There are new iPhones in case you haven’t been on the internet in the last week and, as is now traditional, the major US based tech reviewers have had a chance to play with them before they hit the streets on Friday.

The review embargo lifted last night and the first impressions of the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus are in and here’s what the reviewers had to say about them.

iPhone 6 Reviews

The Verge – David Pearce

“For a variety of reasons, from the camera to the app ecosystem to the hardware itself, the iPhone 6 is one of the best smartphones on the market. Maybe even the best. But it’s still an iPhone. The same thing Apple’s been making for seven years. A fantastically good iPhone, but an iPhone through and through.”

Engadget – Brad Molen (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus combined review)

“This year’s iPhones aren’t groundbreaking, nor are they perfect. But they demonstrate something far more important to Apple’s success in the long run: freshness. Apple ditched the tried-and-true square design (which I’ve always been fond of) for a more rounded, modern look; it added features that should’ve been there ages ago (NFC, anyone?); and it made the phones large enough to start competing in a hotly contested space. No doubt about it, the iPhone needed to grow in size and function, and it did just that. Fortunately, it made the leap before it was too late.”

Wall Street Journal – Geoffrey A. Fowler (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus combined review)

“Apple’s strength is choosing the technologies that really matter and taking them mainstream. The iPhone 6 sets up Apple to make good on the long-promised evolution of the smartphone into a wallet and a companion for a universe of personal devices and data, including the forthcoming Apple Watch.

Apple doesn’t get a free pass on any of these promises. But its sleek new hardware sets it up to guide iPhone 6 owners into a new chapter. Instead of looking over at Android phones and wondering what I’m missing, the iPhone once again has my full attention.”

The Guardian – Charles Arthur

“A beautifully made phone that finally reaches the screen size that many have hankered for from an iPhone, without sacrificing quality. The iOS 8 software adds a lot of key functionality – and NFC allied to TouchID has huge potential for offline and online payments.”

re/code – Walt Mossberg

“The iPhone 6 is a great upgrade for current iPhone owners, or for anyone, really. It manages to provide a much larger display in a phone that’s still small enough to handle easily. It’s my recommendation for the best smartphone you can buy.”

Yahoo – David Pogue (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus combined review)

“The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are absolutely terrific phones. They’re fast and powerful and well designed. There’s not a single component that hasn’t been improved. These phones are a delight to behold and to be held.”

New York Times – Molly Wood

“The slim new iPhones aren’t a big-screen slam-dunk, but they work well, as we have come to expect from Apple. Ultimately, it’s what’s on the inside thay keeps them just in front of their competitors.”

iPhone 6 Plus Reviews

The Verge – Nilay Patel

“I’m going to buy an iPhone 6 Plus. I’m taken with it; it feels like an entirely new kind of device for Apple, and it has such a killer camera I can’t say no. It’s every bit as good a phone as the iPhone 6; I’m docking it a little because Apple has a few software glitches to clear up. But I’m confident that will happen.

There’s nothing here that competitors aren’t doing with their big phones — Samsung in particular is pushing the envelope with its S Pen stylus and multiple-app features — but the overall package is so good it’s hard to ignore. The smaller iPhone 6 feels like just the next iterative update to the iPhone, but the 6 Plus feels like something else entirely; with a few more software tweaks and some love from developers, it could really be my main computer. It’s as much iPad as iPhone.”

The Guardian – Charles Arthur

“Choosing between the iPhone 6 Plus and the smaller iPhone 6 could be surprisingly difficult if your hand, and your wallet, is large enough. It is large, yet the extra screen space is a boon. But that also makes it unwieldy, and could increase the risk of dropping it. Compared to other phablets, it’s lighter and thinner – but not cheaper”

re/code – Lauren Goode

“Stylus or not, some other jumbo phones have felt like plastic toys to me. Apple has designed a giant phone that offers a few key large-screen features without overwhelming the senses, and it has a pretty good camera, to boot.

More importantly, it feels sleek, and carries the cachet of being a “big iPhone” — if that’s what you’re into.

Just don’t call it a phablet.”

[Image – Apple]