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VIOFO VS1 Mini vs. Garmin Mini 2

Dash Cam Comparison Review

One question we always get from our customers is: “What’s the difference between the VIOFO A119 Mini 2 and VS1 Mini?” While the A119 Mini 2 and VS1 Mini seem like different flavours of the same camera on paper, there’s actually more that sets them apart than just the form factor and design.

In this article, we will explore what sets VIOFO’s mini models apart and which one provides maximum value for your needs.

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. VS1 Mini Design

Both cameras are impressively compact, holding true to their names, with the A119 Mini 2 fitting easily in the palm of your hand, while the VS1 is akin to a key fob in size. While this means they are both easy to install in a discreet manner, it doesn’t take more than a quick glance to notice that the A119 Mini 2 is slightly larger than the VS1.

It’s easy to see that the A119 Mini 2 is the latest member of the A119 family, descending from its near-decade-long lineage with VIOFO’s traditional wedge-shaped design. The A119 Mini 2 houses a 1.5-inch LCD screen (smaller than VIOFO’s typical 2-inch screen) within its compact chassis (measuring 1.8 x 2.9 x 1.6 inches), allowing users to quickly adjust settings and review footage right on the camera itself. This makes the A119 Mini 2 ideal for those who don’t want to rely on a smartphone. On top of that, the built-in screen aids installation by providing a lag-free live view, while the wedge-shaped form factor allows it to mount flush against the windshield.

On the other hand, the VS1 measures only 1.22 x 1.3 x 3.15 inches, making it VIOFO’s smallest dash cam to date. It’s no wonder it’s iF Product Design Award-winning! While we understand that not all users may like its hanging design, this unique form factor gives the VS1 a full 180° of vertical adjustment, enabling various unique recording angles for different applications. Mounting it to various surfaces within the vehicle allows users to have creative setups for this camera, such as facing forward between the seats to capture their drives from a more cinematic point of view, or turning the lens to face the cabin for their ridesharing and vlogging needs. The VS1 can easily be added to an existing setup to help cover any specific angle as a stand-alone camera.

Lastly, while the VS1 only has two buttons compared to the A119 Mini 2’s standard 5-button layout, users can still perform quick actions using single presses, long presses, and button sequences. Thus, a smartphone isn’t necessary for locking important footage, toggling the Wi-Fi and microphone on and off, formatting the SD card, and resetting the VS1 to factory settings, though using all these functions on only two buttons will have more of a learning curve than a physical screen.

VIOFO VS1 Mini

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. VS1 Mini Video Resolution

Both of these dash cams are equipped with the latest-and-greatest 5MP Sony STARVIS 2 IMX675 image sensors, capturing crisp 2K footage with wide 140° fields of view and High Dynamic Range (HDR) for consistent performance in all lighting conditions. However, one oft-overlooked component of a dash cam is its image processor. The VS1 uses the tried-and-tested Novatek 96565 processor, the same one found in its predecessor, the WM1, but the A119 Mini 2 packs a bigger punch thanks to its more powerful Novatek 96580.

When parked or driving around town, the footage might look very similar between the two cameras, but the difference becomes clear when hitting the highway: the A119 Mini 2’s upgraded processor allows it to record up to 60 frames per second, greatly reducing motion blur, while the VS1 only records at a maximum 30 frames per second. This means the A119 Mini 2 is better at capturing crucial details like license plates at higher speeds. Still, the VS1 does an excellent job at capturing what matters most - especially for a unit of its size - thanks to the combination of its STARVIS 2 sensor and HDR.

VIOFO VS1 Mini

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. VS1 Mini Parking Mode

Both dash cams offer the same set of three parking modes, typical of VIOFO cameras: Auto Event Detection with buffered recording, Low Bitrate Recording and Time-Lapse Recording. Auto Event Detection will automatically record for 45 seconds while a moving object is detected, and if any impact is detected, it’ll give you footage 15 seconds before and 30 seconds after so you can get a full understanding of the incident.

On the other hand, Low Bitrate Recording and Time-Lapse Recording both allow these cameras to record continuously at either a lower bitrate or framerate, respectively, providing around-the-clock protection without excessively consuming storage space or power.

