The display is perhaps the biggest differentiating factor between the two phones. While the 7T does get a new and improved display over the 7, the 7T Pro carries over the already excellent display of the 7 Pro.
The 7T has a 6.55-inch, 2400x1080 resolution AMOLED display while the 7T Pro has a 6.67-inch, 3120x1440 resolution AMOLED display. The display on the 7T is flat while the 7T Pro has curved edges. Both screens are capable of refreshing at 90Hz. Both feature a fingerprint sensor built-in and haptic feedback.
The display on the 7T isn't dramatically improved in terms of image quality, but it does have more vertical resolution and a taller aspect ratio. The notch has also been reduced in size, and the chin is still quite small. All of this results in an excellent 86.5% screen to body ratio.
The 7T Pro does even better. It has no notch, and due to the curved edges, it occupies more of the front surface of the phone. This results in an even more striking 88.1% screen to body ratio.
Both phones ship with high-quality AMOLED panels manufactured by Samsung. The 7T is capable of slightly higher 1000 nits of brightness than the 7T Pro, but both get adequately bright under the sun even without enabling auto brightness. If you do, the display also adjusts the colors and contrast to make it more visible under direct sunlight while also boosting brightness.
Both displays also have excellent color accuracy in their respective sRGB (Natural) and Display-P3 (Vivid) modes. Both are capable of playing back content in HDR10 and HDR10+ formats with wide color gamut support. Unfortunately, HDR performance remains underwhelming since neither display gets especially bright during HDR playback.
Both displays offer a silky-smooth 90Hz refresh rate. Both let you switch down to 60Hz if you want to save some battery or keep it in 90Hz mode.
The 90Hz mode doesn't work in every application, and aside from the built-in apps and some whitelisted third-party apps it often tends to go down to 60Hz mode, which feels a bit jarring. Games in particular are notorious for not even supporting 60fps in many cases and we didn't come across a single game that can match the 90Hz refresh rate with 90fps on either phone.
Still, for just improving the responsiveness and fluidity of the UI in general usage, we really appreciate the feature being there. It's a great way to put all the GPU horsepower available at your disposal to good use, and we wish more manufacturers implemented higher refresh rates.
Both phones also have a fingerprint sensor built-into the display. OnePlus confirmed to us that the sensors on the 7T series are similar to the previous ones but not identical. One of the visual differences is that on the 7T series the display shines a white light to illuminate your finger whereas on the 7-series and 6T, the light was green. Our little research led us to believe it's actually the latest generation of FP sensors that requires white light so you are at least getting the latest hardware.
In terms of performance, the new sensor seems slightly improved over the previous one. We did have issues with the previous ones, where it often failed to read fingerprints and was also easy to catch it off guard by trying to scan a less frequently used thumb. The new one seems faster and more reliable in general, but on some occasions it's still possible to catch it scanning at your thumb for a second longer than it should.
One area of difference between the 7T and the 7T Pro is the resolution. While the FullHD+ resolution of the 7T display is perfectly adequate for all intents and purposes, the 7T Pro goes a bit further into the indulgence territory with its QHD+ resolution.
Realistically, it is difficult to always appreciate the extra resolution the 7T Pro brings over the 7T unless you are looking at high resolution images or videos side by side. So we do appreciate the extra pixel density on the 7T Pro display but we also don't think you're missing out on a lot with the 7T.
Another area where the 7T Pro differs from the 7T is in having a curved display. One could argue about the aesthetic impact of this design decision, and we do begrudgingly agree it looks much nicer than a flat display.
However, a curved display has some drawbacks compared to a flat display, including image distortion around the edges, increased glare around the edges and the increase in false touch reported by the screen when simply holding the phone. We don't think the subjective improvement in the design is worth these very objective drawbacks.
Speaking of false touches, the standard 7T was also strangely not immune to these. If we used a full palm grip (as opposed to being held just with the fingers) and using the phone with the same hand, we often found the edges of the screen getting triggered by the base of our thumb. It gets worse when using the phone in bed over your head as you have no choice but to use the full palm grip and the screen is constantly going off all the time by your palm.
Both phones also have this annoying problem where the bottom chin is too thin for usability now. If you use the standard three-button navigation controls and prop up the phone with your pinky finger in a finger-style grip, then your pinky will actually touch and activate the home button when you tilt the top of the phone towards you while reaching for the notifications. We have noticed this issue on some other devices as well, but it's especially pronounced on these two due to their extra thin bottom bezel.
We think OnePlus needs to spend more time on the usability of the touchscreen on its devices, especially as it's implementing thinner and thinner bezels, and perhaps look into palm rejection methods employed by some other devices. Of course, if you use a case, this issue isn't as severe, but we don't think a device should be designed around being used in a case all the time.
Moving on, let's talk about the haptic feedback. The OnePlus 7 Pro introduced excellent haptic feedback to OnePlus devices, which was strong and precise. The OnePlus 7, however, just used a standard vibration motor, and the haptic feedback was mostly just vague buzzing.
Now, the 7T incorporates a new haptic motor, which feels stronger and more precise. However, for some reason, it's still not as strong as the motor inside the 7T Pro, which uses the same motor found in the 7 Pro. The 7T Pro still has some of the best haptic feedback on a smartphone with the 7T trailing a bit behind.
Finally, we have to chime in on the notch-vs.-no-notch debate. The OnePlus 7T is definitely Team Notch, although it is noticeably smaller than the one on the 7. We don't really mind or notice it most of the time while using the phone in portrait mode, but it can get in the way when watching videos or playing games in landscape mode.
The 7T Pro, meanwhile, has no notch and just this big, beautiful sheet of glass in your hand, almost all of which lights up. Watching content on the 7T Pro is an absolute pleasure as it feels like you're directly holding just the display in your hands with barely any bezel around. It's truly one of the best content consumption devices out there right now.
Winner: OnePlus 7T Pro. While we appreciate the flat screen on the 7T, the higher resolution, larger size, and the notch-less design of the 7T Pro are hard to resist.