from apk vs play store any benefits?

Does had have any benefits or downsides if someone install/use protonmail from a apk file instead of downloading it from google play store?
The downside of apk is probably that the app does not automatically update?

Use Obtanium for that. Just enter links from which you always download APK

Yeah. No google = more privacy

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Not really in this case. If you already have google play for some other reason though then you might as well use that and get seamless updates. Proton does release these directly on their proton-mail-android project though.

The Google play version is probably the only version with push notifications, normally I would but for email that might be inconvenient to not have.