all of these units do at picking up license plates.

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Dash Cam Resolution

  • Viofo A139 Pro has a front Sony STARVIS 2 4K image sensor and a rear Sony STARVIS 1080p image sensor
  • Thinkware U1000 uses a front 4K Sony STARVIS image sensor and a rear 1440P Sony STARVIS image sensor
  • Viofo A129 Pro uses a front 4K Sony EXMOR image sensor and a rear 1080p Sony STARVIS image sensor

Therefore, you can also change all 3 of these units front camera from 4K resolution 30 frames per second to 2K 1440p resolution at 60 frames per second. As a result, means it will take up to 60 pictures per second.

viofo a139 pro 3 channel dash cam

 

Viewing Angle

  • Viofo A139 Pro has a front 140 degree wide viewing angle and a rear 170 degree viewing angle
  • Thinkware U1000 has 150 degree wide viewing angle and rear 156 degree wide viewing angle
  • Viofo A129 Pro has a 130 degree front viewing angle and rear 140 degree viewing angle making it have the least coverage

High Dynamic Range

The VIofo A129 and Thinkware U1000 do not have high dynamic range. However, they do have WDR(Wide Dynamic Range). Wide Dynamic Range processes images to ensure clear recordings in bright and dark light. This allows the dash camera to combine multiple images at different levels of brightness to create one superior image.

The Viofo A139 Pro has High Dynamic Range (HDR). Furthermore, this is the second 4K camera that I have seen on the market that actually has high dynamic range in a 4K resolution. The HDR enables the camera to deliver video with near perfect exposure in varying lighting situations. It can enhance video quality especially when it comes to the issue of front license plate being overexposed at night. Making this units one of the best 4K dash cam available.

high dynamic range example

Wi-Fi capability

So, all three of these cameras support 2GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. If you change these dash cameras to 5GHz Wi-Fi it will actually download videos 3-4 times faster than 2GHz. All of these units also support android and IOS apps. So that you can pair your phone and download videos directly to your phone.

5 ghz wi-fi

SD Card Capacity

  • The Viofo A129 Pro and Viofo A139 Pro support up to a 256GB micro SD card
  • The Thinkware U1000 supports up to a 128GB micro SD card

If you are looking to upgrade your micro SD card I do recommend checking out our YouTube video or reading our Blog.

GPS Antenna

So, for all three units the GPS antenna is built directly into the unit. For VIOFO it will actually supply you speed and location data of where the video was recorded. Thinkware you will get the capability of red light and speed camera notifications as well as speed and GPS location. You can also choose to turn off the GPS speed, for Thinkware and VIOFO in case you have a heavy foot.

Parking Mode

Both the Viofo A139 Pro and the Viofo A129 Pro have three parking mode option. Above all, we see no difference in parking mode options between the 2 units.

They both offer Auto Event Detection, which automatically records when detecting motion or impact. Time Lapse mode means the video is recording at a low frame per second. Particularly, it will record in 1,2,3,5, or 10 frames per second. Lastly, it offers low bitrate recording which will lower the resolution to save space on SD card.

viofo a139 parking mode

The Thinkware U1000 has four available parking modes. They have

  1. Motion Detection, which means anytime somebody walks by, or drives by it will actually wake up and record.
  2. Time Lapse, which means it will record at 2 frames per second
  3. Energy Saving Mode, this draws really low current and will last for a very long time in parking mode. So how this works is if you get hit while parked 1 second after impact, it will wake up and start recording and save it into a separate video file.
  4. Energy Saving Mode with Radar Module, the radar module is an extra part. What it does is it detects movement coming towards the vehicle, and as it detects the movement coming towards the vehicle, it will wake up and start recording. If there is no impact to the vehicle it will actually delete the recording and go right back to sleep.

Parking Mode Cable and Low Battery Protection

The VIOFO parking mode cable is 2 different part numbers. Furthermore, the HK3 is needed for the Viofo A129 Pro and the HK3-C is needed for the Viofo A139 Pro. Nevertheless, there is not much difference in terms of connections as you still need to hook up power, ground and ignition. Secondly, there is also a selector switch for low battery protection which is 11.8 volts, 12 volts, 12.2 volts, or 12.4 volts. This protects your battery from dying as a result of dash cam.

parking mode cable hardwire

Thinkware you need to also hook up constant power, ground, and ignition. However, you can select low battery protection digitally through the Wi-Fi app.

Loop Recording

Viofo has flexible options of 1,2,3,5, or 10 minute video recordings. While the Thinkware has options of 1 minute video recordings. With Thinkware if there is any impacts while driving or parked it will do a separate 20 second video.

LCD Screen

Out of all three of these units the only one who has an LCD screen is the Viofo A129 Pro. The LCD screen allows you to easily go through the menus of dash camera and change settings. So if your not tech savvy and don’t like smart phones then this is a good choice for you.

