Viofo A119 Review – The Best Value Dash Camera in 2017

We review Viofo’s A119 which is the first dash cam that has great video quality, reliability, stealthiness and user friendliness for less than $100. I can’t believe it’s taken this many years for a company to get things right. The new gold standard.

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**UPDATES**

May 18th, 2017
New V2 camera in stock which fixes problems with the GPS mount being loose or losing connection over time. Read more about it here: https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/a119s-v2.28422 New firmware released for A119 and A119S.

Jan 6, 2017
Did a quick comparison between the A119 and A119S. The A119 is a better value and video quality in the majority of situations. The A119S may get better in the future. I made a longer post on Reddit: http://bit.ly/A119S_Compare

Update: Dec. 6th
Circular polarizer now available. See below for information.

Update: Oct 11th
New firmware update adds MPH, fixes numerous bugs. See firmware section below. Black adhesive tape is now standard for the camera.

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128GB CARDS OK
I have confirmed with Viofo staff that 128GB cards work. Here’s what they said: “You can say the 128GB cards are compatible, we released an action camera based on NTK96660 last year, so know it works”

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SD CARD
You want a MLC card to improve reliability. Don’t know what that means? Watch our guide to learn more: https://youtu.be/3QAF2flNsVc

LEARN HOW WE PICK A DASH CAM
If I go too quickly, watch our video on choosing a dash cam. I explain all the features in depth: https://youtu.be/K8sB-JkNibU

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DOWNLOAD A119 VIDEO CLIPS

See our written review where we added more information and included video clips from the A119 and other cameras. https://www.carcamcentral.com/review/viofo-a119-review

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Overview – 0:32 | Packaging – 2:09 | Installation – 2:37 | Setup – 3:36 | Warning Notifications – 4:55 | Video Quality – 6:40 | Heat Testing – 9:29 | Microphone – 10:38

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GET THE CAMERA
Note “Viofo”, “BlueSeaSky” and “SpyTec” all sell the same unit. Viofo is the retailer, the other two retailers uniquely brand their listing so no other sellers can compete on their product page.

UNITED STATES:
OCDTronic is a new store but the owner Jon has been selling dash cameras with Pier28 for years. Great customer service and has been actively engaging with the DashCamTalk community for years.

A119 Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jYcoTy
A119S Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jssOCy

eBay USA – Clearance on the V1 model. $70 + $9 shipping: http://bit.ly/A119_V1_Clearance

CANADA
On Amazon, get it from EnjoyGadgets who is based out of Toronto, great ratings. No good options without GPS.

A119 Amazon: http://amzn.to/2s03Tbg
A119S Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rqGoeF

BlackBoxMyCar is a great store, shipping out of Vancouver. Use coupon “CarCamCentral10” to get $10 off the price. Great price and it includes a 16GB card. http://geni.us/ViofoA119BlackBoxMyCar

UNITED KINGDOM:
Sold on Amazon by estore009 under the name “WonVon”. China based seller. Use coupon code “7INJC8U4” for the non GPS version and “FMPKA4ZW” with GPS for a £5 discount)

Amazon UK A119S: http://amzn.to/2qJstyV

INTERNATIONAL
Sold through the China-based eStore009 who we’ve been recommending for years and is a great seller. This is the new V2 stock with 3M VHB tape.

Note this item is based in China. Possible custom fees and warranty requires overseas shipping.

http://ebay.to/2ejINTA

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GET THE CIRCULAR POLARIZER
The official polarizer has been released which clips onto your lens to reduce glare from your windshield. Unfortunately for the A119 this will prevent your lens from moving side to side. As well as it lacks the detent slot found on the A118CV2 so it’s recommend to use blu-tack or tape to make sure it doesn’t slip off.

Amazon USA: http://bit.ly/A119_CPL_ClipOn_Amazon

BlueSkySea Version
There’s another version which uses adhesive to stick the polarizer onto your lens which allows for movement but it doesn’t allow you to pull it off and retatch it.

