Im experincing in android that my apps perfoms better when running on devices with small screens. Its a direct relation and its regardless the device quality. With better performance I mean smoth animations, faster reaction to gestures, etc.
What's your sample size on this? Performance is a huge area that certainly factors more than the screen size in. Sure the resolution matters (hence iPad 3 slower with Sencha Touch than iPad 2), but so does the device spec and browser implementation. Android 3 for instance has a useless browser, and most of its devices have larger resolutions, and no matter how fast those devices are, performance sucks. On the other hand, I bought a cheap android phone for £80 second hand, and it's got less resolution, but the spec sucks so performance isn't great...
well, for example, It runs faster in a milestone 1 with froyo than a transformer tft100 with 4..
Or faster in motorola attrix 1 (2.3) than htc one (4). At least with my devices, the larger the screen, the lower performance.
Only when they have a very little difference, (for example between attrix and milestone) there wins the attrix with its dual core, etc. But in others comparison its seems like simple rule.