So you held out on getting a BlackBerry Z10, and now you've got a comfortable, familiar BlackBerry Q10 in your hands. It's easy to fall back into old habits when the Q10 feels so much like the BlackBerry devices you know and love, but you've got to remember that this is an entirely new beast. Of course the vast majority of those differences are for the better, but we're still here to guide you through those initial hoops. Those coming to BlackBerry for the first time will quickly realize the utility of having actual buttons to type on, and with our help, we'll make sure you get the most out of your BlackBerry Q10 experience right out of the box.
Charge your battery
The BlackBerry Q10 has the biggest battery in a BlackBerry to date - 2100 mAh - and a strong initial charge will make sure you can plow through the initial barrage of set-up and app downloads in a single sitting without having to stay plugged in. It's worth noting that with the smaller screen and AMOLED technology behind it, combined with the dark themes included in many native apps, the Q10's battery life will very rarely be a problem for you. If you're a real road warrior though, be sure to snag a battery charging bundle to make extra-sure that you'll never be without connectivity.
Set up accounts
Obviously you want to start getting e-mail and other messages right away. There are hooks for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Evernote, Box, and Dropbox built right into the system settings. If you've got more specific account requirements, there are also options for generic IMAP, POP, CalDAV, CardDAV, Exchange ActiveSync, and Balance-enabled work accounts, too. Of course, the very first account you'll need to set up is a BlackBerry ID if you don't already have one.
Lock it down
A simple unlock code can make all the difference if your beloved BlackBerry Q10 falls into the hands of ne'er-do-wells. It's an easy enough precaution to take, even if it makes things slightly more annoying on a day-to-day basis. BlackBerry Protect can also help you take care of a lost phone, or even track it down via GPS. Once you've done that, you may even feel confident enough to store other passwords on there through Password Keeper.
Install BlackBerry Link
The desktop software for BlackBerry is an invaluable addition for making sure your device data is backed up and synced. Link can help you manage storage, install OS updates, and otherwise get the very best out of your BlackBerry Q10.
Load your music
The BlackBerry Q10 is a fine music machine, and can handle a locally-stored collection as well as streaming from the cloud. The BlackBerry Q10 comes with a set of fine earbuds if you don't have any already, and universal search makes it very easy to find that particular track you're looking for.
Learn keyboard shortcuts
One of the biggest steps in the transition from amateur to pro BlackBerry user has been the use of keyboard shortcuts. Now, in older BlackBerry devices, these keystrokes were somewhat hidden, but now you can see what physical key you can hit to activate certain actions right from the menu of whatever app you're in. You'll also want to get used to Instant Action, which is a new part of universal search. Normally when you type from a dead stop on the home screen, you'll start getting results from locally on the device and options to search out on the web. Now you can also initiate e-mails, calls, BBM messages, and a whole bunch of other actions from the same pane. Combined with functions for tweaking corrections based on your personal usage and language,
Pick up apps
Now that all of the out-of-the-box software is set up, you'll want to see what else is out there. Lucky for you, we've had some time to find the very best that BlackBerry World has to offer. The 1:1 aspect ratio on the BlackBerry Q10 means it might take a little while for app developers to make sure everything compatible (especially for games), but on the whole, you'll find a solid selection of apps in BlackBerry World.
Start loading up wallpapers and setting up ringtones to really make the BlackBerry Q10 your own. BlackBerry 10.1 offers some new notification options, so you can set specific sounds on a per-contact basis. Small tweaks like this can really make your BlackBerry stand out in the crowd, and keeps your BB10 experience new and fresh.
There's a whole
sordid sexy underground of sideloading Android apps onto the BlackBerry Q10, and it can open up a range of options for those looking for more than what BlackBerry World has to offer. For those that were really entrenched in the Android ecosystem, this may be an absolute necessity to get everything back you once had. Even those that are only mildly curious shouldn't be worried about things being too complicated. Once you download the right software and know how to put your device into development mode, it's quite easy. The only downside here is that not everything will necessarily be formatted to fit well on the Q10 screen, but try fiddling around and see what works.
Here's how to sideload Android apps onto the BlackBerry Q10 on PC
Here's how to sideload Android apps onto the BlackBerry Q10 on Mac
Making your way around Android apps on the BlackBerry Q10
How to back up and convert your Android device apps for the BlackBerry Q10
You'll want to get some protection on your BlackBerry Q10 early on. Nothing sucks more than dinging up your new phone the first week after getting it. We've got plenty of screen protectors and sleeves to chose from, so go ahead and find some the fit your style.
After all of that you're good to go! Let us know how you're doing with your new BlackBerry Q10 in the comments, and be sure to hop in the forums if you've got any questions.