Dash Cams are becoming the rage in the United States today. They allow you to capture stunning scenery as you drive down the road and also help protect you from fraudulent accident and insurance claims. Two of the better dash cams currently on the market are the VIOFO A129 and the Thinkware U1000.
In this review we will compare the features and differences found in both of them, so that you can make a better buying decision concerning which system will better meet your needs.
VIOFO A129 Pro vs Thinkware U1000 side by side:
|VIOFO A129||Thinkware U1000|
|Resolution (front)||3840x2160 @30fps||3840x2160 UHD 30FPS|
|View angle||130 degree||150 degree|
|Maximum capacity||256 GB||128 GB|
|Price||Find on Amazon||Find on Amazon|
Field of View
A dash cam needs to have a large enough field of view to capture any and all events that occur around your vehicle. At the same time, the view can’t be too wide or distortion may occur. This could cause a fish-eyed affect in the video, possibly blurring critical information.
Camera With the Better Field of View: THINKWARE U1000
Impact Detection and Automatic Video Tagging
Your dash cam should have a G-sensor that will detect bumps, impacts, or sudden changes in speed, either accelerations or decelerations. It should also have the ability to automatically tag this type of video footage.
Buffered Parking Mode
When in parking mode, the dash cam should monitor your unattended vehicle. In buffered parking mode, the camera should store important video footage as an event occurs.
Better Camera for Buffered Parking Mode: VIOFO A129 Pro
Built-In GPS Technology
It is important to have GPS technology built into your dash cam. The ability to record where an event took place, as well as the speed and direction of travel, can be crucial evidence if the video is to be used in a court proceeding.
Better Camera for Built-In GPS Technology: THINKWARE U1000
VIOFO A129 Pro
The A129Pro produces quality video with a 130° wide-angle view that outperforms many of the top-of-the-line dash cams that cost hundreds of dollars more. Using a Sony 8 megapixel sensor, the A129 Pro is capable of capturing true Ultra HD 4K resolution (3840 x 2160P) at 30 frames per second (4 times higher than regular Full HD). And if you need to capture license numbers or read street signs, there are very few dash cams better than the A129 Pro.
Quality nighttime video is another strong point of this dash cam. While all 4K dash cams struggle with low light recording, especially on reflective surfaces, the A129 Pro will still provide an amazing level of detail. Its only downside is its slightly lower lens aperture of f/1.8 and recording at only 30fps.
While many dash cams offer a parking mode, the A129 has a buffered parking mode. “Buffered” parking mode means the camera will continually record and then when an impact or motion is detected, will save 15 seconds of video before the event and 30 seconds after the event. In order to use this parking mode to its fullest you should hardwire the camera into your vehicle’s electrical system and then set the camera to “Auto Event”.
This dash cam has built-in WiFi and GPS. The WiFi is dual band, 2.4 GHz and 5GHz which helps avoid wireless interference. This dual WiFi also allows for super fast file transfer. Having GPS built-in allows the camera to log speed and location and also place a timestamp your recordings.
- Excellent video quality
- Sony Starvis sensors
- GPS, WiFi, & Bluetooth built-in
- Adjustable lens (tilts up and down)
- Very good low light sensitivity
- No voice notifications
- No cloud capability
- Lens will not rotate left or right
- Not the best customer support
- Larger video files require a larger capacity memory card
With the U1000 dash cam you have the choice of recording in 4K Ultra HD @ 30fps or in 2K Quad HD @60fps. The camera uses an 8.42 Sony STARVIS image sensor with a 150° wide-angle field of view to make reading license plates and finer details a breeze.
Cloud functionality allows the camera to send notifications to your phone concerning things like the vehicle’s location or accident detection. This is done through the Thinkware Cloud app (available for Android and iOS). You can also use the app to do things such as configure the dash cam settings, view recorded videos, and access the Live View feature.
The U1000 has a built-in GPS antenna. Not only will the camera pinpoint your vehicle’s location, speed, and direction of travel, but also it has an additional feature called GEO-fencing. GEO-fencing allows the owner to set travel distance limits, that if exceeded, will send you a notification that the car is outside of the pre-set boundaries. If you have young drivers or own fleet vehicles, this is a good way to keep track of where the vehicles are. There is also an Advanced Driver Assistance feature that will warn of lane departures and collision warnings. The camera also has a database of red light and speed camera locations so that you may avoid costly traffic tickets where these types of devices are located.
There are some things that Thinkware could improve upon. First, while there is a parking mode, the camera only records for approximately 20 seconds after an impact is detected. By not saving any before video, you could miss some of the important details of the impact event. That said, while in parking mode, the camera reduces power consumption allowing for longer parking protection, which is good if say, you were parking at the airport and were going to be gone for several days. Secondly, there is no screen, so all configuring must be done through a smartphone app. One other problem is file capacity. The U1000 only supports microSD cards up to 128GB. In 4K, that is only about 4 hours of recording.
- True 4K recording
- Cloud integration
- GPS and WiFi capability
- Low power, long term buffered parking mode
- Cloud integration can be buggy
- Voice notifications can be annoying
- Large size / not very stealthy
- Only supports memory cards up to 128GB
When do you do most of your driving? If it is during daylight hours, the VIOFO A129 Pro is the better choice. If most of your driving is after dark, the THINKWARE U1000 will perform better for you (>>> Find on Amazon). Both record in true 4K, have GPS, WiFi connectivity, and a parking mode. The A129 Pro is a better deal price-wise, and if a display is important to you, it will be your camera of choice. The U1000, while more expensive, gives you the option of 4K or 2K recording. It also has cloud integration, which the A129 Pro doesn’t have, and voice notifications. No matter which system you choose, you won’t be disappointed with the outstanding video quality it will produce.