If I need other apps, I install them with Yalp store or F-droid. Lots of them run fine without Play Services (including Google Maps).
The phone is fast, the battery lasts a lot, slightly better security
And there's also OsmAnd, which I think deserves a try.
I haven't used Google Maps in a few years, but I initially switched, because OsmAnd was much more reliable with offline maps. I've also heard people say that they've found OsmAnd's maps to be better, especially in more secluded areas.
Can you recommend a good free gmail client? The default email app doesn't work well with gmail -- double sends every time.