(Pocket-lint) - Strapping a massive lens case attachment to your smartphone still won't have you snapping on the level of an SLR, but that soon may not be an issue. Something called a metalens promises to enhance smaller cameras with staggering quality.

The metalens has been developed by Harvard University scientists to change the way light is angled into a camera sensor. This new lens is the size of a grain of sand yet can compete with the expansive and weighty lens of an SLR, apparently.

At the moment optics, which control light entering a camera, need to be made to perfection in order to angle light correctly. This new discovering ditches the curved glass lens in favour of a 2mm construction from quartz and a tiny titanium oxide array.

So what's the catch? The lens is still in early stage testing where not all of the colour spectrum can be manipulated, but that's planned next. The key here is these beat a traditional lens in resolving details and are nearly as efficient, plus they're potentially way cheaper to produce.

So once these metalenses are perfected we should already have full frame sensors in phones, we hope, meaning there'll be nothing stopping us capturing SLR quality photos on our smartphones.

READ: Turn your GoPro into a 3D camera using this £35 Vitrima lens case

Writing by Luke Edwards.