With that said, it’s worth noting that the A119 Mini 2 doesn’t consume much more energy than the VS1 during parking mode despite its more powerful processor - in fact, both cameras only consume the same maximum of 2.23 watts on standby in the Auto Event Detection parking mode.

Both dash cams don’t include a hardwiring kit in their packages, so you will have to buy one separately. Alternatively, you can set them up with battery packs, our flagship PowerCell 8 providing either one with up to ~48 hours of parking mode recording. We also recommend the BlackboxMyCar Essential Install Package, which includes several useful tools and supplies to make hardwiring easier.

VIOFO VS1 Mini

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. VS1 Mini Convenience Features

Both the A119 Mini 2 and VS1 are equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity(2.4GHz/5GHz) to enable quick and easy connections to the VIOFO smartphone app. The 2.4GHz band’s longer range allows for stronger connections and improved compatibility with a wide range of mobile devices, while the 5GHz band enables faster video playback and download on phones that support it.

Available on Google Play and the iOS App Store, this user-friendly app allows users to adjust system settings, review footage, and download footage directly onto their mobile devices without having to remove the SD card. The VIOFO app is a must for the VS1, given its lack of a screen and limited on-device controls, but it’s still an excellent tool for A119 Mini 2 users to have instant footage retrieval on the go.

Aside from Wi-Fi, both dash cams also come loaded with the full suite of convenience features you expect from VIOFO’s latest-and-greatest: GPS for precisely capturing the time, location, and speed, voice notifications that provide real-time information about the dash cam’s status, voice control for safe hands-free operation.

On top of that, both cameras support a maximum SD card capacity of 512GB, but the VS1 takes things even further, including a 32GB SD card in the box, a VIOFO first. Additionally, they can both be equipped with optional CPL filters to help reduce excessive glare in the footage.

VIOFO VS1 Mini

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. VS1 Mini Pricing

Both the A119 Mini 2 and VS1 have the same affordable starting price of ~$149.99 USD/$205.99 CAD, making them ideal choices for those seeking bang-for-buck, or perhaps those who want to give their friends and family the gift of dash cam protection. However, it’s worth noting that the A119 Mini 2 does not include an SD card, while the VS1 does at the same price.

Verdict: VIOFO A119 Mini 2 vs. VS1 Mini - Which is better?

Given all the similarities and identical pricing between the A119 Mini 2 and VS1, we agree that it’s a tough call, and it’s hard to go wrong with either option. With a near-identical feature set, both of these mini dash cams are excellent choices when it comes to maximum value for the money. However, based on the differences we found, the choice ultimately comes down to the user’s needs and preferences.

The A119 Mini 2 is the clear winner for users who appreciate being able to use their dash cam without a smartphone. With its built-in screen, on-device controls, and 60 fps recording, most basic functions can be operated on the unit itself, while the high framerate mitigates any issues caused by high-speed motion blur.

On the other hand, the VS1 should be a no-brainer for those after a huge punch in a tiny package, or those seeking maximum installation flexibility. While it may lack the smartphone-free convenience and higher framerate recording of the A119 Mini 2, it still provides the same fundamental experience in a significantly smaller package.

VIOFO VS1 2K QHD

VIOFO A119 Mini 2

Video Resolution

2K @ 30 FPS

2K @ 60 FPS

Image Sensor

5MP Sony STARVIS IMX675

5MP Sony STARVIS IMX675

Field of View

140°

140°

GPS

Built-in

Built-in

Smart Parking Mode

G-Sensor

Temperature

-20°C to 65°C (14°F - 149°F)

-20°C to 65°C (14°F - 149°F)

Loop Recording

Max SD Card

512 GB

512 GB

LCD Screen

None

1.5-inch

Wi-Fi

Built-in Bluetooth

None

Microphone

Built-in

Built-in

Speaker

Built-in

Built-in

Battery

Supercapacitor

Supercapacitor

Voice Notifications

Voice Controls

Country of Origin

China

USA

Manufacturer Warranty

1-Year Manufacturer Warranty

1-Year Manufacturer Warranty

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