VioFo is a relative newcomer to the UK dash cam market but is making up for its late arrival by chucking a new number of new models at consumers in a short space of time.
We’ve previously tested the A129 Duo dual-camera setup, which impressed with its image quality, which gives us high hopes for this quad HD A119.
Unlike the A129, the A119 is a single, front-facing camera arrangement and it lacks some of the more advanced features such as wifi connectivity and the option to use a Bluetooth remote control to lock recordings.
It also doesn’t come with GPS as standard, although our test unit did have the optional GPS-enabled mount included.
It still features a high-quality Sony Starvis sensor with a 140-degree field of vision and in the A119 this allows for recording in up to “quad HD” resolution – 2560x1660p – at 30 frames per second.
The A119 also offers three parking modes – auto event detection, time lapse and low bitrate recording- to provide protection when you’re not in the car, and there’s an optional hard-wiring kit to ensure the camera always has power.
The camera is compact enough to mount out of sight behind most rear view mirrors and there’s enough adjustment in the lens to ensure a decent forward view. Fitting it is quick and easy, although as it’s an adhesive rather than suction mount you need to make sure you’re spot on first time or it’ll end up squint. A single power lead can be tucked out of the way using the clips provided and a two-USB port power adaptor means you can still charge your phone via the 12V socket when the camera is plugged in.
While you can (and should) position the camera out of sight this makes viewing the two-inch display tricky and due to the lack of wifi in the unit you can’t use the mobile app to change settings or review footage. You can, of course, remove the memory card to view on a separate device.
Like most dash cams, the A119 powers up as soon as you start the engine and records to a removable memory card on a loop, meaning you can largely fit and forget it. Any sudden impacts detected by its G sensor will prompt it to lock the recording and there’s a button on the unit that allows you to do the same manually.
Image quality from the Sony sensor is excellent. In everything from dull overcast weather to blazing sunshine the picture is sharp and stable, capturing plenty of detail and dealing quickly with changes in lighting. To help deal with really high-contrast situations you can buy a separate polarising filter for the lens but we didn’t really find it was necessary.
Low-light and nighttime footage is equally impressive, producing clear and sharp images even in very dark conditions.
If you’re after a straightforward dash cam the A119 has plenty to recommend it. It’s easy to fit and use and the image quality is excellent. Its biggest drawback is a lack of a mobile app support and the fact that GPS isn’t a standard feature.