Use Google Camera on Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 without root

Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 has quickly become one of the most popular mid-range phones in India, and for good reason. With a 6-inch FHD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 system-on-chip, 4 or 6GBs of RAM, stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and a massive 5,000 mAh battery, it’s not hard to see why Asus kept selling out of devices. (Fortunately, they’ve dropped their flash sale model and now offer the device 24/7.) One of the biggest downsides of buying a budget or mid-range smartphone is the camera quality—you just can’t match the picture-taking quality of flagship devices like the Google Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S9, or OnePlus 6 on cheaper devices. Fortunately, that’s where Google Camera ports come in.

The Google Pixel’s excellent Google Camera app with its HDR+ and Portrait Mode features have made the Google Pixel one of the best smartphones for mobile photography on the market. The best part of the Google Camera app is that it makes this all possible thanks to Google’s incredible software algorithms. Compared to devices like the Huawei P20 Pro with its triple cameras, the Google Pixel 2 with its single camera is no slouch. That’s why ports of the Google Camera app are so popular on our forums and why we recently opened up a hub for all such ports.

It’s no surprise that owners of the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 want a piece of the Google Camera pie, but unfortunately installing a port isn’t as simple as just side-loading an APK. That’s because the Google Camera app requires the Camera2API to be enabled, which usually can’t be enabled without modifying the build.prop in the system partition (thus requiring root access.) But recently, users on our forums discovered that you can actually enable the Camera2API on the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 via a fastboot command, thus granting you access to Google Camera ports without root!

Credits go to XDA Senior Member shakalaca for discovering this method.

Enable Camera2API to use Google Camera on Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

  1. Download the latest platform-tools for your operating system. We’ll need the latest version of the fastboot binary in it. Fastboot is used to issue commands to your device’s bootloader.
  2. Power off your phone and enter the bootloader mode. (Hold power and volume down when booting to enter the bootloader screen.)
  3. Open up a command prompt or PowerShell (Windows) or terminal window (macOS or Linux) in the same directory where the fastboot binary is located.
  4. Enter the following command based on your OS:
    Windows Command Prompt: fastboot oem enable_camera_hal3 true
    Windows PowerShell: .\fastboot oem enable_camera_hal3 true
    macOS or Linux Terminal: ./fastboot oem enable_camera_hal3 true
  5. Reboot your device.
  6. Now download the best Google Camera port for your Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 either from our Hub or from the XDA forum.
  7. Alternatively, you can check whether Camera2API is enabled by using the Camera2 API Probe app from the Google Play Store.

Camera2 API Probe (Free, Google Play) →

Enjoy using the Google Camera port on your Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1! This method works because it uses a built-in bootloader command to enable Camera HAL 3. This command was left in by Asus, so thanks to them for making this possible!

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