Do-It-Yourselfer? Install a Front-Facing Camera on your Samsung Galaxy S (Vibrant)


Three out of the four Galaxy S smartphones that made their way to US shores didn’t come with a front-facing camera in tow, but that’s not going to stop the crafty guy in you. XDA’s done it again and has found a way to take a replacement camera for the Galaxy S and install it in any other Galaxy S phone (it’s only been tested for the Vibrant but I can’t imagine it’d be much different from the other devices.)


They’ve already taken care of the hard work for you by whipping up the necessary software, but you’ll have to crack open your device to make room for the camera by peeling some paint and connecting some wires. Shouldn’t be too hard if you’re the type that’s already into this sort of stuff. Head on over to XDA for the full suite of download links and instructions (including a link to where you can buy the camera itself.)

[via TalkAndroid]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I rather keep my warranty :)

  2. It would be easier to just buy a phone with a front facing camera.

  3. sweet. Was major decisive factor when deciding what phone to get. Went with Epic as it has a camera for video calling, soon all phones will have front cameras, but i dont buy phones often so I held out for Epic.

  4. Steve Jobs put an FFC on the iPhone, so of course, all phones must now have them. I figure if FFC’s do become the norm which people communicate with, companies will line up out the door to come up with cameras that you plug into your phone into the mini-USB port or something. So no biggie if your phone presently doesn’t have one. I barely use Skype vid chat on my netbook or laptop as it is.

  5. If u can get this done for my nexus one, I would never switch phones again!!

  6. I will pay someone to do this

  7. I will give this a shot if enough people have success.

    Great hack.

  8. @Sam I Am

    has nothing to do with the iphone buddy. evo came out before the iphone and had FFC. look up facts before you talk bullshit next time

  9. The main problem with this is; there currently aren’t enough people that actually have a front facing camera on their cell and until it’s “the norm” (prob 12-18 mos from now) there’s no sense in voiding your warranty for something you’ll rarely use. I know all of 2 people that have a FFcamera on their cell, one has the Iphone4, the other has the Epic….neither person has used their FFC yet.

  10. All phones dont need FFC’s. The simple fact is that the majority of people will NEVER need it. While some might use it once in a while because its there, the quality is never good enough for self photo’s imo due to usually being an inferior camera to the back camera and the few times non-skype (or the like) heavy users doesn’t really justify the higher cost of having that extra camera/software.

  11. I don’t get FCC, why in the world would I want to look at somebody’s ugly mug when I’m taking to them.

  12. You’re absolutely right AGx. All phones don’t NEED a FFC, but I do see it being the “norm” before too long. It wasn’t that long ago people said the same thing about cameras being integrated into cell phones. You don’t NEED them, but enough people started using/requesting them, it’s now the norm. And so it will eventually be with the whole FFC concept.

  13. Sony Ericsson and Nokia had FFCs long time ago but since there was no demand it didn’t go very far. Now Apple is trying to say they are the first ones and because of their genius marketing they’ll probably get away with it…..and then everyone will once again add FFCs.

  14. Anyone remember that old v-cast phone with the camera that rotated around to the front of the phone? It wouldnt be that hard to incorperate the nice 5+ megapixel cameras we have now for video calling rather than having a second horrible camera.

  15. @timmyjoe42: Thank you, Captain Obvious.

    @Sam I Am: No they won’t. The phones don’t have USB host support, so you can’t plug peripherals into the mini/micro USB ports. You would need a full-size USB port into which top plug those devices. Now, I suppose that it would be technically possible to support USB host via a mini/micro port, but I seriously doubt that manufacturers would do that — there is no need to confuse users even more. Perhaps the XDA developers could hack together support and then you could convert a full-size USB port to a mini/micro port with an adapter, then tape the camera to you phone via a stick attachment…Sounds awesome! 8-)

  16. @ Sam. HTC been making phones with Front Facing Cameras for a while. My wife had the HTC Diamond and it had a front facing camera and in 2006 HTC made a phone called the MDA pro that had one as well. FFC’s is old news until my family in Texas gets Evos and Epics i might as well be without mine.

