Photoacoustic sensing and imaging techniques have experienced tremendous research progress, ranging from fundamental physics and methodologies to various biomedical and clinical applications in recent years. However, the state-of-art photoacoustic systems still suffer from high cost and bulky size, which hinders their potential applications for low-cost and portable diagnostics. In this paper, we propose the design for a palm-size photoacoustic sensor prototype. The design’s lower cost and smaller size would allow it to be used for portable photoacoustic sensing applications like oxygen saturation and temperature. By converting the high-frequency photoacoustic pulse signal to low-frequency photoacoustic DC signal through a rectifier circuit, the proposed photoacoustic receiver could potentially reduce the cost and device size efficiently, compared with the conventional highspeed data acquisition card interfaced with computer solutions. Preliminary testing is demonstrated to show its feasibility for photoacoustic sensing applications.