The long work week may be drawing to a close, but Sony smartphone fans have a little something extra to get excited about in the months ahead thanks to images of a next-gen Xperia handset now making the rounds.

Chinese message board Weibo lit up like a Christmas tree earlier today with a handful of leaked photos purporting to be Sony's Xperia Z3, the next flagship Android smartphone from the Japanese electronics giant.

The images quite clearly depicts the Chinese variant of a handset bearing the model number L55t, and according to a shot displaying the detailed settings menu, also running the latest version of Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Late last month, a front panel leaked out which matches the newly posted images, and the aforementioned model number also checks out considering the current Xperia Z2 bears the model number L50t.

Say cheese

The latest spy shots also appear to confirm the Xperia Z3 will be powered by a quad-core, 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974PRO-AC processor alongside Adreno 330 graphics.

Mobile shutterbugs may not see much in the way of improvements however since the report claimed Sony plans to use the same 20.7MP Exmor RS optics already found in the Xperia Z1 and Z2. (Hey, if it ain't broke...)

The handset pictures looks like it will fit in nicely alongside its predecessors, and the pictured firmware version 23.0.G.0.98 appears to be pretty fresh, with a build date of July 2.

That's all we have to go on right now, but Xperia fans should stay tuned - there's likely to be plenty more details creeping out between now and the time Sony officially launches this device.

Via Xperia Blog