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Viofo T130 Dash Cam Review: Everyone Should Own This

Rating: 9/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $170
The front and rear Viofo camera units sitting on hood of car.

The latest dash cam from Viofo is the T130, which features three cameras—a first for the company. This isn’t something you usually get at this price point, and given how many other outstanding features the T130 has, it’s truly one heck of a good deal.

I was surprised to see how robust and powerful the dash cam was, both on paper and on the road. It has all the features I’d expect from a mid-range model, like easy installation, a slim design, a front-facing camera that records at 2K at 30 frames per second (fps), and a ton of fantastic customization options you can tun up to your liking.

It’s not without its quirks, though, and is missing a few nice-to-have design elements that could sand a few of its rough edges, like a built-in display and better file organization. However, it was clear from the moment I first powered on the T130 that it’s a force to be reckoned with and a great option for everyday consumers and rideshare drivers alike.

Here's What We Like

  • Three-channel design
  • Records 2K QHD at 30fps
  • Compact discreet build
  • Robust in-app customization

And What We Don't

  • No display makes you rely on app
  • Limited file organization
  • Hardware kit required for Parking Mode
  • Manual firmware updates

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Specs as Tested

  • Front Camera: 5MP Sony IMX335 sensor
  • Interior Camera: 2MP Omnivision OS02C10 sensor
  • Rear Camera: 2MP Sony STARVIS IMX307 sensor
  • Video Resolution: 2K @30fps (front), FHD @30fps (rear, interior)
  • Lens Angles: 140-degrees (front), 165-degrees (interior), 165-degrees (rear)
  • Storage: Up to 256GB via microSD
  • Input/Output: USB-C
  • Built-in Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz
  • Microphone and Speaker: Yes
  • Motion Detection: Yes
  • Time Lapse Option: Yes

Design and Features

When it comes to the design of a dash cam, it’s all about having a slim, low-profile design and an intuitive interface. Viofo’s T130 offers up all that and more! Both the front and rear cameras are small (the rear is the smaller of the two), and their black finish should easily blend in on most vehicles whether you opt to place it lower or higher on your windshield. Furthermore, every component looks and feels high quality without being flashy.

Top-down view of each dash cam component as well as the hardwire kit, Bluetooth remote, polarizer lens, and microSD card
Kevin Bonnett / Review Geek

The front-facing camera (perfect for recording what’s happening in front of your vehicle) swivels up and down for the perfect angle and records footage in 2K at 30fps. There isn’t an option to alter the resolution or frame rate for any of the three camera channels—say if you wanted to lower the resolution to gain a higher fps—but 2K at 30fps is perfect for everyday needs. While it might be tempting to complain that it only records in 2K instead of 4K, keep in mind that higher resolutions equal more data and will haul through your SD card faster.

The interior-facing camera (captures what’s happening inside your car, and your passengers) records in 1080p FHD at 30fps and pans from your vehicle’s cabin out the driver-side window should you need to record a conversation happening there. Both the front and rear cameras use Sony’s high-performance STARVIS sensor, while the interior relies on an Omnivision sensor. There is also a jack in the main unit from which you can run a cable to power the rear static camera (captures events behind your car, like if someone is tailgating you).

The front camera unit has a built-in microphone, so you can easily record audio. It also has a few handy, easy-to-reach buttons—powering it on or off, toggling the microphone, turning on its Wi-Fi connection, and manually clipping an incident. The T130 lacks a built-in display, though; while this isn’t a dealbreaker, it does mean you’re reliant on the app to view the feed, download footage, and adjust other settings.

In the box, you’ll get the front camera, rear camera, USB car charger, rear camera cable, car charger adapter, trim removal tool, card reader adapter, 3M sticker mounts, static windshield stickers, and the warranty card. Viofo also offers a terrific selection of accessories that I recommend picking up as well, including a polarizing lens (for reducing glare), a Bluetooth remote control (for more easily saving a video clip), and a hardwire kit (for enabling the Parking Mode for continuous surveillance).

Since the cam records locally, you’ll also need to pick up a microSD card. It supports cards up to 256GB, and we recommend a card with at least 128GB of storage since this bad boy records three channels—feeds for each camera— simultaneously. Inserting and ejecting the card is a bit of pain, as you have to push it super far into the slot; you may need a pen, tweezers, or something else small for the task.

Because of the T130’s three-channel setup and built-in microphone, Viofo does market the dash cam towards rideshare drivers; this would allow them to see what’s ahead of and behind their vehicle as well as what’s happening in the back seat. I think it works for any vehicle, however, regardless of what you use yours for. This is some thorough coverage and precisely the type of protection you want out on the road (or when you leave your car in a sketchy parking lot downtown).

Installation & Setup

Installation for the front and rear camera units was relatively quick and painless. It only took me about 15-20 minutes to get everything up and running and hide the cords underneath the interior trim (thanks to the included trim pry stick), so things look clean. I got the cameras mounted and stuck in place on the first try without issue; Viofo ensured that the entire installation process would be easy enough for anyone to do, and it is.

