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+1 for not needing Play Services. I've been running a free Android, and so far every app installed has worked fine, except push notifications, but I see that as a feature—less interruptions.

Can you recommend a good free gmail client? The default email app doesn't work well with gmail -- double sends every time.

I use K-9 Droid without any issues with gmail. https://f-droid.org/packages/com.fsck.k9/

Same here, it's great. Integrates with OpenKeychain as well for the best PGP/GPG workflow on a phone.

Maybe you'd want to migrate away from Gmail too if you're happy without Play Services? I've been happy with Fastmail, and their import from Gmail worked without hiccups.

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