The hard X-ray imager (HXI) is the primary detector of the NeXT mission, proposed to explore high-energy non-thermal phenomena in the universe. Combined with a novel hard X-ray mirror optics, the HXI is designed to provide better than arc-minutes imaging capability with 1 keV level spectroscopy, and more than 30 times higher sensitivity compared with any existing hard X-ray instruments. The base-line design of the HXI is improving to secure high sensitivity. The key is to reduce the detector background as far as possible. Based on the experience of the Suzaku satellite launched in July 2005, the current design has a well-type tight active shield and multi layered, multi material imaging detector made of Si and CdTe. Technology has been under development for a few years so that we have reached the level where a basic detector performance is satisfied. Design tuning to further improve the sensitivity and reliability is on-going.