Semiconducting metal oxide (SMO) gas sensors were designed, fabricated, and characterized in terms of their sensing capability and the thermo-mechanical behavior of the micro-hotplate. The sensors demonstrate high sensitivity at low concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at a low power consumption of 10.5 mW. In addition, the sensors realize fast response and recovery times of 20 s and 2.3 min, respectively. To further improve the baseline stability and sensing response characteristics at low power consumption, a novel sensor is conceived of and proposed. Tantalum aluminum (TaAl) is used as a microheater, whereas Pt-doped SnO2 is used as a thin film sensing layer. Both layers were deposited on top of a porous silicon nitride membrane. In this paper, two designs are characterized by simulations and experimental measurements, and the results are comparatively reported. Simultaneously, the impact of a heat pulsing mode and rubber smartphone cases on the sensing performance of the gas sensor are highlighted.