  17. @ Sam I Am

    Asian and European phones had FFCs long before iphone did. Wow you know your facts huh. Only because it’s from Apple it doesn’t make it the best or the innovation laced device ever made.

  18. I would love to have a FFC, and Skype. Then I could talk to my young daughter when im working 24 hour shifts. She loves videochat on the desktop, cause of her age, but doesnt like phones.

  19. FFC is not important to me at this point.. Most of the time I’d rather people not watch what I’m doing when I’m talking to them LOL

  20. this is a cool mod but I would much rather have an led flash.

  21. HAH! I am really concerned here…

    Why has no one realized that where in the hell are you going to find a random, beat up Galaxy S just wandering around for cheap. This mod SHOULD cost you less then $30 or its a waste of money (IMHO). So…when you find a dirt cheap busted Galaxy S to take apart let me know…

  22. @satia, LaMarcus, & Droiiiid. Really? Asian & Euro phones had FFC’s? Wow I never, ever, ever, ever knew that???? I also didn’t know the US is now part of Asia and/or Europe. Look, Nokia & Palm & others had touchscreens & nobody gave a sh*t in the US until iJobs came out with his phone…same deal with the FFCs. Now, everyone wants an FFC & a virtual keyboard or “dealbreaker” is all they comment. I could care less about an FFC at this point & time. And I can even care less about internet tough guys trying to put me down.

  23. @Sam I am

    Here is the WHOLE list of phones released with ffc before the iPhone 4. 523 ffc devices at least 80% being america bound.

  24. just go to gsmarena and search for phone with secondary cameras being required.

  25. Sam I Am, if you’re talking about popular american flagship phones than the evo came out before the iphone 4. You’re being defensive because you know you’re wrong.

  26. @Steven I guess you didn’t take the time to read what was done to make this work…..You buy the camera from a wholesaler. So no need to go wandering around in the desert looking for a broken I9000…..So I’m letting you know like you requested ;)

  27. My phones have always has ffc so the Iphone is late to the party, but it would nice if there was a gsm version of the evo.I switched from nokia to nexus one so I could have android. Secondary cameras are kinda standard on nokia smart phones

  28. Rofl @SamIam

  29. The new Tab coming from Samsung will have a front-facing camera. Say, they’re pretty cool and wish my Droid X has one (each time I do a video of myself pointed straight up my nostrils since I can’t tell where I’m pointing the video camera when doing a video with me in it). But I won’t hurt my phone (which is terrific) to add another camera.

  30. All phones don’t NEED internet or a full QWERTY keyboard either and I use both of those options all day every day.

  31. can one assign any of the hardware buttons on the Samsung galaxy S for the camera operations ? Its frustrating not having one. this and the absence of flash are the only issues with this phone.

  32. you dont need a ffc to video chat if you have an android phone. you can go to ur market and download things like fring and tango. they work just like skype and are free.

  33. The ffc is tied at third on my list after rooted/unlockrd and WiFi speed with the display quality. I have an HTC Incredible on Verizon that has better reception and a 2300mah battery AND 2.2 but no ffc. I also have a Galaxy Tab on TMo with a ffc and I will use it when I want to communicate more deeply. Im considering modifying my SGS, also on TMo with the ffc mod on XDA after I finally get Froyo. In the mean time Ive put fast 16GH microSD cards, rooted and unloced all. But Im considering the HTC Mytouch 4G mostly for the ffc, but also for the OTA speed. I can get rid of my 2 land lines, DSL and Dish bills. Think about it.

  34. I installed the ffc on my samsung vibrant and my g.f’s and they work just fine. The only problem is the original camera does not take the best pictures when there is no light but in the daylight or a really lit place it works great.

    I figured it didn’t work it’s ok because there is so many other phones that will be having the ffc to come…

    But I really appreciate the look and feel of the vibrant.

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