I have been handed an H801+ Android phone, where the rear (main) camera has stopped working, and I have been trying to fix it without much success. I am looking for ideas as to what to try next.
The phone has been obtained from eBay and seems to be of no-name Chinese manufacture. It has 2GB of RAM and a 4-core CPU. It has three SIM ports, two cameras, a 2800 mAh battery, and all the usual wifi/bluetooth/GPS/gyro interfaces. The screen is approximately 6 x 2.5" in size and supports full HD. It is running Android 4.2.1 (I believe this is Jelly Bean).
I am told that the rear camera used to work, but now no longer does - I am wondering whether my friend received an Android update via her provider, which stopped it working. The front camera seems to work, although (since I am not used to large-screen devices) it seems to be permanently auto-focusing and clicking every few seconds. I don't know whether this is a feature or a fault!
Having done some research, I believe a "swirl" arrows icon should appear superimposed on any live camera image to toggle between camera devices, but I cannot see this anywhere. I have tried the following apps:
- Camera (stock app) - front camera works fine, no way to switch to rear camera
- HD Camera Ultra - crashes
- Camera (downloaded) - only front camera
- Dual Camera / Double Shot - crashes
Both of the crashy apps seem to have a lot of Play reviews, so I am minded to think there is a problem on my device specifically, rather than just that these apps are of low quality.
I notice that if I put Camera (the non-stock version) into Panorama mode, it tries to connect to the rear camera, whereas for movie and pictures it uses the front camera. However it seems to fail to connect to the rear camera:
Can't connect to the camera.
I suspect this is a good sign - it is perhaps "half connected"!
I wondered if it just needed a factory reset, so I have done one, taking it back to "here's a demo of your device" state. However this hasn't made any difference.
My thoughts on the reasons why I cannot get this to work:
- The rear camera has developed a hardware fault
- The whole phone is fussy about what version of Android it uses and/or — given that it is unbranded — has not been tested as well as it should have been
- The front camera is stuck repeatedly auto-focusing and as a result does not give the rear camera an opportunity to initialise (update: I don't think this is the case now; if I hold the phone far enough away, and focus on something in good light, the focus box goes green and the front camera stops auto-focusing)
There are a few things that might be worth a try:
- Find a test (camera) app to give me techie info about the devices the phone can detect. I have looked for such a thing but cannot find one
- Do a hard reset with a pinhole switch, though I cannot find one, and presume this is not an option
- Downgrade Android an official way (using my SIM). This might bring the camera back to life, but possibly it may be overwritten when my friend puts her SIM back in
- Upgrade Android the approved way. Using my SIM I have searched the Play store for "upgrade Android" but cannot find anything useful. I believe (from material on the web) there should be an upgrade option in "About this phone" but I don't seem to have that
- Root the phone and try a later minor version
- Root the phone and try a later major version
I haven't asked whether my friend would mind me rooting the phone, but I am given to believe it is safe these days. What do you suggest?