 

Cable Sizes

The A139 Pro has the smallest cable to go from the front to the back of the vehicle. So, if you are looking to run a wire from the front of your vehicle to the back the A139 Pro is half the size of other cables at just 2.8mm.

a139 pro cable size

Pro’s and Con’s

Viofo A139 Pro

Pro’s

  • High Dynamic Range
  • Supports up to a 256 GB micro SD card
  • Night Vision
  • New Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor
  • Best Dash Cam I have tested for picking up license plates
  • Small rear camera cable

Con’s

  • 1080p rear camera
  • File Organization could be better
  • Some phones you may need to turn off cellular data to pair via Wi-Fi app

Thinkware U1000

Pro’s

  • 2K rear camera
  • Energy Saving Mode
  • Red light and speed camera notifications

Con’s

  • No High Dynamic Range
  • Max 128GB micro SD card
  • Talks too much

Viofo A129 Pro

Pro’s

  • LCD screen
  • Supports up to 256 GB micro SD card
  • Smallest size of all 3 dash cams

Con’s

  • No High Dynamic Range
  • 1080p rear camera
  • Front camera not Sony STARVIS
  • File organization could be better
  • Some phones you may need to turn off cellular data to pair via Wi-Fi app

Best 4K Dash Cam

In short, all 3 of these dash cams round off some of the best 4k dash cam available on the market. However, if I was picking a unit strictly on video quality the Viofo A139 Pro is by far the best I have tested.

Viofo A129 vs Viofo A229 Dash Cam

Viofo A129 vs Viofo A229 Dash Cam

Viofo A129 vs Viofo A229 Dash Cam

In this blog we are going to compare the Viofo A129 Pro 4K versus the Viofo A229 Duo Dash cam. Which one is better and why would you buy one over the other? We are going to compare these 2 units.

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Dash Cam Resolution

The Viofo A129 Pro 4K comes with an 8 megapixel Sony EXMOR front 4K dash cam, and a rear 1080p Sony STARVIS image sensor. Viofo A229 comes with a front 2560 x 1440p 5 megapixel Sony STARVIS image sensor front and back.

So what is the main difference between 4K and 2K resolution. Take a look below.

4k and 2k resolution

Viewing Angle

The Viofo A129 comes out with a front viewing angle of 130 degrees and a rear viewing angle of 140 degrees. Now when you look at the Viofo A229 you’re getting a lot more coverage with 140 degree front viewing angle and 160 degree rear viewing angle. That is an additional 30 degrees of viewing angle total between front and rear.

viofo a129 viewing angle

viofo a129 viewing angle

viofo a229 viewing angle

viofo a229 viewing angle


Wi-Fi Settings

For both Viofo units they offer 2.4 GHZ Wi-Fi and 5 GHZ Wi-Fi. Now why would you want this option? Therefore, I do recommend changing to 5GHZ so when you are downloading videos it will download videos 3-4 times faster than 2.4 GHZ.

dual band wifi a129 4k dash cam


Micro SD Card Capacity

Both Viofo units will support up to a 256 GB micro SD Card. I do recommend that when getting an SD card that you look at something with a very high write speed or a high endurance SD card. This blog may help.

sd-cards-write-speeds


GPS Antenna

Equally, both dash camera units have a GPS antenna built in to their mount. Overall, it will give you speed, time, and location data embedded into the video. Ideally, you can also turn that off in case you have a heavy foot.

gps built in mount a129


Parking Mode

As we continue to compare the Viofo A129 vs Viofo A229 Dash Cam. We are going to look at the various parking mode options. Above all, we see no difference in parking mode options between the 2 units.

They both offer Auto Event Detection, which automatically records when detecting motion or impact. Time Lapse mode means the video is recording at a low frame per second. Particularly, it will record in 1,2,3,5, or 10 frames per second. Lastly, it offers low bitrate recording which will lower the resolution to save space on SD card.

parking mode a129 4k


 

Parking Mode Cable

The VIOFO parking mode cable is 2 different part numbers. Furthermore, the HK3 is needed for the Viofo A129 Pro and the HK4 is needed for the Viofo A229. Nevertheless, there is not much difference in terms of connections as you still need to hook up power, ground and ignition. Secondly, there is also a selector switch for low battery protection which is 11.8 volts, 12 volts, 12.2 volts, or 12.4 volts. This protects your battery from dying as a result of dash cam.

parking mode cable hardwire


Rear Camera Cabling

So, all of these cameras when getting a front and rear combo includes a cable that connects the rear camera to the front camera. There is quite the difference between the Viofo A129 Pro and the Viofo A229. Please refer to image down below. For instance, on some vehicles it will be a lot easier to hide the cable and tuck it away by using the A229 Dash Cam.

rear cable viofo

a139 pro cable front to back


Video Length Recording

Viofo has flexible options of 1,2,3,5, or 10 minute loop recording. So, depending on what you want to record maybe you want to record a journey across Canada, or maybe your a video vlogger. A lot of other dash cameras on the market will limit you to a 1 minute video recording.

loop recording dash cam


File List Organization

Viofo uses all files, locked files and parking files. Firstly, all files will have every single video recorded, Secondly, locked files is going to have your emergency recordings or any impacts while driving. Lastly, parking files will have your files it records while parked.


