Ported Google Camera app (gcam) is surely a hype among Android users. It offers advanced features powered with Google’s own technology not available on any other camera apps by default.
The success of BSG and friends (Arnova8G2, Cstark, and so on) in porting the app for other devices makes all other Android users happy. We can now enjoy the awesomeness of Gcam on Android phones other than Google Pixel, including our lovely Redmi Note 5.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 codename Whyred (also known as Redmi Note 5 Pro in India) is one Xiaomi’s best selling smartphone last year. It boasts company’s profit significantly.
The device sports Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 636 (14 nm) chipset under the hood. The existence of Octa-core 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 CPUs and Adreno 509 makes it the most valuable phone of the year.
Redmi Note 5 initially comes running MIUI 10 Android 7.1 Nougat. Recently, the device receives Android 9.0 update within MIUI 10 v10.3.1.0 Global Stable ROM.
Previously, we have shared the trick to enable Camera2 API on Redmi Note 5. There are three methods available. All of those work flawlessly on Redmi Note 5 running MIUI 10 based on Android 7.1 Nougat and 8.1 Oreo.
The recent Pie update makes the trick useless.
The proven steps below allow you to enable Camera2 API level 3 successfully on Redmi Note 5 Pro/Ai/China/Global. We tested it and proved it to work flawlessly.
This trick requires no root access. We will also flash no custom recovery and hence we can still enjoy MIUI OTA update mechanism.
Nevertheless, while we can confirm that this method is safe, we still recommend you to create backups. It is a good habit to create backups of all important data and files.
Nobody forces you to do the trick. We hold no responsibility for any damages that may happen to your phone. Please proceed with caution.
You will need:
- Windows computer either a PC or a Laptop. Windows 8/8.1/10 64-bit is recommended.
- ADB and Fastboot Driver and Platform Tools (download both zip files).
- Orangefox or Redwolf Recovery image – we suggest you to go with Redwolf.
- Anti-rollback Protection (ARB) bypasser.
- Camera2 API HAL3 Enabler (zip).
- Any compatible USB Data cable
How to Enable Camera2 API on Redmi Note 5 MIUI 10 Pie?
Step 1. Disable Windows Drivers Signature Enforcement on your computer. We have a detailed tutorial here.
Step 2. Extract Xiaomi ADB Fastboot Driver zip file (miui-ADB-Driver-Installer-v1.4.3.zip) and install it on your computer. This should finish in seconds. Make sure you install it on C:\adb\. This step is necessary to install ADB Fastboot system-wide.
Step 3. Extract the miui-platform-tools_r28.0.1-win.zip on your computer. You’ll get a folder called “platform-tools“. This step is important to make sure you use the latest version of ADB-Fastboot.
Step 4. Unlock the bootloader of your phone. Read the full guide on how to unlock MIUI bootloader officially here. Please be aware that the process requires you to reset your phone. All your data will be lost.
Step 5. Extract Orangefox zip file (OrangeFox-R9.0-2-whyred-MIUI-Pie.zip) to get the flash-able recovery image file (recovery.img). If you choose to use Redwolf TWRP, download the flash-able image file (RedWolfTWRP-3.2.3-027-unofficial.img) and rename it to “recovery.img” (without quotes).
UPDATE: Use Red Wolf Recovery instead of Orange Fox. Some users reported fail attempts with Orange Fox. Use RedWolfTWRP-3.2.3-027-unofficial.img build.
MIUI 10 v10.3.2.0.PEIMIXM use Red Wolf.
Step 6. Copy that recovery.img file into the “platform-tools” folder (Step 3).
Step 7. Also, extract the ARB-Bypasser-Fastboot-Unlocker.zip file. You’ll get a dummy.img file. Copy that dummy.img file to the “platform-tools” folder as well.
Alternatively, you can also extract the dummy.img file directly to the platform-tools folder.
Here’s what inside our platform-tools folder.
Step 8. Now enable USB debugging on your phone. You might have it enabled during the bootloader unlocking process. However, it is a good practice to double-check it.
Enabling Developer Options, go to:
Settings >> About phone >> tap the MIUI version 7x >> You are developer!
Enable USB Debugging, go to:
Settings >> Additional Settings >> Developer Options >> USB Debugging >> toggle it on.
