This dash cam has a wedge-shaped body similar to that of the Rexing V1-4K, meaning that the screen is angled downwards and it’s relatively difficult to spot from outside.
Both also record in high resolution, though this cheaper Viofo runs in QHD rather than 4K. The Viofo also comes with its GPS module included in the sale price.
There are more important differences, too.
The Viofo’s screen is a little smaller, which will bother some people. The amount of road you can see is somewhat narrower, too, which can have important consequences in many situations.
More importantly, while the Rexing lets you review and store footage on your phone easily, video playback with the Viofo requires taking out the memory card and plugging it into a computer or phone. This is rarely an option when arguing with a cop on the side of the highway.
A Specialist in Keeping Still
The Viofo can almost be described as a cut-price version of the Rexing, though this is unfair: as the V3 in its name suggests, this model is actually the product of gradual refinements to the popular A119 range of dash cams. Some of these only became possible as the cost of new technology dropped; other improvements are the result of customer feedback.
One aspect in which this dash cam excels is a job many other manufacturers seem to overlook: keeping your car safe while you’re nowhere near it. Though you will have to purchase a special hardwired power cable, you can leave it running in either of two recording modes while parked.
The first and probably most useful mode is similar to that of the Vantrue N4 (one of the top rated dash cams). The camera will automatically store a video clip and flag it as potentially important if it either detects physical shaking or “sees” motion in its field of view. Though it does not normally record to the memory card while waiting for something to happen, it stores the data elsewhere and will therefore show you not only half a minute after the event, but also the 15 seconds leading up to it.
Alternatively, you can also record continuously while parked: either as a time lapse of between one and ten frames per second or at reduced video quality. Events like someone leaning against your car will still be protected from being overwritten without your approval.
Dash cam marketers like to compete on pixel numbers, and Viofo is no exception in this case. The resolution of the camera’s image sensor isn’t always reflective of its usefulness, though. In this case, the 1600p number you’ll see in the brochure applies only when recording in a non-standard aspect ratio. Setting it to 1440p uses less storage space and subtracts only a small strip at the top or bottom of the image, which isn’t what a driver is interested in anyway. Alternatively, you can downgrade to 1080p but record at a full 60 frames per second.
Something that is worth paying attention to is a dash cam’s performance under dark conditions, and especially when filming scenes that contain both bright light sources and very dark areas. The A119 V3 uses the popular Sony Starvis sensor backed up by an image processing chip, meaning that it works well at night.
Glare from the windscreen is sometimes a problem; luckily, there’s an easy fix for this in the form of an optical filter. You’re also allowed to fiddle with the wide dynamic range and exposure settings through the menu. With the filter and a little experimentation, you’ll soon get the full benefit of this camera’s quad-high-definition capabilities.
You can choose to have speed, time, and GPS coordinates displayed superimposed on this camera’s footage, or you can turn off this function.
With the DashcamViewer software, you can also see your progress on a map side by side with the video. Interestingly, the GPS module lives in the bracket you stick to your windshield, but two plastic, non-GPS mounts are also provided for free in case you want to transfer this dash cam from vehicle to vehicle.
All told, this is an excellent camera for the price. GPS information is always handy to have, and while downloading videos using wi-fi is convenient, it’s not a must-have. The lack of a rear camera is certainly unfortunate, but it would be difficult to add one without pushing up the cost quite a bit.
Most important, of course, is the image quality, so here’s a video you can watch to judge that for yourself (in Polish, but with the same camera):
- Useful buffered parking mode
- Decent resolution
- Low profile
- No rear camera
- No wireless connectivity
- Only 140° viewing angle