I gonna keep this short; I think GrapheneOS solves the Google spying issue quite fine, it is indeed confined and not installed as root, users can assert more control over their privacy that way.
However, I did also not install Google services because it has 300 permissions build in, even though I assume they can do little on a GrapheneOS installation, it just makes me feel very uncomfortable somehow...
Also many apps on the Play Store are atrocious when it comes to tracking users, according Yale Privacy Lab from 300 apps they have tested, 75% show code of trackers.
That does not mean those apps contain viruses or anything like that, but again, it makes me feel very uneasy.
I use Droid-ify together with the F-Droid repository and some other app repositories.
I took the "hermit-route" and isolated myself from apps with trackers (I scan apps with ClassyShark3Xodus) and only use FOSS-based applications.
I do use Orbot for TOR for Molly, (Signal-compatible chat app) Privacy Browser (Soren Stoutner) even though for security but not TOR, Vanadium is highly recommended, i use it as my primairy browser) and Droid-Ify. (Yes, it supports TOR!)
For the rest I use the beta Mulvad app (I use split-tunneling to rule out the TOR-apps) with quantum resistance and DNS-blocker, (blocks ads, malware, trackers, etc) and Wireguard with Wireguard obfuscation.
My girlfriend is always installing spyware on her phone, (cannot talk her out of it) and even though I put her on a guest network, I feel very unsafe she is using the same network, that is the reason why I use a VPN.
VPN's can be a potential point of metadata collection, and make people vulnerable to the third party doctrine law. (NSA mass data collection)
But Mullvad is okay, I guess.
If I did not have Mullvad I would use the "Rethink DNS" app as a DNS blocker. (It handles blacklists, etc)
However, do turn off "block connections without VPN" otherwise the TOR connections would not establish.
I also use Briar for chats (TOR is build in) without having the danger of an in-between server (in case it might be taken over, like with the new EU chat control law) and has mesh networking build in. (For chats with no internet)
With that you can also have a local forum and weblog.
In case of emergency (in case internet breaks down) I have many offline files on my device like the entire Wikipedia and other survival databases, (I use with the app Kiwix) Trailsense and Survival Manual for offline tools and offline survival.
I use VLC as a MODplayer, (it can play .xm .it .mod .s3m, etc) because these take up very little storage (I can store tens of thousands with no burden) lots of comics and games, lots of games which I emulate through RetroArch. (Now available on F-Droid as well)
With Organic Maps (Open Street Maps) I find my way around.
On foot with the super-simpel to use Luftlinie app. (Follow the arrow untill the number says zero)
I flash my Linux desktop distributions locally through USB via EtchDroid.
There are more cool apps that can make humans like us feel more independant, at least, that is the reason why I do it, I don't want anyone prying into my phone, and I don't want to be too dependant on the internet.
GrapheneOS is the perfect solution for me. (I almost sound like a "TV-teleshopping" salesman, sorry for that, but I'd figure you guys can use some of these tips!)
And yes, I am super paranoid, I love it. (-: