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Thinkware U3000 vs. VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K UHD
Dash Cam Comparison Review

When it comes to budget-friendly, yet value for money dash cams, it’s VIOFO that we truly trust. Over the years, VIOFO has proven how impressive their dash cams are, garnering thousands of positive feedback on their best models such as the new VIOFO A139 Pro, and even older models like the VIOFO A229, VIOFO T130, and the 4K UHD VIOFO A129 Pro.

Known as the best-budget friendly 4K UHD dash cam of VIOFO, the VIOFO A129 Pro has been well-reviewed by a lot of dash cam experts, including us! We love their features, and we think that it still has the guts to compete with new 4K dash cams like the Thinkware U3000.

In this article, we will go over the features of the longer-standing VIOFO A129 Pro Duo and compare it against the new comer, the Thinkware U3000. Let’s see which among these two gets more votes from us.

Thinkware U3000 vs. VIOFO A129 Pro Duo Design

We have been using and testing the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo since it was released in 2019, and if we will compare it to the new dash cams like the U3000, we must say that the A129 Pro’s design and form factor is really old-school. It looks chunky, and is built with a 2-inch screen where you can playback your videos. But don’t worry, as it is also compatible with the VIOFO smartphone app if you wish to view your footage on a bigger screen.

The Thinkware U3000 also comes with a smartphone app, but it doesn’t have a screen. It looks more premium and discreet, with crossed ventilation grills for better heat dissipation. Although the front unit where the front lens with built-in radar is quite large compared to other models like the Thinkware U1000, it’s still a more easy-to-hide dash cam than the A129 Pro.

Thinkware U3000 vs. VIOFO A129 Pro Image Quality and Recording Capabilities

Check out our VIOFO A129 Pro sample footage and you’ll be impressed with the quality of the videos. Take note that despite its cheaper price tag, the VIOFO A129 Pro records in true 4K! Equipped with an 8MP Sony Exmor R STARVIS image sensor, this dash cam captures clear, vibrant colors with adequate detail in 4K UHD in the front and Full HD in the rear camera.

Now, using only the front camera, you can choose between 4K at 30FPS and 2K at 60FPS. It is also possible to scale it down to 1080 Full HD at 60 or 120 frames per second. But when using both the front and rear cameras at the same time, video recording in the front camera is limited to 30 frames per second. The front camera captures at 130°, while the rear records at 140-degrees.

While this can already be impressive, the Thinkware U3000 is built to capture more at a maximum level at 4K @ 30 fps which can also be downgraded to 2K@60 fps if you want to lessen motion blur when speeding on highways! Carrying the most advanced 8MP Sony STARVIS 2 IMX678 for its front camera, the Thinkware U3000 covers a wider 158-degree field of view than the A129 Pro. Also, the secondary cam is equipped with a 2K QHD 5-megapixel Sony STARVIS IMX335, covering an angle of 128-degrees. It’s a 4K-2K camera, while the VIOFO A129 Pro is primarily a 4K-Full HD.

The VIOFO A129 Pro Duo can be installed with a CPL filter, although the Thinkware U3000 already includes it in the package. And if you want maximum protection from rain and other environmental factors, we recommend you to install a BlackboxMyCar Aqua Shield right on your windshield!

Thinkware U3000 vs. VIOFO A129 Pro Parking Mode

One thing that we love about VIOFOs, despite being a budget-friendly dash cam, is its multiple parking mode protection modes. Aside from motion and impact, it also offers buffered recording, time lapse, and even Low Bitrate recording. If you wish to activate this, you just have to hardwire it with a separate VIOFO HK3 hardwiring kit or a dedicated dash cam battery pack like the BlackboxMyCar Power Cell 8.

Some may think that the VIOFO A129 Pro’s parking mode features are already enough, but wait for what the Thinkware U3000 can do! Aside from motion and impact detection, the Thinkware U3000 also does buffered recording, Energy Saving Parking mode, and a super useful feature called Smart Parking mode.

