How to check Camera2 API support on Android device?


If you want to take advantage of all the benefits of Google Camera port, the first thing you should know is Camera2 API. In this article, you will find complete information on how to check Camera2 API support on Android devices without any issues.

Smartphones from various brands have significantly improved, especially in terms of software and hardware. However, cameras on older phones sometimes seem outdated as they don’t support all the new features present in modern smartphones.

While there is no strict rule that every phone must have an outstanding camera experience, major brands strive to provide the best camera settings. However, this doesn’t apply to many models.

Currently, users can easily get a modified version of Google Camera and enjoy all the interesting advantages on their smartphones. However, when familiarizing yourself with the installation process, you may have heard about Camera2 API.

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Below, you will find a detailed guide on checking Camera2 API support on your phone. But before we proceed with the instructions, let’s understand this term!

What is Camera2 API?

Camera2 API is an application interface for the camera on Android devices, which provides developers with access to the camera software. Android, being an open-source operating system, introduced this API along with the Android 5.0 Lollipop update.

Camera2 API offers full control over the quality of photography, allowing you to manage parameters such as shutter speed, color balance, capturing RAW images, and other aspects. With this API, your smartphone can unlock the full potential of the camera and achieve better results.

Moreover, Camera2 API supports advanced technologies such as HDR and provides the ability to use other enhanced features widely used today. If your device supports Camera2 API, you can control camera sensors, enhance the quality of individual frames, and easily achieve better results with different lenses.

For more detailed information about this API, you can refer to the official Google documentation.

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Method 1: Confirming Camera2 API Support Using ADB Commands

Make sure your smartphone is already in developer mode and you have installed the ADB command-line interface on your computer.

  • Enable USB debugging in developer mode on your phone.
  • Connect your phone to the computer using a USB cable.
  • Open Command Prompt or PowerShell (Windows) or Terminal (macOS).
  • Enter the following command:
    adb shell “getprop | grep HAL3”
  • If you get the following results:
    []: [1]
    []: [1]

This means that your smartphone fully supports Camera2 API. However, if the results differ, you may need to manually enable it.

Method 2: Checking Using the Terminal App

  • Download the Terminal Emulator app on your phone according to your choice.
  • Open the app and enter the following command:
    getprop | grep HAL3
  • If you get the following results:
    []: [1]
    []: [1]

Similar to the previous method, your device fully supports Camera2 API. However, if the results differ from the ones mentioned above, you will need to manually enable these APIs.

Method 3: Checking Camera2 API Support Using a Third-Party App

There are several ways to check if your device supports Camera2 API settings. If you are technically inclined, you can also use the ADB command interface on your computer to check this information.

On the other hand, you can download the Terminal app on your phone and use it for checking. However, we don’t want you to spend time on something lengthy and complex.

Instead, you can download the Camera2 API Probe app from the Google Play Store and check the result effortlessly.

With this app, you will get all the information about your rear and front cameras. Based on this data, you can easily find out if your device supports Camera2 API on Android.

Step 1: Download the Camera2 API Probe App

If you don’t want to deal with adding different command lines, download the following app to check camera information.

  • Open the Google Play Store app.
  • Type “Camera2 API Probe” in the search bar.
  • Tap the “Install” button.
  • Wait for the download process to complete.
  • Open the app.

Step 2: Check Camera2 API Support

After launching the app, the interface will load with various data about Camera2 API. The camera section is divided into “Camera ID: 0” which corresponds to the rear camera, and “Camera ID: 1” usually used for selfies.

Just below the camera identifier, you should check the hardware support level for each of the cameras. Here, you will find out if your device supports Camera2 API. There are four levels in this category, each with the following definitions:

  • Level_3: This means that CameraAPI2 provides additional capabilities for camera hardware, such as RAW image capture, YUV processing, etc.
  • Full: This means that basic CameraAPI2 features are available.
  • Limited: As the name suggests, you get a limited amount of resources from CameraAPI2.
  • Legacy: This means that your phone supports the outdated Camera1 API version.
  • External: Offers the same features as Limited but with some restrictions. However, it allows using external cameras as a webcam through USB.

In most cases, your phone will have a green checkmark in the Level_3 or Full hardware support level section, which means your smartphone is suitable for installing Google Camera ports like GCam.

Note: If you see a green checkmark in the Legacy hardware support level section, it means that your phone doesn’t support Camera2 API. In that case, you will need to manually enable it according to the instructions described in this guide.

I also recommend downloading the useful Camera2 API test app for Android phones, which allows you to get a comprehensive report on all modules/cameras.

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