Although rumor has it Sony will be barely giving the Xperia Z2 a facelift to come up with a Z3-branded “upgrade”, the unannounced flagship smartphone remains in the spotlight, thanks to newly surfaced photos and FCC certifications.

Xperia Z3 back

Allegedly captured on camera several times before, the Xperia Z3, likely due out this September, struts its stuff again in an exclusive photo shoot for leak master @evleaks. The face of the 5.2-inch handheld isn’t visible, but its rear and left side are clear as day, and they’re pretty much identical to their Z2 counterparts.

That said, it’s possible we’re dealing with a slimmer, more polished overall device, although making the sharp edges curvier may prove a controversial aesthetical choice. Of course, if Sony indeed plans to keep the display Full HD and the quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor in check, not visibly improving the camera or RAM either, the subtle design tweaks are going to be the last things people complain about.

What’s interesting is the Japan-based OEM seems to be gearing up for a wide-scale launch, thus suggesting some sort of easily noticeable, important improvements are in the cards after all.

Xperia Z3 side

Certified for a US release not long ago, the Z3 has scored FCC’s regulatory blessing in a variation manufactured specifically for Sony’s domestic market, as well as in an international-friendly model. The two just-approved Z3s carry the PM-0802-BV and PM-0806-BV model numbers, the latter of which corresponds to a D6653 internal codename.

In addition to obligatory Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC support, both Androids feature 4G LTE connectivity, which is to be definitely expected in a gizmo with quad-core oomph, 3 GB RAM or pre-loaded KitKat. Remember, a Z3 Compact is also tipped for a September introduction, and its spec sheet may highly resemble that of its respective predecessor too. What is Sony thinking?

Sources: Evleaks, GSM Arena, FCC (1), (2)