Amazon USA: http://bit.ly/A119_CPL_Glue_Amazon
eBay: http://bit.ly/A119_CPL_Glue_eBay

These CPLs are just released so we’ll keep you updated on their performance. See the ongoing discussion at DashCamTalk: http://bit.ly/A119_CPL_DashCamTalk

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FIRMWARE UPDATES:
Viofo has released beta updates to their firmware which adds in features like MPH, turning off GPS info stamps, removing A119 etc.

See our video here: https://youtu.be/jF1zK1P14qU

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DISCLOSURE
We received this camera from Viofo for free. They had no editorial input on this review. I wish I bought it outright as it’s rare I get to be so positive about a camera.

As well we use affiliate links above. They cost nothing to you and sends a percentage of your purchase to us. If we recommend bad products and you return them, we get nothing.

Thank you for your support!
-Andrew

100 thoughts on “Viofo A119 Review – The Best Value Dash Camera in 2017”

  1. Hey, I’ve got an important question about “locking” the video file with this emmergency button – what if some accident happened just before a set 5 min period of recording clips and we press it just after it started recording another clip segment? I know that it “locks a current file” in 1440p resolution so does it mean it will lock the new clip that has just started to record and our accident-clip won’t be secure or it’s more clever and will lock both files? I hope you know what I mean. Cheers!

  2. When will your next review of Top Dash Cam’s be out? I see below you are working on one now. Should I wait for that video or buy the A119? Thanks

  3. Is the cable that goes into the GPS mount supposed to sit flush? Mine seems to have about a 1cm gap. When I have the cable plugged in that way, the unit either wakes from sleep every minute or so, or is rebooting every minute or so. The video files are also unviewable. However when I plug in the cable from the side, these problems disappear. This is on the V2.02 firmware. Do I have a defective GPS unit?

  4. Hey, did you know that the real frame rate of [email protected] is only 30p? The frames are just duplicated! It’s 30p in the end from what I see in my NLE… That’s just unbelievable from such a reputable manufacturer as Viofo…

  5. would you recommend getting the anti glare lens for this dash cam and also is it recommended to leave anti glare lens on at all times or take off at night thanks

  6. I need some help picking the best camera (Viofo A119). I follow links and get all sorts of dash cameras when I search for Viofo A119, such as:
    Spy Tec A119
    Novatek
    Blueskysea
    Viofo Compact A119 (2017)
    OFFICIAL Viofo A119
    I get these at Amazon, eBay, & zapals. Same thing when I search for a Transcend MLC 64gb sd card. I want to avoid problems and get the same dash cam and sd card you recommend. Can you help?

  7. Great infos well presnted in excellent order . This vid should be an example for all presenters : clear voice/no dumb music. Just ordered my A119 GPS today , my Lukas 7300 starting to error 1 too often…after 3 years of good service.
    Thank you.

  8. I just bought an A119 based on your review. Can you recommend a dash cam viewer program? Also, is the energy stored in the capacitor only for shutting down, or should I expect it to power up without USB power? Thanks.

  9. I love this dashcam. I am trying to activate parking mode by providing a back up battery.What settings should I use to get parking mode to work best? thanks

  10. thank you for making this video. does this dvr have an option to record while the car is of and parked? I park in a lot and want to record all day.

  11. Great video…bought the A119, transcend Micro SD card and CPL you recommended from Amazon. will let you know how it works out. Gets really hot here in Georgia summer time. Can you recommend a power hardwire kit? Thanks Jim

  12. Could you please direct me to a good dash cam that will also do instant play back for accidents while traveling? If there isn’t one is there a phone app that cam view the footage? Do they all have a delay in between video clips where important footage can be missed? Thank you for your time.

  13. What would be the best video setting for just everyday recording while driving to and from work? Does it not matter since it will just get written over with again and again so go with best resolution?

  14. Sir, respectfully, it seems that whatever camera you open your different videos with, is “the one you think we should buy”!
    Kinda of “toe-ing-the-line” with your sponsors, quality of camera aside.