The T130 front camera unit mounted in a car by the rearview mirror.
Kevin Bonnett / Review Geek

Viofo also thoughtfully includes a static sticker in the box. This is a handy alternative to messy adhesive stickers or unsightly suction mounts. If you want to move the dash cam to another vehicle—like a rental car, moving truck, fleet van, or your other car—this is great to have. With it, you can easily attach then detach the cam without it being permanently mounted and leaving behind any gunk on the windshield.

By default, the cameras are powered by the included 12V cigarette lighter connector. You can spring for the add-on hardwire kit and have a professional install it for you for an additional cost. The main benefit of the kit is that it directly powers the cameras 24/7 and enables Parking Mode. This allows them to automatically capture and save clips in the event someone crashes or breaks into your car while it’s parked. Clips are also saved to the companion app, which you can view even if you’re not in the car. The kit has a built-in feature that actively monitors your vehicle battery level and will shut off the cam if your vehicle’s battery level gets too low. You can manually configure that value, too, which I appreciate.

This add-on is a worthwhile purchase, as it can give you hard evidence you can turn over to the police and your insurance if needed. While I did not set up this feature in my personal vehicle, I read many online comments from other users who did install it and didn’t see any noteworthy complaints. Given how well the rest of the hardware and features worked during my tests, I have no reason to believe the hardwire kit or Parking Mode feature wouldn’t work well.

The T130's rear cam mounted on a car's back window.
Kevin Bonnett / Review Geek

Setting up the dash cam with its companion app (Android/iOS) is the second half of the process but didn’t take much additional time or effort. Once the cam is installed and ready to go, you’ll need to download the app, connect your smartphone to the cam’s built-in Wi-Fi network, and let the app walk you through the setup process. I found this connection to be a bit slow most of the time, but it did consistently work. From there, voila—the dash cam is ready to use!

The Companion App

Like most gadgets these days, the T130 has a companion mobile app (Android/iOS). As I briefly mentioned earlier, this is how you’ll access your recorded footage and manage nearly all of the other features and settings. I still wish there was an on-device display to access these details without my smartphone, but this isn’t a dealbreaker for me.

The app is decent for a dash cam and has a ton of customizable settings (like a seriously insane amount of options). For video settings, you can adjust the video resolution and exposure values for each of the three cameras, the loop recording interval, the G-sensor sensitivity (separate for parked and moving), and the bitrate. You can also toggle the date stamp, time-lapse mode, wide dynamic range, and whether or not to record audio.

For system settings, you can adjust things like the time zone, date format, time sync, IR LED, parking recording timer, camera mirror and rotation for each channel, notification sounds, live video source, speed unit, GPS info and camera model stamp, Wi-Fi name (SSID), and the password. You have the option to add your car license number, a custom text stamp, format the SD card, and reset all camera settings. You can also see how much space the SD card has left, as well as the app and firmware version.

You can see a live feed for all three camera channels and all of your saved and locked video files from the app. You do need to manually stop recording to toggle settings, though, which kinda sucks; I’m crossing my fingers that Viofo fixes this quirk in a future update.

And speaking of updates, you can’t download firmware updates through the app. In fact, the app (as it is now, at least) won’t even tell you when an update is available. It’s up to you to regularly hop on to Viofo’s website and see if one is available. If there is, you’ll need to pop the SD card out of the cam, download the update onto it from your computer, then replace it in the dash cam. This is way too 2010 for my taste, but it’s the only real significant bummer to this cam software-wise, and you shouldn’t have to deal with it too often.

Aside from that, my only other gripe here is regarding the frustrating file storage system. Files are separated into three tabs: All Files, Locked Files (those you specifically told it to save), and Parking Files (any saved from Parking Mode). Beyond that, it only “organizes” them by the date. Keep in mind that the T130 records three video files for each drive or event—that’s a ton of files! There is no way to sort them otherwise (not by channel, event, or a specific drive—say to your friend’s house where you witness a car accident along the way). All you can see is the timestamp and how large each file is, and I hate this.

You can play each clip directly from the app, though be warned that it takes a few minutes to load and may stutter. You could download the clip to your phone and watch it that way to avoid lag, but doing so takes about the same amount of time. There isn’t a way to trim a clip before viewing or downloading it, so if you’re looking for an event in the middle of a long file, buckle in—you’re gonna be here for a while. But once the clips are downloaded, they play just fine. That’ll likely be a pretty frustrating experience if you’re in an accident and trying to show the clip to a police officer or other witness, as it only works on a Wi-Fi 2.4GHz connection; having speedier options here would help.

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These little quirks are definitely annoying, and I hope Viofo fixes them. Given how robust and well-rounded the app is otherwise (and how great the hardware is), it’s disheartening to see such an annoying oversight here. I encourage Viofo to invest in upgrading the app and addressing these concerns.

