How to Install Google Camera (GCam) on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is a phone that could’ve been the best phone under Rs 15,000, but there is one aspect that makes the Redmi Note 5 Pro superior when we compare both these phones. That aspect is the camera. On paper, the Zenfone Max Pro M1 has pretty solid camera hardware, but when we compare the images shot by Zenfone with those shot by the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the latter simply destroys the Zenfone.
This is not due to the camera hardware. In fact, the stock camera app that you get with the Zenfone Max Pro M1 is complete garbage. It is the Snapdragon camera app, and it cannot do the image processing in a manner that the captured images are great to look at.
When we talk about smartphone cameras, one phone that comes to our mind is the Google Pixel 2. It was the best camera smartphone of 2017, and even right now, some features still make it the best. Google, with its crazy camera software, proved that you don’t need dual cameras for portrait images.
GOOGLE CAMERA VS STOCK CAMERA IMAGES (VIA – GIZMODDICT)
There is a night and day difference, right?
If you like to take photographs from your phone, then it is our advice to install Google Camera on your Zenfone Max Pro M1. You will see a drastic difference in the images shot by the Google camera and those shot by the stock camera. The process of installing the GCam on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 is not complicated, and there are just a few steps that you need to perform.
You should keep in mind that this requires rooting your phone by unlocking the bootloader. If you don’t know, unlocking bootloader and rooting will void your phone’s warranty, but you can always relock the bootloader and unroot the phone.
HOW TO INSTALL GOOGLE CAMERA ON ASUS ZENFONE MAX PRO M1
Before installing the camera app, you need to have a rooted Android smartphone. And for that, you need to have an unlocked bootloader. So first, you need to follow the steps to unlock the bootloader on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.
UNLOCKING THE BOOTLOADER –
NOTE – Unlocking the Bootloader will wipe all the data on your phone so make sure to backup the data to the external storage before going for the unlocking process.
You need to download four files, the links of which are given below –
NOTE – Copy the Magisk ZIP file and the Decrypt ZIP file to the SD card (Very Important)
First, you need to extract the Unlock.rar file on your PC or laptop. Upon extracting, you will get two folders – one has the drivers while the other has all the files needed to unlock the bootloader.
The unlock process will be done from the Fastboot mode, so for that, you need to power off the Zenfone Max Pro M1 and then, press the volume up + power button together until you see the Fastboot screen.
Once you are in the Fastboot screen, connect your phone to the laptop or PC via USB Cable.
Now, go to ‘Device Manager’ on the PC or Laptop and on the top, you will see the ‘ASUS Android Device.’ Click on the small arrow, and you will now see ‘Asus Android Bootloader Interface’ option. Right click on this option and select ‘Update Drivers.’ You will get two options, and you need to select the one that says ‘Browse my computer for driver software.’
Now, click on ‘Browse’ option and select the Drivers folder that you got after extracting the Unlock.rar file in the first step. Once the folder is selected, click on ‘Next’ This will update the drivers.
Now, you need to unlock the bootloader buy going into the ‘unlock’ folder and then, double-clicking on the ‘unlock.bat’ file. In a few seconds, the bootloader will be unlocked. Make sure that you don’t disconnect the USB cable during this process.
As we said earlier, unlocking the bootloader means all the data is wiped from the internal storage. So, you will see the welcome screen once again. Simply power off the phone again and go into the fastboot mode by pressing the Volume Up + Power Button.
INSTALLING THE RECOVERY –
Copy the Redwolf Recovery file (.img) and paste it into the ‘unlock’ folder where you have the ADB and Fastboot files. Once done, press shift + right mouse button and select ‘Open Powershell Window here.’
Once the Powershell Window opens, write – fastboot flash recovery
Now, drag the Redwolf recovery file into the Powershell Window which will add the File Path after the line you just wrote.
Finally, press enter, and in a few seconds, the Redwolf recovery will be installed on your Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.
INSTALLING MAGISK TO ROOT THE PHONE –
Press Power + Volume Down button while the phone is in fastboot mode. Keep pressing the buttons until you see the Recovery. It might ask for a password. In that case, simply tap on the back button. Now, tap on the ‘Wipe’ option and then, swipe right to do a Factory Reset.
Now, reboot into the recovery again and tap on ‘Install’ option. Here, tap on ‘Select Storage’ and select the External micro SD card since we have the Magisk and Decrypt files on the SD card.
Then, find the Magisk ZIP file and tap on it. Now, just swipe right to flash it. Do the same with the Decrypt ZIP file.
Once both are flashed, reboot the device and there to have it. You have successfully unlocked the bootloader and rooted the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. Now, you’re all set to install the Google Camera. There is one more step, however, and it includes enabling the camera2api since without it enabled, the Google camera won’t work at all.
(Open the Magisk App, and if it shows no error, then the phone is rooted without any issue)
ENABLING CAMERA2API –
Head over to the Google Play Store and install an application named ‘Build Prop Editor.’ This lets you edit the Build.prop file and therefore, you can enable the camera2api.
Once the app is installed, you need to open it and grant it root permissions.
Now, tap on the search icon on top and search for ‘persist.camera.HAL3.enabled‘. By default, the value will be 0, meaning that the camera2api is not enabled.
Simply tap on it and set the value to ‘1’. Once done, tap on the three dots on the top right and select ‘Reboot.’
INSTALLING GOOGLE CAMERA APK –
Finally, after doing all the steps, you can install the Google camera App on your phone to get all the features like HDR+, Portrait Mode, Video Stabilization, etc. You can download the Google Camera APK file from the button below.
Once downloaded, install the Google Camera App and that’s it. You will now be able to shoot amazing photos and portrait images from not just the rear camera, but also from the front camera. And as mentioned in the beginning, there is a difference of day and night when you compare the photos shot from the GCam with those shot with the Stock Snapdragon Camera on the Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1.
So, this is how you can install Google Camera on Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1. If you are getting any issues while following these steps, make sure to let us know via the comments section. We are also adding the detailed video tutorial by ‘Gizmoddict‘ which will help you understand all these steps.