  15. Wow very in depth review with side by side comparison, with pro lv. commentary that was not monotone along with the price vs quality. you saved me 500 dollars for somthing that was just as good with almost all of the same functions. Thank you.

  16. SD card is or is not included? Most others if not all do not include one, but they tell you. Great video!

  17. Have been using this for a month and started to have some issues. While driving, it would keep restarting itself each minute. This happened continuously so I reset the device and formatted the sd card. After one week, it started to have the same problem. Has anyone else encountered this problem?

  18. What kind of SD card do you recommend, I’ve been using a SanDisk 32GB (Class 10) for 3 months now with no problem. However, now I’m getting an error message, “Error Memory”.  I’ve formatted the card and still get the error message.

  19. Are the video samples supposed to be large? Right now I have mine set for 1440p 30fps with sound off, gps on and the files are around 500 megs each.

  20. Hi,
    Wonder why i have this issue! from this camera
    youtu.be/TlSw1JReLZ4
    please don’t delete, i just want tell people there is issue too! maybe unlucky only me?

  21. Help! I have connected my new A119 to my laptop’s USB port and nothing is happening! Shouldn’t I be getting a Found New Hardware Wizard?

  22. The non-recording notification seals it for me. Every other dash cam I’ve used has failed on me without me realizing. Thanks for the thorough video.

  23. if the cam is recording and I don’t press the panic button to lock the video can I go back later and view that recording?

  24. This is a great video alone with the Top 5 Budget Dashcam – a job well done! You have convinced me to purchase the A119 non GPS version.

    For Canadian buyers:

    Aliexpress – no longer sells this product. I can’t find any other direct sellers from China.
    eBay – CA$116 from China and will take a long time and subject to duty/import taxes on top of HST.
    Amazon.ca – CA$113 plus HST – free shipping from Toronto (fast and no duty…)
    Best Buy – $120 plus HST (free shipping out of Vancouver)
    EnjoyGadgets – $10 discount however they don’t carry the non-GPS version and charges shipping.

    The cheapest appears to be Amazon.ca.

    Anyone cares to chime in?

  25. Thanks for the reviews. My old wedge camera stopped working and I was looking for a similar design. I just ordered the Viofo A119 with GPS. The seller says it has a black adhesive pad.

  26. Great test. I found it very helpful. I was wondering – did you have opportunity to test Xblitz P100? It has sony xmor sensor but a little darker lens – F2.2 opposite to 1.8 in VIOFO A119.
    I was curiour how would they perform when compared.

  27. Hi, I’ve watched your video again and again. From the content of your video, I guess you live in Toronto. I’m live in Ottawa! Yay, we are neighbors! Thank you for good videos!!

  28. if you have the GPS mount, but you turned the speed stamp off on the camera, will the GPS still log your speed?

  29. Does anyone know of a good rear view camera to go with the A119 which is also a budget camera. Thanks

  30. Well, I was very impressed with the video quality initially however, this camera is VERY UNRELIABLE! Why? Well it has seemingly 3 major issues: 1: the ‘slide-on four pin’ contact on the GPS mount will sometimes fail to make contact with the camera during driving especially if you are driving on rough roads. 2: The camera runs very warm if not hot especially when your are recording videos above 1080p & 3: The firmware updates on this camera doesn’t always solve the bugs, from my experience… after a firmware update, it works well for a few weeks and then it is back to square one. I am gonna invest in a Garmin NuviCam, no more A119 for me. It was good while it lasted. It now displays VIOFIO with a blue background and doesn’t record a thing.. Purchase it in Jan 2017… now it is May 2017 and it is useless.

  31. Too bad it doesn’t have wifi or a hardwire hookup. I might have bought it. My search continues I guess.

  32. Do you know if it will format higher capacity cards? I have a 200GB card sitting around. I realize it won’t format the full 200GB but it’d be nice to save the money if it works. 🙂

  33. Your reviews, as a whole, are by far the best I’ve seen on YT. And I’m not just referring to dash cams.

  34. Based on your recommendations I ordered the A119 from Walmart for 79.99 great price free shipping to my home. Thanks

  35. Great video. This looks similar to the Rexing V1 2.4 which is the most popular on Amazon. Is this a rebrand? Is this better than the Rexing V1 2.4?