On top of the parking mode options, the Thinkware U3000 now has a built-in RADAR sensor, which means that when a person or vehicle is detected in a low-power recording situation, the U3000 immediately wakes up and starts recording. The RADAR sensor, which is built into both the front and rear cameras, allows the camera to be more energy efficient than any other camera on the market, more than tripling the duration of parking mode. You also get extra protection for your battery with the U3000’s built-in voltage monitoring system!

Thinkware U3000 vs. VIOFO A129 Pro Safety and Convenience Features

We mentioned earlier that the VIOFO A129 Pro comes with an app, which is available for Android and iOS devices. The app enables you to watch videos, download footage, and share them on social networking sites, in case you wanna update your friends about your trip! Aside from this, the VIOFO A129 Pro also has built-in dual-band Wi-Fi and a GPS module highly useful for tracking locations and speeds when driving.

We find these features useful, but the Thinkware U3000 definitely offers more. Like the VIOFO A129 Pro, the Thinkware U3000 also has dual-band Wi-Fi and built-in GPS. Beyond that, this is also the first dash cam to have built-in Bluetooth for easy pairing, and a built-in RADAR sensor as well. For maximum security, the U3000 also has the Thinkware standard ADAS and Safety Camera alerts, and a Cloud Connectivity feature via Thinkware CONNECTED that enables drivers to monitor their cars remotely, wherever they are in the world!

Thinkware U3000 vs. VIOFO A129 Pro Pricing

The VIOFO A129 Pro is a budget-friendly true 4K dash cam, priced for only $212.50 USD. On the other hand, the Thinkware U3000 is expectedly more expensive at $549.99 USD. If you wish to include the additional accessories to maximize your 4K experience for both dash cams, the VIOFO A129 Pro and Thinkware U3000 are also exclusively available in Signature Bundles.

Verdict: Which is better? Thinkware U3000 or VIOFO A129 Pro Duo?

Based on our years of testing this dash cam, the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo has earned great feedback for its capabilities, performance, and high value for money. It doesn’t hurt your pocket, but delivers true 4K videos like the other premium dash cams.

However, the features are quite outdated, and if you prioritize convenience, you might have to go with a more-featured dash cam like the Thinkware U3000. Aside from the Sony STARVIS 2 image technology with Super Night Vision 4.0 to provide the best recording experience, it also has notable features like built-in radar sensor, Energy Saving and Smart parking mode, Thinkware Connected connectivity, and built-in Bluetooth that the VIOFO A129 Pro, or even newer dash VIOFO dash cam models do not have yet.

Thinkware U3000 vs. VIOFO A129 Pro Duo 4K UHD Dash Cam Comparison

Specs Thinkware U3000 VIOFO A129 PRO

Video Resolution

4K UHD @ 30 FPS + 2K QHD @ 30 FPS

4K UHD @ 30 FPS + Full HD 1080p @ 30 FPS

Image Sensor (F, R, I)

8MP Front Sony STARVIS 2 +
5MP Rear Sony STARVIS Sensors

8MP Front Sony STARVIS + 2MP Rear Sony STARVIS Sensors

Wide-Angle View

158° | 128°

None

GPS

Built-in

Built-in

Parking Mode

Yes

Yes

GPS

Yes

External

Operating Temperature

-10°C - 60°C

-10°C - 65°C

Loop Recording

Yes

Yes

Max SD Card

256GB

256GB

LCD Screen

None

2" High-Definition LCD

Wi-Fi

Yes

Yes

Microphone

Yes

Yes

Speaker

Yes

Yes

Country of Origin

South Korea

China

Manufacturer Warranty

1-Year Manufacturer Warranty

1-Year Manufacturer Warranty

Choose Your 4K from Us Now!

The Thinkware U3000 and VIOFO A129 Pro are available in one-channel and dual-channel options. If you wish to maximize your U3000 or A129 Pro experience, check out our exclusive Signature Bundles to avail everything you need in one click!