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Small dash cams block less of your view, and are just generally easier to deal with. Viofo’s $150 A119 Mini 2, as you might guess from the name, is a small dash cam. It’s also one of the best.
Further reading: See our roundup of the best dash cams to learn about competing products.
A119 Mini 2 design and features
The A119 Mini 2 measures approximately 1.82 inches wide, 2.8-inches high, and 1.9-inches at its thickest. Add a hair to that thickness if you have the optional $13.50 polarizing filter installed. Either way, it’s smaller than most.
The camera is a single-channel (front-only) unit sporting an Sony STARVIS IMX675 sensor, which renders the camera capable of up to 2560×1600 resolution at 30 frames per second. The field of view is 140 degrees, and there’s both GPS and 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi on board.
Unlike phone-reliant cameras, the A119’s sharp 1.5-inch color display allows you to access settings without needing another device. Situated underneath the display are the power, record, mic, and Wi-Fi status lights, as well as the menu, record, microphone on/off, and Wi-Fi enable buttons.
The buttons pull double-duty as navigation controls, though the A119 Mini 2 supports a number of voice commands such as “Take photo,” “Video start/stop,” “Turn off Wi-Fi,” etc.
The left side of the unit is occupied solely by ventilation grills, while the right side is home to a Type-C power connector and the SD card slot. The A119 Mini 2 can handle up to 512GB cards. Nice.
Note that the Type-C port on the camera is a bit of a blind alley used primarily for computer connectivity. You must use the second Type-C port located on the top of the GPS mount to power both the camera and the GPS.
The mount comes attached out of the box, and looks to be part of the camera. It also uses semi-permanent adhesive and offers no adjustment post facto. Read up on how to install a dash cam before you commit to its placement.
Once in place on the windshield, if you slide the camera to the right, the main body will separate from the mount so you can put it in your bag or backpack. A good thing if you park on the streets, unless of course you want to use the surveillance (parking) mode.
Viofo states on the product web page that the HK4 hardwiring kit is required for the parking mode; however, my inquiry revealed that you can utilize an OBDII power source—the camera only needs to sense that voltage is present.
With Wi-Fi on board, there’s of course an app (shown above). It offers a live view, access to your videos and images, and all the settings in an easier to browse format.
Generally speaking, the only thing the A119 Mini 2 can’t do is save videos online. And that’s not a feature everyone wants or can afford, though if I’m going to leave a dash cam in a car overnight, I’d prefer it had the ability.
A119 Mini 2 captures
The A119 Mini 2’s captures were generally top-notch. However, optimizing them required installing the optional polarizing filter for day use, and removing it for night use. This is a pain, and not something the average user will want to do. I’d opt for leaving it on, as the benefits during the day outweigh the slight reduction in brightness at night.
Note that the time shown in these captures is off. The camera managed to grab the correct date, but didn’t select the correct time zone. Why it can’t set the time according to GPS info is unknown. Viofo should fix that.
While the day captures shown above and below are very good, they slightly favor smooth over sharp. Tastes vary, but there there’s plenty of detail for legal purposes.
The low-light, early evening capture below is with the polarizing filter on. It affects the brightness of the image, but only slightly.
Next up is the night capture; but this was with the polarizing filter removed. I also lost it in the interior of my car. Darn.
Overall, the A119 Mini 2’s captures are excellent in terms of color, handling headlight flare, and overall view-ability. I’d opt for a bit sharper detail, but that’s being picky.
Should you buy the Viofo A119 Mini 2?
I enjoyed my time with the A119 Mini 2. It’s got all the latest features, and takes good captures. The only thing I’d say Garmin’s small cameras have over it is their fully adjustable mount. Carefully align the A119 Mini 2 during install, and that’s a non-issue. Good stuff from Viofo.
Jon Jacobi is a musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time computer enthusiast. He writes reviews on TVs, SSDs, dash cams, remote access software, Bluetooth speakers, and sundry other consumer-tech hardware and software.