Viofo A119 V2 Review
When it comes to cheap dash cameras, there’s no other brand that’s recommended as much as Viofo. A simple browse through Reddit will already reveal how many times they are mentioned by users. This definitely increases trust for them. Which is why I wanted to write a review about their most basic and cheapest model, the Viofo A119 V2. It’s recommended on various subreddits and that definitely caught my attention. So let’s see how well it actually performs and if cheap dash cameras are worth spending money on.
- Chipset: Novatek NT96660
- Sensor: OV4689
- Dimensions: 72×45×35 mm / 2.8×1.8×1.4″
- Weight: 76 g / 0.17 lbs
- Field of View: 160°
- Video resolutions: 2560×1440 30 fps; 1920×1080 60/30 fps
- Modes: Loop, Auto Start/Stop, Identity Text
- Features: GPS, G sensor, Motion detection
- Screens: 2″ LCD
- Ports: MiniUSB, AV-out
- Memory: MicroSD with Class 10 and SDXC cards, up to 128GB
In The Box
- Viofo A119 V2
- Long charging cable
- Car adapter
- Non-GPS mount
- GPS mount
- Clips, Adhesive stickers, EVA foam
- Mini USB cable
The Viofo A119 V2 has pretty much the exact same design as the Street Guardian SGGCX2PRO+. It’s a well known and tested design that just works. It also fits perfectly into the area next to the rear mirror. Which is a great location for a dash camera as it won’t block your view. Plus you can always remove it as it sits on a mount. You simply attach the mount to the windshield with a double sided adhesive pad.
The dash camera is fully made out of black plastic. It’s definitely not made out premium materials but it’s more than good enough. The camera simply feels solid when you hold onto it. So as long as you aren’t using it as an action camera, it’s fine. The A119 V2 is also quite small, it has a dimension of 72×45×35 mm / 2.8×1.8×1.4″ and weighs only 76 g / 0.17 lbs.
I mentioned before that it has a pretty standard dash camera design. Well for those that aren’t familiar, one of the reasons why it’s such a highly rated design is because of the way it sits when its installed. As you can see, it has a small 2″ LCD screen and a bunch of physical buttons. The screen and buttons face you directly while you are sitting in the drivers seat. So you can use it without having to take it off the mount. You can also adjust the angle of the lens.
There aren’t many ports on the camera. There is a single MiniUSB port and an AV-out input on the right side. The left side has a MicroSD slot for a memory card. This particular model doesn’t have built-in memory. Nor does it have a battery! Which means that you’ll need to keep it connected to a power source.
The Viofo A119 V2 includes all of the accessories you’ll need to install the dash camera. For example you get two normal plastic mounts and a thicker mount that has a built-in GPS receiver. This is the mount you need to install if you want to use GPS with the camera. Unfortunately it isn’t built inside of it. That said, the mount still works really well. Viofo has even included a double sided adhesive tape to attach it to the windshield.
As I mentioned before, this particular model doesn’t have a battery. That’s why Viofo has included a long MiniUSB to USB cable for powering it. They have also added a cigarette adapter that has a normal USB port. This way you can power it directly from the cigarette lighter. You also get a bunch of cable clips to keep it neat.
What I like about the Viofo A119 V2 is that it doesn’t have any software generated, interpolated video resolutions. Instead, the dash camera has a maximum resolution of 2560×1440 pixels (1440P), which the Novatek NT96660 chipset also supports. And it can record in that resolution at 30 fps. Which is enough if you are driving in the city. The camera can also record in 1080p (1920×1080 pixels) and do that at 60 fps. Higher frame rates are better when you are driving at a high speed.
Here’s an example of the video quality. It was shot in 1440P at 30 fps. As you can see, the camera is more than capable of capturing the traffic. Now I do want to remind you all that this is one of the cheaper dash cameras that you can buy. Which is why you shouldn’t frown upon seeing blur. This is common among all cameras that cost less than $100. That said, you can still tell exactly what’s happening. Most of the blur is around the edges. You can also clearly see all of the cars and street signs. A whole other story is the visibility of number plates. You can clearly see the plates if the car is driving in front of you. Unfortunately the plates are too blurry on the cars that are driving towards you.
Here’s another example of the Viofo A119 V2 in the dark. As you can see the car number plates are easily readable and clear. The rest of the environment is obviously quite dark but the car lights do a great job at increasing visibility. Again, considering the price, the dash camera performs surprisingly well at night as well.
Sometimes companies like to add insane features to cheaper end products simply to make them look more attractive. I’m glad that’s not the case Viofo. The A119 comes with just as many features and modes as you’d require. The dash camera has GPS capabilities, a built-in G sensor and motion detection. These two sensors can detect sudden breaking and collisions, which makes the camera save that particular moment. Even when you are recording in loop mode. And Loop is the most common dash camera mode. What it does is record over past footage when the memory gets full. Which is why it’s recommended to get a MicroSD card that’s at least 64 GB.
This dash camera does not have WiFi. Which means that you can’t pair up with a phone. So if you want to change any settings then you’ll have to do it via the 2″ LCD screen and physical buttons. Fortunately this isn’t an issue as it’s not like you are going to be changing those settings everyday. You can also use that screen to watch past recordings. But I personally prefer downloading everything to my computer from the MicroSD card. You can either take out the card and insert it to your computer or use a USB cable. Either way works just fine.
I can see why the Viofo A119 V2 is so highly recommended on various subreddits. Not only is it affordable, but it also performs extremely well and has all the features required. Plus it’s really easy to install. Add all of these positives together and you have a fantastic product! Which is why I’m not surprised that it’s considered to be one of the best under $100 dash cameras that you can buy in 2019.