If you’ve been to your local Costco or big box store, you may have come across Ascend Aeronautic drones. In this review, we’ll be looking at the latest version of the Ascend Aeronautics drone which is the ASC-2680. This drone adds a number of features such as a higher resolution camera and Optical Flow technology for more stable flying. Despite the improvements the drone still retails for a budget friendly $49.99. The ASC-2680 is a lightweight quadcopter with a 1080P HD camera for video or image capture. Ascend Aeronautics claims a 15-18 minute flight time with a 400 foot range. Additionally, the ASC-2680 features autonomous launching, landing and stunt modes.

The Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 is a budget friendly drone with a 1080p camera and simple controls.

Retail Price$49.99
Rating 8.2 / 10
Measured Weight (in g) 188 (drone + battery), 185 (remote)
Likes+ Budget friendly
+ Easy to fly and intuitive user interface
+ Portable and compact folding quadcopter design
Dislikes– Lacks battery status indicator on device and apps
Where to Buy (US)Costco


The Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 comes in a large box with clear plastic front that shows off the drone and remote. Branding and specs are printed directly on the box along with an eye-catching honey-comb pattern. Inside the box you’ll find:

  • ASC-2680 drone + 1x battery
  • Remote w/ Duracell AAA batteries + cell phone clip
  • Micro USB charging cable for drone battery
  • Extra propellers w/ screws
  • Screwdriver
  • USB MicroSD reader
  • Instruction manual

Taking the drone out of the packaging takes quite a bit of effort as there are multiple layers of plastic and multiple screws holding things in place. Once you do get it out, everything feels well designed and it’s easy to get started quickly. Note, a memory card is not included with the drone. While you don’t need a memory card to use the drone, it is required for 1080P video as the WIFI transmitted data is limited to 720P. We were also quite surprised to see Duracell branded batteries included with the drone instead of generic batteries at this price point.


Out of the box, the drone comes fully assembled and ready to fly. The only initial setup that is required is putting the AAA batteries into the controller and charging the drone’s rechargeable battery. Before each flight the controller and drone need to be synced before flying which is quick but a bit cumbersome. Per the instructions, you should power up the drone first and then quickly turn on the controller. The syncing process requires pushing both joysticks forward until you hear a beep and then pull both joysticks back in unison until it beeps. Done correctly, the drone and controller LEDs will go from flashing to solid. Note, there also is no battery status indicator for the drone or the app which means you’ll need to be careful to track your flight time. As the battery status goes down the drone will struggle to hold an altitude and tends to self land.

Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 Budget Video Drone Review - Flying
The ASC-2680 has a stable quadcopter design with multiple lights around the drone to help identify the orientation of the drone.


The Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 uses a compact quadcopter design with folding wings that make it easy to transport. As with the previous ASC-2400 we reviewed, the ASC-2680 has a compact form factor and plastic construction that’s durable enough to handle crashing. The main body of the drone has a perforated plastic design that conceals the internal electronics. On the front of the drone you have a 1080P HD camera that can manually be rotated 90 degrees from a downward angle to a horizontal angle. There is also a micro SD card slot that lets you store the full high-fidelity data as the camera data is only transmitted at 720P through the app. This is a beginner friendly drone that can be flown using just the remote or with the connected phone using a free app for a first person perspective.

Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 Budget Video Drone Review - Controller
The drone weighs less than half a pound with a compact folding legs and an easy to use controller.

Ascend Aeronautics has also incorporated a number of LEDs into the body of the drone to help with orientation when it’s flying overhead or further away. There are two forward facing white LEDs along with two downward LEDs on the propeller arms. On the back you’ll find a set of matching red LEDs on the rear propeller arms and a square red light on the rear of the body. The battery slides in underneath the rear LED and locks into place with a simple plastic tab. Surprisingly, there is no battery status indicator on the drone or even the app so you’ll need to mentally keep track of flight time to avoid flying with a low battery. To recharge the battery you need to remove it from the drone to access the micro USB slot on the front of the battery.

To control the drone you have a dual joystick remote with a cell-phone attachment clip. The remote has quite a few buttons including two rear buttons that lets you control all the functions and multiple trim buttons for each joystick. The joysticks control the altitude and pitch and yaw angle of the drone to control the flight path with a nice spring loaded feel. There are additional buttons on the sides of the joysticks for trimming the drone as well as two rear buttons. There is a stunt button on the right rear as well as a speed toggle on the left rear that switches between different response speeds. On the front there is also a power button and an auto launch or landing button below it that makes flying the drone easy. While the user interface is straightforward there are also some multi-button actions such as an emergency landing if you press the two rear buttons or holding the left button can toggle training mode.


As far as flying, the Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 is intuitive and simple. Even if you’ve never flown a drone before, the small size and quadcopter design of the drone make it easy to maneuver and position. Using a combination of rotation and pitch / yaw the ASC-2680 can be flown through obstacles and in tight patterns. Right out of the box, the drone has a relatively stable hover capability which is likely helped by the downward facing Optical Flow camera. The big caveat here is that the drone will drift in the wind so you should be cautious about where you fly it. The small size and light weight of it mean it struggles to fly against any wind and can easily be blown off course if you fly it at higher altitudes.

Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 Budget Video Drone Review - Photo Quality
Unlike previous models, the ASC-2680 features a 1080P camera with 115 degree wide angle lens which captures decent photos and videos.

Instead, the ASC-2680 is best described as a backyard drone that is fun to use and affordable enough to not worry about damaging. Having flown the ASC-2400 previously, we were excited to see the updated 1080p camera. It’s a big improvement over the lower models 720p camera and produces decent video footage and images. However, the lack of image stabilization and the fact that you have to manually move the camera angle mean the video footage is jittery and not fit for cinematic shots or professional use. Instead, the video is good enough for social media or for exploring new areas. Once you’ve gotten some flight time we’d recommend upping the speed to medium or high as it’s far more responsive. The drone’s plastic construction is also pretty robust and held up to multiple crashes without breaking blades or damaging the body.


Ascend Aeronautics provides a free companion app to connect to the drone to stream the real time video image as well as start video recordings or take photos. The app is aptly named ASC-2680 and has basic three page design: setup, tutorial and start. Under setup the app guides you through the process of turning the drone on and connected to the WIFI network. The tutorial page is nothing more than a PDF view with instructions on how to set up the Micro SD card. Finally, the start page lets you view saved video and photos as well as view the camera data in real time. Compared to higher end drones like the HOVERAir X1, the app is very basic and only lets you initiate recordings or photos. We would have liked to at least see a battery status indicator on the app or additional features like the current speed setting.


Overall, we found the Ascend Aeronautics ASC-2680 to be a fun and affordable drone. The updated 1080p camera and wide lens are a big improvement over previous versions we’ve reviewed. Even though the lack of stabilization makes the video jittery, it’s an impressive feature at such a low price point. The ASC-2680 is also easy to set up and fly with intuitive controls and a responsive and stable quad copter design. It’s still a backyard style drone though, as it will drift off in any wind conditions and lacks GPS for higher altitude or speed flying. With such a low price point it’s hard to really complain about too much with the ASC-2680 aside from the lack of any battery status indicator on the drone or app. That said, if you’re looking for a budget friendly drone that can capture decent 1080p video then the ASC-2680 is an excellent option.

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

One Reply to “The budget friendly drone”

  1. This is really an older technology type of drone, dressed up. The phone app will not work on a Samsung A325G with an updated operating system: the video just gives green lines. However, if you fly the thing without the phone app and with the microSD card, you will get a video recorded on the card. The quality of video is on par with that of my older (5 year old) drone.

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