Some critics managed to get their hands on an iPhone 5 on Tuesday, and have been giving their verdict on Apple’s new device. Overall, it looks like Apple’s new addition is a big hit.

CNET says that the iPhone 5 is “absolutely the best iPhone to date,” while the Wall Street Journal considers the iPhone 5 “the best smartphone on the market.”

“You’re going to be shocked at how light this phone is,” says CNET. “After a few days with it, the iPhone 4S will feel as dense as lead.”

The iPhone 5 “absolutely shines,” writes Engadget. “It’s without doubt the best iPhone yet… this is the one you’ve been waiting for.”

“The question everyone who hasn’t yet pre-ordered wants answered: Should you upgrade?” says Daring Fireball. “My answer is simple. If you can afford it, yes.”

The New York Times touts the iPhone 5’s camera as “among the best ever put into a phone,” capable of lowlight shots that “blow away the same efforts from an iPhone 4S."

The downfall, NYT says, is the Lightning dock connector, which requires a £29 adapter in order to work with older third-party accessories that still use the 30-pin connector design. “That’s not just a slap in the face to loyal customers – it’s a jab in the eye.”

NYT concludes that iPhone 4S owners that would need to break their contract and pay a penalty to upgrade to an iPhone 5 might not be worth it for the new smartphone’s “collection of nips and tucks,” but for those who have older generation iPhones “wow, you’re in for a treat.”

WSJ says that the drawback for the iPhone 5 is Apple’s new Maps app, which is set to replace Google Maps in today’s release of iOS 6. It is in some ways a step back from the familiar Google app, WSJ says.

“Those who were quick to dismiss the iPhone 5 based on its specifications – but no experience with its features or services – made a mistake of thinking that a phone is just components,” says the Guardian. “It’s a lovely piece of equipment. Boring? Lacking wow? With its market value now crossing $700bn and iPhone 5 pre-orders through the roof, Apple might disagree.”

The iPhone 5 is described as a “marvellous piece of design,” by the Telegraph, which gives Apple’s new phone a five star rating. “It’s also probably the most beautiful smartphone anyone has ever made.”

We’ll be getting our hands on the iPhone 5 this week, but in the meantime, you can check out our hands-on review here. Macworld editor Karen Haslam describes the iPhone 5 as “light and comfortable to hold… we can’t emphasise enough how little weight there is.”

Apple has revealed that the iPhone 5 was pre-ordered more than two million times within 24 hours. That’s double the iPhone 4S’s record of one million, leaving Apple “blown away” by the high demand. Apple’s share price hit $700 a share following the news of the record pre-orders.

Lines had already begun forming outside Apple Stores worldwide by Sunday, ahead of the iPhone 5’s release on Friday.

See also:

iOS 6 Apple’s most secure iOS yet but still poses some privacy concerns
Benchmarks for iPhone 5 show that it’s faster than Androids
iPhone 5 cases and accessories
Apple iPhone 5: UK price guide