Video Quality & Performance

When it comes to performance and video quality, the Viofo T130 knocks it out of the park. The whole kit is easy to use, and I was pleased with how good the video looked. The physical buttons–for initiating a recording manually, turning the mic on/off, pairing the Wi-Fi connection, and saving/locking the most recent clip—are easy to press, as well. I’d recommend springing for the remote control accessory, though; I mounted mine onto the side of my steering wheel near the ignition so I could easily save clips while staying focused on the road, and it came in handy more than once.

Front view of the T130 main camera unit, with the interior camera and physical buttons.
Kevin Bonnett / Review Geek

The front camera records in 2K at 30fps—consistently solid and clear. When I reviewed my footage, I could easily read street signs, license plates, bumper stickers, and other details with clarity! It’s worth noting that the T130 uses loop recording, which records over any old footage you don’t manually earmark, but since 2K captures plenty of details with ease, I don’t think the larger file size is warranted here.

From the app, you can manually set the file bitrate of the files, with a maximum setting of about 28Mbps for the front camera. The T130’s dynamic range was solid—comparable if not slightly better than other cams I’ve tested in the past. I recommend buying the polarizer lens accessory for the front camera, as it reduces glare in bright daylight and improves image contrast.

Additionally, I thought colors looked quite balanced on the front-facing camera. Auto-exposure levels were more or less where I’d want them to be, though, at times, they were a little more blown out than I’d like. Thankfully, you can manually adjust this a bit in the app.

Both the rear and interior cameras record at 1080p, but the rear records at a default bitrate of 12Mbps while the interior is set to just 9Mbps. This is not only on par with other rear and interior dash cams but more than sufficient for my needs (and I think the average user’s needs). It’s common for secondary (and tertiary) cameras in a setup like this to have a lower resolution than the primary. They can still capture license plate details if they’re fairly close and capture more general actions with ease, like tailgating or a car accident behind you. Plus, the smaller file size will take up less space on your microSD card, which is always nice.

You can toggle whether the interior camera records in color or black-and-white to conserve space on the microSD card; I don’t have a preference here, but I can see why a rideshare driver would like to have control over this setting. Colors on the interior camera were decently balanced, though it occasionally felt a bit yellow-green during bright afternoon recordings.

Exterior nighttime recording is where this camera’s recording abilities are weakest, but I could still make out objects, colors, and nearby signs with relative ease while stopped at a light. Video quality lessened at night, with much more noticeable blurriness and ISO grain. For what it’s worth, this is something most dash cams struggle with, even with higher resolutions and better sensors, so I can’t hold this against the T130 too much.

Kevin Bonnett / Review Geek

As for audio quality on this dash cam, it does a terrific job picking up cabin audio, whether you have music playing or are talking. I found that audio sounded clear as long as I kept my chatter and music at reasonable volumes; obviously, it did a little better when I was just doing one or the other, but it didn’t struggle until I cranked the music up super loud. The T130 records audio to all three channels, which can also increase file size, but you have the option to toggle audio recording in the app.

The Bluetooth remote makes it easy to manually save a clip, compared to taking my hand off the steering wheel and pressing the button on the front camera unit. Still, I wish that the T130 had voice commands, as many other models out there do (Garmin’s newer cams, for example). Despite this, I think the remote is a simple enough workaround to an otherwise great dash cam.

Final Thoughts

After spending a few weeks with the Viofo T130, I am pleased as punch with it. Its three-channel design provides maximum coverage to any driver, it offers great audio/video quality, and its in-depth offered an astounding amount of customization. Its modern, sleek design didn’t stand out much inside my car, and I’m not super handy, so I was thrilled with how easy it is to install. Furthermore, its stellar hardware produced great-looking footage up to 2K at 30fps pretty much any time of day.

While I lament the extent to which the T130 relies on its app, as well as the app’s lackluster file organization options and laggy Wi-Fi connectivity, my complaints overall here are easily overpowered by all the great features this dash cam has. I’d like to see the three accessories (the polarizer lens, hardwire kit, and Bluetooth remote) included in a bundle, even at an ever-so-slightly higher cost. They may not technically be essential, but they make the overall experience smoother and more robust.

I’ve been looking for a high-resolution multi-channel dash cam with tons of customization options for years now, and the T130 pretty much ticks all the boxes for me, especially at a sub-$250 price point. Beyond that level, you’re gonna end up paying more for about the same kinds of features and maybe only a bump to 4K and a few extra features to show for it. The T130 is a perfect marriage of features, multi-channel video quality, performance, ease of use, and price. It’s an excellent value, and the dash cam everyone should be happy to own.

Rating: 9/10
Price: $170

Here’s What We Like

  • Three-channel design
  • Records 2K QHD at 30fps
  • Compact discreet build
  • Robust in-app customization

And What We Don't

  • No display makes you rely on app
  • Limited file organization
  • Hardware kit required for Parking Mode
  • Manual firmware updates

Suzanne Humphries Suzanne Humphries
Suzanne Humphries was a Commerce Editor for Review Geek. She has over seven years of experience across multiple publications researching and testing products, as well as writing and editing news, reviews, and how-to articles covering software, hardware, entertainment, networking, electronics, gaming, apps, security, finance, and small business. Read Full Bio »