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Viofo A229 Pro 3-Channel Dash Cam Hands-On Review: Inside, Outside, Front And Rear, Record The Whole Drive

When it comes to proving fault, more info is always better. Get all the views with this dashcam.

byMichael Febbo|
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I’ve brought up Barry Schwarz’s theory regarding the paradox of choice a couple of times in the past. In my two decades of reviewing products professionally, I can’t remember another category that represents this as well as dash cams. Looking on Amazon, a quick search returns over 2,000 choices, with this Viofo A229 Pro, being one of them. Although your choices come in every shape and size imaginable, most cameras use Sony STARVIS sensors. You might wonder how much difference there is between them. It turns out, there can be quite a bit.

The A229 Pro is a 3-channel dash cam. It has a forward-facing camera in the main unit, and two remote cameras—one interior-facing and another rear-facing. Two satellite cameras mean two sets of cables that need to be run. One running the length of the interior to the back window. The standard power cord connects to a 12-volt socket and everything is mounted with double-sided tape. At the time of writing this, the Viofo A229 Pro is $389.99 on Amazon.

More Definition Than You Can Shake A Stick At

The A229 Pro has 4K right in the name, depending on where you’re looking it up. The main forward-facing camera is in fact 4K resolution and provides a 140° viewing angle. The rear-facing camera is 2K with a 160° viewing angle. The interior camera is 1080P with a 150° viewing angle. The interior camera also has night vision with four infrared LEDs. These are to “light up” the inside of your car at night. 

The camera stores video on a microSD card, which is not included. It’ll support a card with up to 512GB capacity. That 4K front camera spits out roughly 1.2 gigs of data every 5 minutes. The rear and interior combined are about the same. It does loop footage at a user-set time interval. However, it seemed to store a lot of videos until it started running out of space.

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Installation And Set-Up: Lights, Camera, WiFi, Action

If you’ve been reading my dash cam reviews, you know I love wiring. I will start out with what I’ve said for every dash cam and anything that requires any kind of wiring. If you aren't comfortable with electrical work, get it installed professionally; you will be so much happier. 

The A229 was in my car temporarily. I didn’t bother to remove any panels or do anything other than the simplest possible install. First, Viofo includes clear static-cling sheets to put on your glass before sticking the cameras in place. Big points for that as I’ve struggled getting adhesive residue off of glass in the past. Luckily, I don’t have aftermarket window tint. I had my doubts as to how well it would work, but it hasn’t budged. Just make sure the glass is literally squeaky clean first.

Installing the main unit is easy. I plugged it into power first so I could use the screen to see where it was aimed. Most dash cams require you to use your smartphone paired to the camera to see what it’s looking at. I’ve found that in front of the review mirror, towards the passenger side, is an ideal place for dash cams. It’s hiding behind the mirror, so no extra blindspot.

I tucked the interior camera up above the mirror towards the driver’s side. Viofo gives you a long enough cable to put the interior camera just about anywhere on the windshield. For me, this required hiding a whole tangle of it. The rear facing camera is best positioned high up in the rear window. Mine is dangling between the C-pillar, a clothes hook, then up to the camera. It looks terrible, again, pro-install if you don’t want to remove panels yourself. To get from the C-pillar forward, I tucked it in the door seals. That looks OK and doesn’t cause wind noise. 

Since the A229 has a 2.5-inch screen, you can basically install everything without worrying about the smartphone app. Eventually, you’ll need it to download footage, though. It connects to your phone via WiFi, it has both 2.4 and 5GHz. This was the only sticking point I found with this dash cam. It seems to be finicky about connecting. You hit the WiFi button on the main unit to start the connection. Half the time, my iPhone 15 ProMax either wouldn’t see the network or when it did, still refused to connect. It required cycling the power on dash cam to get it working. Once connected, you can easily scroll through the saved videos and download what you want. Five-minute clips of footage download quickly and never had a failure. 

There are a number of options in the setup menu. You can flip the cameras’ orientation depending on how it’s mounted. You can turn off audio recording, select metric or imperial units, use HDR recording, select time-loop length, and more. Overall, it’s pretty straightforward.

Putting the A229 Pro 3-Channel Dash Cam to Work

I don’t consider myself an expert in electronics. I am looking at dash cams from an end-user perspective and not getting into the minutiae of the hardware and software. At one point in my career, I was a perfectly adequate professional photographer. Having shot features for several car magazines, so I have an eye for visual media. From what I’ve seen, there aren’t huge differences in the quality of the footage in the dash cams I’ve tested. Keep in mind, I have yet to test the, “Wow, that seems almost too cheap” brands you see online. Obviously, there’s a noticeable difference between a 4K and 2K camera. I did look into the HDR functionality of this camera, and apparently, it is not true HDR. It still provides good contrast in difficult light conditions. 

Small details are difficult to see if cars are a few feet apart and moving at more than walking pace. You will get a good description of the car. You might even get a good enough shot of the driver to see if they were looking at their phone. However, you probably aren’t going to catch the hit-and-run driver by getting a plate. So hope for eye-witnesses.

The big differences from one dash cam to the next lies in the user experience. With the exception of connecting to the A229’s WiFi network, this is a very easy to use dash cam. It responds to voice commands to lock footage. The buttons are clearly labeled in the event you would need to use them. Even the app is pretty intuitive and stable. All the parts are well-constructed. Nothing feels flimsy. The wire insulation is thick enough to avoid pinch-throughs while being flexible enough for routing in tight spots. The biggest thing positive a dash cam can possess is a lack of complaints, and this has very few.

A229 Pro 3-Channel Dash Cam Verdict

In the interest of full disclosure: I had this camera in and out of my car twice. My first time around, I had some issues with the usability of the app. But, Viofo seems to put out updates monthly at a minimum. Since I had some extra time, I took advantage of it and reinstalled everything. The latest versions are much more usable. Consequently, the camera is getting a much better review.

Viofo A229 Pro 3-Channel Dash Cam
Ease Of Use7/10

Again, the Viofo A229 Pro usually hovers under the $400 price point. That may seem high when you see other dash cams starting at 40 bucks on Amazon. However, this is three separate cameras. It also has a decently sharp screen and has 4K, 2K, and a 1080P resolutions on those cameras.

That said, this is not a dash cam for everyone. Personally, I don’t see the need for all three views. At the same time, I can appreciate why someone would want them. If you’re in an incident that requires a rearview, you might hate yourself for only having the front covered. Likewise, if someone accuses you of not paying attention, the interior channel can be your get-outta-jail-card.

I guess that’s a decision you have to make for yourself. There are very few insurance companies that offer discounts for dash cams, but they could prevent an unfair judgment. Also, check the laws in your state before buying. While they are legal in all 50 states, the proper mounting position, size, and recording use vary. If this checks all the boxes on your criteria sheet, buy it. Don’t give a second though to the 2,000 plus other choices you didn’t pick.

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