  36. Thanks for the fantastic reviews, I live in Colorado and the sun is really intense here in the summer, and my old camera did not like the heat. I appreciate the comparisons in the video between models to give a better idea of real world use, as well.

  37. I have zeroed upon Viofo A119s and Yi Dash cam. Viofo has a capacitator and Yi has batteries and all the reviews are pointing out towards one important aspect is if one is living in hot climate (Read India) it’s better to invest in a Dashcam with a capacitator rather than one with a battery. It’s because of the fact that batteries might get hot and may result in malfunction or something more serious.
    However in the event of an accident and I have to show the video to a cop, will I able to carry the unit with me (say inside a police station) and show the clip to them.
    Small but important aspect is I am not bothered about the price as the unit will be purchased for me in States and will be carried along with my parents who are coming back next month.
    Am I missing on some other important details, please feel free to point out?

  38. Like the reviews. I have the A119 and love the quality of build and video. But I think I might have a defective unit. During the day it’s fine. It’s at night when I have my issues. I just put in new headlight housing so I need it adjusted but what I do see is nothing like yours. It doesn’t pick up any of action in front unless I have a car right in front of me. Than on top of it, it shows my headlights flickering. Any advice/suggestions on what I should go about this.

  39. So after 6m use my a119 failed due to GPS mount contact issue, now Viofo has a v2 version but I’m still find the customer service in US

  40. This review is what made me just order it on Amazon right now! 🙂 Thank you for your hard work in making reviews! 🙂

  41. If you are going to show a close up of your fingers find soak your fingers in lotion for a few hours.

  42. hi. I have a question. I really want a dash cam, and have gone through a few.. unfortunately the inside of my car gets very very hot bc I live in Arizona, and the devices end up malfunctioning… not recording.. exploding.. it’s recorded that in the summer here, a car can reach 190 degrees F in the summer… do you have any recommendations? thank you

  43. Definitely buying the A119. Just got a brand new Mercedes and I need a quality camera. After seeing the image from the camera itself, it actually looks like one of the best dash cams I’ve seen (video quality)

  44. Is there a way you could mount it on the rear windshield, as in if I were to mount it would the angle of the camera capture a view of the cabin and some exterior surroundings in the frame? could you try it out for me?

  45. Dont buy this! You can find a lot of problems with it from users. Personally, mine are: overheat, gps mount unstable, keeps reseting date time…

  46. Andrew its obvious you have an incredible knowledge level with dash cams. Your passion for these cams and clear delivery is what makes a HUGE difference!! Thank you so much for offering these reviews. one question: do you anticipate the Viofo A119 ever offering parking mode recording capability in future models?

  47. Hey, so I use Lexar sd card to store my videos but now that I try to play the videos in my computer it gives me an error saying file type unsupported or file corrupt. Any idea what’s wrong? Is it the SD card or the camera?

  48. They just need to change the self-stick pad to black instead of white. Sticks out like a sore thumb for theives, and it just doesn’t look good.

  49. 11 seconds before it starts recording!? that’s very long. When I drive away I’m already at the end of the street after 10 seconds and much could have happened.
    I think you’re understating that con.

    Alternatively which dashcam with better night quality and quicker startup time would you recommend, regardless of price?

  50. kuwait air tempreture is 50C in summer… so im not sure if the camera will reach more than 65C if its under direct sunlight radiation

  51. I bought this dash cam and I just want to say I was happy when it worked and now it doesnt for some reason. Screen is on, but wont record. I changed several sd card and reformatted so many ways, yea maybe I have a faulty unit.

  52. Again “full disclosure”…you got this camera for free BUT “it had no influence over what you could or could not say”. The question is whether it had influence over what “you have said or have not said”. 🙂

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