When it comes to the design of the Galaxy Note 5 and the new S8+ things are vastly similar yet improved at the same time. Users will notice the same premium all-metal and glass design. The overall look hasn't changed much. Samsung kept the rounded edges on the back but also rounded off the front glass too. It all blends together for a nicely crafted device. The S8+ is water-resistant too, which is a huge plus.
There are more curves than the Note, but it's subtle and done in a way that it's still extremely easy to hold and use. While the screen is the biggest difference, it isn't the only design change.
The missing home button is what most are concerned about, and the fact that the fingerprint scanner is now on the back. Samsung added a haptic 3DTouch like engine under the glass where the new on-screen home button is, so it shouldn't feel too different. It vibrates and has almost a click-like feel when touching the on-screen home button. So you won't miss it, but get to enjoy a bigger screen. However, reaching way up to the very top right side for the fingerprint scanner -- on the back -- will take some serious getting used to.
Instead of putting the finger sensor under the camera in the middle it's to the right, which is a questionable spot. It's a long reach, and camera lenses will get fingerprints and smudges on them. The Note 5 was Samsung's first really good fingerprint scanner experience, instead of the swipe method on the Note 4. So if you've never used any newer products, going to the sensor on the back of the S8+ shouldn't be too big of a deal.
Oh, there's a dedicated Bixby button on the left side, but everything else is the same. Then there's a 3.5mm headphone jack thankfully and a new USB Type-C port for charging. It does not use a micro-USB port. This new port is faster, more durable, and can be plugged in from either direction. You will, however, need new cables, adapters or accessories.
All said and done the design and overall look remains unchanged. The only difference is the front is all black, regardless of color. The screen is bigger and curved, and there are no physical buttons on the front. Otherwise, they are both somewhat similar devices.