The first reviews for the iPhone 5 are out and they are overwhelmingly positive, with reviewers cooing over pretty much everything, although the device’s speed, usability and design stand out.

“The iPhone 5 absolutely shines,” says Engadget, in typically enthusiastic review. “Pick your benchmark and you’ll find Apple’s thin new weapon sitting at or near the top.” “The iPhone 5 is a significant improvement over the iPhone 4S in nearly every regard,” it adds.

With the iPhone 5 going on sale to the public this Friday (September 21), analysts are updating their predictions for what the handset will sell on launch weekend, after shifting pre-order totals of 2m in just 24 hours.

Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee tells TechCrunch that his firm is estimating around between 3 and 3.5m sales during the launch weekend, while Peter Misek of Jeffries thinks that Apple will hit around 8m total units sold (including pre-orders) by the end of the weekend.

In preparation for the launch, Apple is reportedly speeding up the reviews procedure for the App Store, with app submissions being passed in just a few hours, rather than the normal couple of days. The Next Web reports that apps that only mention support for iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 as changes in their submissions are seeing quicker turnarounds.

Apple has said that all current apps will work for the iPhone 5, although the device’s larger screen size will mean awkward black spaces at the top and bottom of the screen for older apps.