How to Enable Camera2 API on Redmi 5 Plus Without Root

This article shows you exactly the steps on how to easily enable Android Camera2 API needed for Google Camera (Gcam) app and any other camera apps with advanced manual settings. The common way on how to get it done is by flashing TWRP custom recovery and gaining root access either using Magisk or SuperSU. Fortunately, there is a workaround to enable Camera2 API and install Google cam without rooting and without flashing TWRP. Hence, you can maintain MIUI OTA update mechanism.

This workaround has been proven to work flawlessly on Redmi 5 Plus or Redmi Note 5 (India) with codename Vince running MIUI 9.5.4.0 Global Stable ROM. This trick requires custom recovery either TWRP or RWRP only for booting (without being installed).

Requirements

  1. A Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus device.
  2. Unlocked bootloader.
  3. ADB Driver Installer.
  4. Red Wolf Recovery (RWRP) for Vince.
  5. A Windows-based computer.
  6. A USB data cable.

Word of caution! Please proceed with care. Do not attempt to follow the guide before you have fully understood. Please read the whole article thoroughly. We hold no responsibility for any damage that might happen to your device.

It is also strongly recommended to create a full backup of your data. Follow our previous guide on how to back up full data from Redmi 5 Plus without root.

The Trick

Step 1 – Unlock your phone bootloader officially. Simply read our detailed guide for Redmi 5 Plus here.

Step 2 – Disable Windows Driver Signature Enforcement on your computer. The full tutorial is available here.

Step 3 – Install the Minimal Fastboot and ADB Driver on your computer. Despite you might install it anywhere, we really recommend you to install it on following location: C:\adb.

Step 4 – Extract the RWRP package. You should get a file called “RedWolf-Vince-3.2-026.img“.

Step 5 – Now copy that file to the adb folder (C:\adb).

Step 6 – Next, rename the file from “RedWolf-Vince-3.2-026” to “rwrp“. Note: Commonly Windows does not display the file extension (.img).

Step 7 – Still at the adb folder, launch the command prompt window from that location. Simply hold down the Shift button on the keyboard and right-click on any blank area in Windows Explorer (inside the adb folder). Then choose Open PowerShell/Command Prompt Window option.

Step 8 – Enable USB Debugging option on your phone.

Settings >> Additional Settings >> Developer Options >> USB Debugging >> toggle ON.

Step 9 – Connect your phone to your computer using its USB cable. Choose the connection type as MTP / Storage (not the Charging only mode).

Step 10 – Now issue the following command correspondingly (type the command and hit Enter):

adb devices
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot devices
fastboot boot rwrp.img
adb shell
setprop persist.camera.HAL3.enabled 1
setprop persist.camera.eis.enable 1
exit
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot reboot

Sample screenshot:

p.s: Simply follow the above-written command lines. The screenshot is a little bit different since in the first attempt we used the official TWRP image but it ended up with a password need to be provided.

Step 11 – You can now disconnect your phone from your computer. Next, open up Play Store and search for either Camera2 Probe app or Manual Camera Compatibility Test app. Install it.

Congratulation! You have enabled Android Camera2 API without losing the ability to receive MIUI OTA Update since you do not flash any custom recovery.

Alternatively, you can also truly flash the Red Wolf Recovery and maintain OTA update status. However, it requires additional steps and each time you want to install the downloaded update, you will have to boot into RWRP.

This guide is meant for those who don’t want to root their device.

Looking for a working version of Google Camera mod for Redmi 5 Plus? Download the apk file here.

UPDATE

To preserve the Camera2 API enabled, please use OTA to update your phone to latest MIUI based on Android 8.1 Oreo (started since MIUI 9.6.5.0). We have tested on our phone and the Camera2 API is still enabled after MIUI 9.6.5.0 update. Do not use Fastboot method.

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