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iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 Review: Is It Worth Installing?



The iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 update is a small bug fix update that we’ve been using for just about a week. Now that we’ve used it for an extended period of time, we want to take another close look at its performance and tell you if it’s worth installing ahead of iOS 9.1.

The month of September was a busy one for iPhone 5 users. The update was upgraded with its third major operating system, it received two new iOS 9 bug fix updates and Apple also rolled out a future iPhone 5 iOS 9.1 release.

The most current version of iOS 9, outside the iOS 9.1 beta, is iOS 9.0.2. The iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 update rolled out last Wednesday and it brings some important fixes and improvements to the popular Podcasts application. It also, according to some iPhone users, brings problems.


As I’ve noted many times, small updates like iOS 9.0.2 typically squash problems for good. They also tend to bring their own collection of problems. iOS 9.0.2 problems don’t appear to be widespread but they’re impacting some iPhone 5 users.

With those problems and the iOS 9.1 release in mind, I’ve been taking a close look at iOS 9.0.2 on the iPhone 5 and several other devices. iOS 9.0.2 doesn’t bring any new features so I’ve zeroed in on the update’s performance.

Today, I want to offer some additional feedback about the iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 update in an effort to help those of you looking into the update and its worth.

iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 Update Review

This review will help those of you thinking about upgrading from iOS 8.4.1 or below to iOS 9. It will also help those of you that are already on iOS 9.

That said, it’s important to note that mileage always varies. My experience with iOS 9.0.2 probably won’t be identical to yours. This review will serve as a general guide as you try to answer that all important question: “Is iOS 9.0.2 worth it?” This should help push you to one side of the fence or the other though the final leap is on you.

I encourage you to seek out additional feedback if you’re still not confident after hearing about my experience with the iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 update.


I’ve been using as many apps as humanly possible during my week with the iPhone 5’s update. I have around 80 applications installed on the iPhone 5. My core apps haven’t changed. They include Asana, Slack, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Hangouts, Chrome, Dark Sky, Amazon, SoundCloud, Spotify, and Xbox One Smartglass.

Chrome’s locked up a few times and Twitter’s also crashed a few times during my week with the iOS 9.0.2 update. Before you dismiss iOS 9.0.2, know that this is about what I was expecting. The crashes are infrequent enough that I don’t really mind.


As for my other applications, all of them are holding up. I haven’t felt frustrated with any of them and my hope is that that doesn’t change in the days ahead.

I watch over my apps like a hawk because issues can pop up at any time. And sometimes, bug fixes bring additional problems to the table.

If you do run into issues with an app on iOS 9.0.2, take a look at our list of fixes. That’s the first place I’ll turn if I do encounter something.

iOS 9.0.2 Battery Life on iPhone 5

I’ve been seeing sporadic complaints about iOS 9.0.2 battery life but I haven’t experienced any myself. My iPhone 5’s battery is holding up well.

I haven’t noticed any weird battery drain when the phone is in use. And the phone’s standby charge is still outstanding, better than iOS 8. That’s good news because my iPhone 5 does a lot of sitting around during the day.

I’ve been monitoring my apps using the battery usage tool and I haven’t noticed any apps draining an abnormal amount of battery life. Apps are typically the culprit so you’ll want to use iOS 9’s tool to weed out misbehaving software.

If you do see problems with battery, and you might, I recommend taking a look at our list of fixes and tips for bad iOS 9 battery life.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

I’ve also been seeing complaints about Wi-FI, Bluetooth and LTE. Luckily for me, I haven’t experienced any issues during my week with iOS 9.0.2.

My iPhone 5 has been able to quickly, and effectively, connect to various routers and Wi-Fi connections. I’ve tested it on several different routers and connections and I haven’t see any issues with range or speeds.


I’ve been able to pair with it with several different Bluetooth devices including speakers and headsets. I haven’t seen any dropped connections or any other issues. AT&T’s LTE network is also still very fast and efficient.

Connectivity problems can emerge at any time and that’s why I have my own list of fixes on standby. The fixes listed there are the ones that I’ve used to solve my connection problems in the past.

UI Speed

This is an area that I complained about last week and unfortunately, I’m still running into issues with the speed of the UI on iPhone 5.

To give you some perspective, I’ve been dealing with constant sluggishness and slowdown since the iOS 8.1 release last year. My iPhone 5 stutters when I try to open a folder, swipe over to Spotlight Search, and open apps. It’s rare that animations and transitions feel fluid.

I was hoping that iOS 9.0 would fix things but nothing changed. iOS 9.0.1 and iOS 9.0.2 are no better. I’m still seeing the same slow down and it’s frustrating.

At this point, the only fix I haven’t tried is a factory reset. It’s something I’ve avoided but it’s a step I’ll probably take if iOS 9.1 fails to improve the device’s UI speeds.

I’ve heard good things about iOS 9.1 but that doesn’t mean that the performance on the beta will translate to the public release.

Should You Install the iOS 9.0.2 Update?

For the most part, iOS 9.0.2 update is solid. It fixes key bugs (I haven’t experienced any major problems with the Podcasts application during my time with it) and it excels in areas like battery life and app performance.

That said, it’s also slow on my iPhone 5. And it’s that sluggishness that makes it a difficult update to recommend to those of you that are already having a good experience on iOS 9.0, iOS 9.0.1 or something older. Especially with an iOS 9.1 release on the way.

If you want the latest bug fix updates and security patches, the iOS 9.0.2 is worth a look. Just be careful. Do some prep work and make sure that you’re ready to handle any problems it throws at you.

I’ll understand if you decide to wait for iOS 9.1 though.

10 Things to Know About the iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 Update

iOS 9.0.1 on iPhone 5 Impressions

iOS 9.0.1 on iPhone 5 Impressions

We've been using the iPhone 5 iOS 9.0.2 update for a few days now and while there are some things to like, there's one thing that we aren't liking at all. 

Just about everything checks out. Battery life is great. Apps are running fine. And we haven't seen any problems with connectivity. For the most part, iOS 9.0.2 is great on the iPhone 5. There is one problem though: Stuttering and lag. 

The software stutters and lags when trying to do basic things like open a folder or scroll to Spotlight Search. It's annoying and it's something we've encountered in every iOS update since the iOS 8.0.2 release. Our hope is that iOS 9.1 corrects it but we're not optimistic at this point. The iPhone 5 is old. For more, look at our impressions.

You should also seek out feedback from other sources. Sites like YouTube, Apple's own discussion forums, and Apple-specific forums like MacRumors should provide more insight into an update that is 90% great, 10% frustrating. At least for us. 



  1. Swagat

    10/12/2015 at 4:34 am

    Well, I’m loving the update because it’s snappy and still provides good battery back up. I’m amazed that my iPhone 5 is still holding in good.

  2. J J

    10/19/2015 at 3:47 pm

    Ios 9 is what ios 7 was to iphone 4. The dead end with lag to force you to get new device.

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