I learned this expression when I went to a hamburger restaurant with my study group. As soon as T ate a chili pepper, he cringed. He said, “思ったより辛い.” I think it’s an interesting expression. I’m gonna try to use it more often.
Here are some examples by my friend TERU on Lang-8.
思ったよりもやさしい。 It is easier than I thought.
それは思ったよりも悪くない。 It is not as bad as I thought.
思ったより早くついたね。 We got here earlier than I thought.
彼は思ったより早く帰ってきた。 He came home earlier than I had expected.
それは思っていたよりも簡単だった。 That was easier than I had thought.
私が思っていたよりもそこには人は少なかった。 There weren’t as many people there as I’d thought.