There are several interesting articles on the net about the iPhone 4’s new retina display. The first discusses the merits of the retina display itself, and the second discusses the glass that covers said display. Hit the jump for all the dirty details.

First: the retina display. As PC World explains, “a retina display is one whose resolution meets or exceeds the maximum resolution [that] the human retina is capable of resolving, assuming perfect vision.” Here is the math PCWorld used — courtesy of Dr. Raymond Soneira from Displaymate Technologies — to determine if the retina display is worthy of its name:

The resolution of the retina is in angular measure – it’s 50 Cycles Per Degree. A cycle is a line pair, which is two pixels, so the angular resolution of the eye is 0.6 arc minutes per pixel.

So if you hold an iPhone at the typical 12 inches from your eyes, that works out to 477 pixels per inch. At 8 inches it’s 716 ppi. You have to hold it out 18 inches before it falls to 318 ppi.

The Doctor concludes, “…the iPhone has significantly lower resolution than the retina. It actually needs a resolution significantly higher than the retina in order to deliver an image that appears perfect to the retina.” Does it have a true retina display? No. Is it a really nice display? Sure. Moving on…

The folks over at iFix Your i Blog got their hands on an iPhone 4 — sans the “circuit board” — that they have used for some endurance testing. iFYiB reports that the chrome stainless steel bezel that borders the iPhone 4 seems to offer less protection to the phones glass-display than previous models; such as the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 4 was dropped three times, from a distance of 3.5 feet, onto an unspecified surface — on the third flight, the phone’s glass cracked. Now, when you drop a 3.5″ piece of glass strapped to 4.5 ounces of weight from 3.5 feet…breakage certainly can’t be ruled out. iFix explains that the new display will suffer from more screen breaks and that the new design, with flush glass, will “come back to bite” Apple in the future. Time will tell.

What do you think? What are your preliminary thoughts on Apple’s new display specs and design?