Now we come to one of the most crucial aspects of these dash cams – video resolution. We mentioned earlier that the Thinkware U3000 and the VIOFO A139 Pro are the first dash cams to be built with the Sony STARVIS 2 image sensor, promising enhanced performance in low-light situations while also improving the clarity and sharpness of their videos. However, this doesn’t mean that they record exactly the same.
With the Thinkware U3000, the front camera sports an 8MP Sony STARVIS 2 IMX 678 image sensor, capturing 4K @ 30 frames per second, which can be scaled down to 2K @ 60 frames per second if you prefer a higher frame rate, best for highway driving. It’s also equipped with Super Night Vision 4.0, which is a big leap from the Thinkware U1000’s Super Night Vision 2.0 version. The VIOFO A139 Pro also records in 4K and has night vision, although its resolution for the front camera is locked at 4K @ 30 frames per second. When we tested both the U3000 and A139 Pro’s front camera recording, we can see how clear and crisp the details have been, although we did notice that the VIOFO A139 Pro’s visuals are more vibrant and clear – regardless of the lighting situations. Take note, the VIOFO A139 Pro also has HDR and WDR so we’re not surprised with how better the results are for them.
However, if we’re going to talk about the rear camera, the Thinkware U3000 does a better job of recording details. While the A139 Pro’s secondary cameras only record 1080P Full HD @ 30 frames per second, the U3000’s rear camera captures 2K QHD @ 30 frames per second. Angle-wise? The front unit of the A139 Pro is also a tad narrower at 140-degrees, compared to the U3000’s wider 158-degrees. However, the rear (and interior) camera of the A139 Pro has a 170-degree field of view, while the U3000 only covers 128-degrees. In terms of capturing more lanes, we think that the front camera is more important, so we appreciate how the Thinkware U3000 covers a wider field of view.
The flagship variant for the A139 Pro is the 3-channel dash cam composed of a 4K front, 1080p interior, and 1080p rear. However, when the A139 Pro operates in a 3-Channel setup, the image quality can be set to 1600p at 30fps, or 2160p at 24fps, both 4k. Basically, as the number of cameras or channel configurations increases, the video quality of the A139 Pro also reduces.
Beyond the video resolution and angles, both the Thinkware U3000 and VIOFO A139 Pro come with a CPL filter in every package. During our testing, we also applied these filters, along with a BlackBoxMyCar Aqua Shield to reduce glares and keep our footage safe from raindrops and dust.