A notification will pop up on your screen. Tap “OK“.
Step 9. Now connect your Redmi Note 5 to your computer using its USB.
Step 10. Choose “File Transfer” mode when asked (do not choose the Charging mode).
Step 11. In Windows Explorer, go to the “platform-tools” folder. Hold down the Shift button on the keyboard, right-click anywhere within that folder, and choose “Open command prompt window/PowerShell window from here“.
Step 12. Now type following lines of command. Hit Enter every line to issue it.
adb reboot bootloader
The first line asks your computer to recognize your device. The second line instructs your phone to boot into bootloader mode a.k.a fastboot mode. You’ll see the Mi Bunny logo displayed.
Step 13. Now type following command and hit Enter on your keyboard:
fastboot flash antirbpass dummy.img
This flashes the dummy.img onto your phone. This shall finish in seconds.
Step 14. Next, type the command below (and hit Enter) to boot your phone into recovery mode:
fastboot boot recovery.img
Step 15. Your phone shall reboot into recovery mode which in this case is either Orange Fox or Red Wolf TWRP.
Step 16. The first time entering TWRP recovery, you’ll need to do the “Swipe to allow system modification” action. Do it.
P.s: Since both Orange Fox and Red Wolf recoveries are based on TWRP, I simply call it as TWRP in the next steps.
Step 17. Now copy the Camera2 API HAL3 Enabler (HAL3_ENABLE_MIUI_PIE.zip) to your phone.
You can do this in two ways. First, copy and paste it through Windows Explorer just like copying any file from computer to a USB flash drive.
Second, you can also use following command:
adb push HAL3_ENABLE_MIUI_PIE.zip /tmp/
All the command lines you typed shall look like this:
Step 18. On your phone, choose “Install” from the main menu of TWRP.
Step 19. Now locate the HAL3_ENABLE_MIUI_PIE.zip file you have it copied earlier. Tap on its filename to select it.
Step 20. Next, do the “Swipe to Install” (in Orangefox) or “Swipe to confirm flash” action. This will install the zip file to your phone.
Step 21. Finally, go back to main menu, choose “Reboot” then choose “System“. In Red Wolf TWRP you can simply choose “Reboot System“.
Your phone will now reboot back to MIUI system. You may notice no difference with your phone.
How to find out if the Camera2 API has been activated? Simply open up Play Store, search for “Camera2 Probe”, and install it.
Launch the app to conduct Camera2 API test. You should notice something similar to these ones:
Couldn’t manage to make it work? Well, rooting is your only option. Root your Redmi Note 5 with Magisk.
UPDATE: TESTED AGAIN ON SEPTEMBER 22ND, 2019.
The recent MIUI OTA update bringing version 10.3.2.0(PEIMIXM) breaks Camera2 API. Hence, you’ll need to re-activate it. Our team tested the above method again. This time we enable Camera2 API on MIUI 10.3.2 and it still works.
We can confirm this method work on Redmi Note 5 MIUI 10.3.2.0
Be confident to use the above method exactly as mentioned. Leave a comment below about your experience (success or not).
UPDATE: This trick also works on MIUI 11. We have tested it again and we have proven that the above steps still work on Redmi Note 5 running MIUI 18.104.22.168.PEIMIXM Global Stable ROM.
This video proves that the method works on MIUI 11:
How to Install Gcam on Redmi Note 5 MIUI 11 Android 9.0 Pie?
There are no significant differences in the method for installing Gcam on Android 8.1 Oreo or 9.0 Pie. Simply grab the .apk file and install it as usual.
The trick is choosing the right APK. There are so many versions of the ported Gcam app. Some may work flawlessly, some may work partially with minor bugs, and others may not work at all.
Visit our dedicated page of Google Cam for Redmi Note 5 Whyred here. All of them have been tested.
Currently, there are basically two versions of Gcam (with so many variants). First, Gcam version 5.1.x. This is an older version that’s built for Android 8.1 Oreo. Second, Gcam version 6.x which is for Android 9.0 Pie.
There is also Gcam v7.x which is originally for Android 10 Q. Thankfully, there is a Gcam v7.x port that also works on Android 9.0 Pie.
We recommend you download and install the latest version since it has all the latest features.
Credit: This article is inspired by one of Mi Fans with ID 1610317960.