We’ve covered S-OFF on the main devices we like to report on,  like the HTC One M7, EVO 4G LTE, EVO 3D, and OG EVO 4G. And you may have noticed a distinct lack of “S-OFF achieved on device X firmware x.x.x.x.” Several of our users have been asking how to get S-OFF on the One M8 series now, and after searching it appears there’s no longer a free way, or my Google-fu is weak.

Since keeping up and finding exploits on a device that the manufacturer is actively patching holes takes time and phones to burn, along with the fact that every time someone releases an exploit they get accused of stealing the idea from someone else who doesn’t have a shred of code written, the free S-OFF utilities on the M8 appear done. The S-OFF tools are now pay to play, or you can go trawling the internet for old copies of Firewater and hope they work with your firmware.

Sunshine S-OFF was released a while back, but it’s $25 per device for S-OFF. Non-transferable license (i.e. you S-OFF Phone A and drop it in the toilet and get Phone B, and you’ll need a new license). It appears to work, and if you want to flash radio firmware like mad, it’s your only option.

It should be noted that the only reason at this point to have S-OFF on the M8 is the ability to roll back firmware upgrades, switch between Sense and GPE ROMs, unlock your SIM, or flash your radio and phone over to another carrier.

It’s that last part, that’s the reason HTC is on top of the S-OFF exploits, in case you’re wondering. Carrier X doesn’t like that their subsidised phone can walk to Carrier Y by going into a cell phone shop.

So where does that leave you?

At the moment, there are a few people who worked for a very long time supporting free S-OFF utilities that are now making some money at it. It doesn’t appear that anyone has come forward to offer a free S-OFF tool for the One M8 series, so those exploits may never see a free release.

Maybe a developer will come forward and offer a free solution soon, but they’re not here at the moment, or my Google-Fu is weak, and it’s evidently been this way for a while now. I didn’t notice because I haven’t had to re-S-OFF my device.

So pony up $25 for S-OFF, or be happy with what you can get with an unlocked bootloader. I’m guessing most people would be fine with the unlocked bootloader. Or, you know, tell me I’m wrong and point us to it.