LCD Screen

The Viofo A129 has a 2′ LCD screen while the Viofo A229 utilizes a new 2.4″ LCD screen.

viofo lcd screen size


Viofo A129 vs Viofo A229 Dash Cam

In short, either one of these units is a great investment. However, I personally love the Viofo A229 due to its bigger screen, smaller cord to run from front to rear, wider viewing angle and Sony STARVIS lens on front and rear camera. Make a decision and let us know your thoughts.

 

 

5 Ways To Install A Dash Cam

5 Ways To Install A Dash Cam

5 Ways To Install A Dash Cam

We are going to talk about the 5 different ways to install a dash cam. Breaking down the differences between using a cigarette lighter plugin, parking mode cable, OBD2 adaptor and a battery pack.

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Cigarette Lighter Cable

If you get a dash camera that comes with a cigarette lighter cable. Above all, keep in mind that this has no low battery protection. All you simply do is plug it into the cigarette lighter plugin and power up the dash cam. Make sure to verify if your cigarette lighter cable is working off ignition or constant power. If it is a constant power plugin there is a very good chance your vehicles car battery will die overnight.

cigarette lighter plugin

Universal Parking Mode Cable

Now for customers who get a cigarette lighter cable dash camera but they don’t have any parking mode capability. Or maybe they do not have the parking mode cable. We do have a universal parking mode cable which is actually from Blackvue called the power magic pro. What happens with this system is the cigarette lighter will plug into it. Then there is dip switches that allows us to set time and low battery protection voltage. Above all, this is just a universal way to make every dash camera have parking mode.

Some of the downfalls of using this cable is it will not work like a true parking mode. Therefore, It will not allow you to use parking mode specific features like time lapse, motion detection, or impact only. However, when you are using this mode it will just record like normal.

 

OBD2 Cable

So, what the OBD2 cable is, is basically a plug that plugs directly into your vehicle underneath your dash. Pretty much every vehicle has this plugin except a few Tesla vehicles. Furthermore, this is the same plug-in a mechanic would plug into, to do a diagnostic, or clear your check engine lights. Now this will plug right into that connector. What it does for you is gives you parking mode and low battery protection. Because, the dash cameras that it does work for have low battery protection already built in.

Some concerns our customers have is how will the mechanic plug-in if the dash cam is plugged in? Well all they do is simply unplug it and the mechanic can plug their diagnostic tool right in. This is one of the 5 ways to install a dash cam.

obd 2 cable plug in

Hardwire Cable

This is the most common way to get a dash cam installed where it will record while parked. So, typically what happens with the systems we carry is your going to be using systems that have a red, yellow, and black wire. These require hooking them up to constant power, ignition power and ground. Main reason why you would do this, is so you can utilize the low battery protection built into the dash camera. Above all, so you can have the parking mode capabilities working.

parking mode cable hardwire

Battery Pack Installation

So, a battery pack is basically a backup battery that actually gets installed. Typically under the seat, or somewhere else in the vehicle. It is hooked up to power, ground and ignition while some battery packs only get hooked up to ignition and ground. Therefore, what happens is as you are driving around your vehicle it charges up the battery pack. Most battery packs last from 16-24 hours of parking mode. When you turn your ignition off, what happens is the powercell switches into parking mode. The parking mode will last until the battery packl runs out of battery power. Lastly, this will keep it completely isolated from your car battery in your vehicle. Which in turn means you will never have your battery die as a result of the dash cam.

iroad battery pack

 

Loop Recording Dash Cam

Loop Recording Dash Cam

So what is loop recording on a dash cam?

A continuous loop recording dash cam records video by overwriting older video with new footage. This allows the camera to keep recording even if the installed SD memory card is full. Helping to ensure that the device never misses a minute of your drive.

So, what are your options when it comes to a loop recording dashcam? For the longest time I thought the only option was 1 minute recording. It will record multiple 1 minute recording files until the SD card is filled. Lets explore what these dash cams offer.

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IROAD Dash Cams

-1-minute continuous recording files

-20 second event recording

-manual recording 20 second video file

VIOFO Dash Cams

-1,2-,3-,5-, and 10-minute video recording files

Thinkware Dash Cams

-1-minute video recording files

-20 second event recording files

-manual recording of 1 minute video file

GNET Dash Cams

-1-minute continuous recording files

-20 second event recording

-manual recording 20 second video file

In terms of loop recording feature, there are lots of dash cameras on the market. You can buy systems for cheap on the internet. We have seen that a lot of the units do not have this feature. We have installed some expensive units bought online where you need to manually format the unit every time the SD card fills up.

Now keep in mind that if you are somebody who does not want to overwrite the videos on your dash cam. Maybe you want the loop recording to be turned off. You can do that on the majority of these dash cameras. Typically, most systems you simply go into the settings menu and turn off the overwrite feature of the dash cam.

Conclusion

All the systems we support here at Safe Drive Solutions all support the loop recording feature. We strongly recommend getting a dashcam with this feature to all our clients.

 

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