A119S 1080p Review

The A119S was introduced in Dec 2016 and under gone many changes to hardware and firmware causing much frustration for early owners. As of Feb 2019 it still uses the V2 GPS Mount and backplate contacts with EVA pad to improve stability and reliability. The Lens has changed 4 times, currently sold with narrower coated 130 FOV Lens. Viofo's Firmware updates to image quality went the wrong way in 2017 producing over-sharpened video. In August 2018 BCHobbyist created Modified Firmware reduced Sharpness, increased Bitrate, adjusted Saturation for improved image quality. Viofo has recently added new Sharpness Menu setting which was long overdue and welcomed with more useful options pending.

This was my favorite model until the A129 was mounted beside it for side by side comparison. If you want a budget priced 1080P low light sensitive Parking Mode capable Dash Cam the A119S is a great choice. It remains my daily driver for over 2 years.

PROs     CONs
- Price
- new F1.6 anti-reflection coated Lens
- very good 1080P resolution
- numerous menu options
- available CPL Filter
- supports 128GB cards
- GPS mount option
- standard MP4 format
- works from 5 volt power bank
- lowest power consumption model
- easy to disassemble
- old Lens focus issues
- unstable single clip mounting bracket
- mount stabilizing EVA foam pad wears out
- weak RTC rechargeable battery (10-20 days)
- internal air vents blocked by tape

A119S Specifications

VIOFO A119S Dash Cam Specifications
- 1920x1080P @ 60fps & 30fps
- Novatek NT96660 processor/chipset
- Sony IMX291 2MP Exmor sensor
- 7G F1.6 Lens with metal base
- 130 or 140 degree Field of View
- 2 inch LCD Display
- G-sensor & Motion Detection & Parking Mode
- SuperCapacitor powered
- quick release mount
- MP4 video format
- GPS logger (optional)
- CPL Circular Polarizing Lens filter (optional)

A119S Setup Tips

New Dashcams should always be tested for image quality and overall camera functionality using the pre-installed firmware so vendor can't claim you damaged it with incorrect firmware. Record test footage even in your hand indoors or out window then keep this footage. Once Dash Cam passes functionality tests install in vehicle as per instructions. At this point if no Lens issues or obvious defects are noticed, you should install the most recent official Firmware.

This model attaches to windshield with single clip mount which requires applying foam pad to reduce mount vibration. This pad will deteriorate after about a year requiring replacement.

The vehicle interior in full Sun in hot summer can reach damaging temperatures for any camera. The A119S Dash Cam will shut off at 75-80C, if you notice this behavior repeating internal damage will occur.

Most effective ways to reduce A119 Dash Cam heat is:
- avoid 60fps and use 30fps
- use 16-24 Mb/s Bitrate in hot summer
- don't use Parking Mode in full sun for hours
- remove any internal or external tape blocking cooling vents (see Tips#1 video below)

As part of regular Maintenance owners should :
- format micro SD card every 2 months.
- reset Default Settings after each Firmware Update.
- when powered from GPS module clean contact plate every 6 months.
- always insert & remove micro SD card while Dashcam is off.

Video Tutorials and Test Footage

A129 verses A119S compared image clarity, color saturation, brightness and low light sensitivity differences. Both Dashcams used the same 130FOV Lens, the color Saturation differences are most obvious on Bridge with A129 stock Saturation neutral while A119S produced realistic colors. Both VIOFO Dash Cams were using 26 Mb/s Bit Rate firmware.

Winner for Design = A129
Winner for Features = A129
Winner for Value = A129
Winner for Price = A119S
Winner for Firmware = Modified
           Winner for Sharpness = A129
Winner for Color = A119S
Winner for Brightness = Tie
Winner for Lens = Tie
Winner for Bitrate = A129

My YouTube Videos open in new Tabs
26 Mb/s MOD-6Vk Footage
A119S vs A129 at 26 Mb/s Bitrate

How to Configure Menu Setting FW1.01
How to Update Viofo Firmware
Unboxing the A119S

Dashcam Setup Tips #2
Dashcam Setup Tips #1 
Dashcam Power Consumption

How to use Parking Mode with Power Bank
How to install GPS Mount to windshield
How to align original CPL Filter
How to Format 64/128GB Memory Cards

How to Disassemble Viofo Dashcams
How to Adjust Lens Focus
How to Fix Lens Alignment

How to Apply EVA Stabilizing Pad
How to Remove GPS Mount from Windshield
How to Clean GPS Mount Contacts
Should I enable WDR Comparison
GPS Map Overlay Demo 16Mbps

Suggested A119S Menu Settings

    Resolution = 1920x1080P 60fps
    Bitrate = High <== select High for best detail
    Loop Recording = 2 min <== select 2 min Loop for reduced MP4 file size
    Video Format = MP4 <== select TS for crash surviveability or if supercapacitors failed
    Exposure = 0
    WDR = Off <== enable for brighter grainy night video
    Sharpness = Soft/Norm/Sharp <== decide what looks best with your Lens
    Parking Mode = Off <== if wanted select 5fps time lapse
    Time-Lapse Recording = Off <== never use when Parking Mode is enabled
    Motion Detection = Off <== never use when Parking Mode is enabled or driving
    GPS = On
    Speed Unit = KMH
    G-Sensor = Low
    LDWS = Off <== never use this useless feature unless you enjoy beeps
    FCWS = Off <== never use this useless feature unless you enjoy beeps
    Date Stamp = On
    GPS Info Stamp = none
    Camera Model Stamp = On
    Record Audio = Off
    Boot Delay = 5 sec <== set 10 sec for diesel or electric vehicles
    LED = On
    Date/Time = mm/dd/yy
    Time Zone = -8 or (-7/w dst) <== match your region
    Language = English
    Beep Sound = On
    Frequency = 60 Hz <== match your region 50 Hz for Europe
    Image Rotation = Off
    Format <== always Format new memory cards twice then every 2 months
    Format Warning = Off
    Default Setting <== always Reset to Default after updates
    Car Number = blank
    Custom Text Stamp = blank
    Firmware Version