One of the components that endeared the Google Pixel 2 to smartphone enthusiasts is its camera. Along with its bigger model, the Pixel 2 XL, the Google Pixel 2 offers a lot of features, both basic and advanced for its camera, and it doesn't even have to rely on hardware to do this; with just one camera on the rear as opposed to a dual camera setup on most similar flagship smartphones, the Google Pixel 2 is able to accomplish a lot of things and produce images whose quality can be said to be better than those produced by even the iPhone X. If you're using the Essential PH-1 smartphone and you would like to get the Google Pixel 2's features like HDR+, Portrait Mode and others on it, then this guide is for you.
The Essential Phone, called the Essential PH-1 is also a flagship smartphone with high-end specs, but its focus is on its security and not much has been packed into the camera software. Luckily, there are tweaks you can apply in order to be able to enjoy the superb camera features from the Google Pixel 2 on your Essential PH-1. However, these would require you to root your smartphone at the base level and apply some system modifications as we move on. If you're new to this, consider reading our guide to rooting an Android smartphone.
We're going to be applying this tweak to get the Google Pixel 2's camera features on the Essential PH-1 by using a modified version of GCAM, a camera software port based on Magisk. This GCAM port was built by aer0zer0, an XDA Forum senior member, and has been updated to level 5 as at the time this post was published.
- AR Stickers support: Google's AR Stickers is a fun feature that allows you to place virtual digital objects and text in a photo or video, either simulated or live and share it. This came by default on the Pixel smartphones, and you can get it on your Essential PH-1 with this tweak.
- Portrait mode: You can enjoy portrait mode shooting with both the front and rear cameras on your Essential PH-1.
- HDR+ on both front and rear.
- High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).
- No audio crashing, suitable for replacement of camera app.
- Also doesn't break the Essential PH-1's stock camera app. You can use both side by side.
- Oreo Beta 2: To enjoy this tweak, your Essential PH-1 smartphone needs to be running on Android 8.0 Oreo Beta 2 software build. You can install it here.
- Magisk 15.0 or newer software version. Download Magisk 15.0 here.
- Also, remove any other GCAM port you have installed on your smartphone. This is important.
Download and Install
- You can find this GCAM port for the Essential PH-1 here.
Sample configuration settings for GCAM
If you're new to the GCAM game and you're confused as to what settings you should change to enjoy the above features to the maximum, apply the settings below.
- Config Camera HDR+ - Nexus 6P
- Model - Nexus 6P
- HDR+ Parameters - Super High
- Advanced menu:
- HDR+ Control - On
HDR+ Quality - 100%
- HDR+ Control - On
- Video Stabilization - On
- Debugging Settings - Stock.
You can also keep tweaking the settings to see what works best for you.
Bugs and Fixes
If you're experiencing excessive zoom while shooting 1080p videos at a rate of 30fps or 60fps, turn off video stabilization in Video settings. In fact, since video stabilization doesn't work at all in this port, it's best you leave this setting off all the time.